Category Archives: Automobiles and Driving

Hatch Valley Road Trip—More fall foliage and Sparky’s


Fall tree

The Hatch Valley holds exquisite scenery any time of year, but there’s just something about fall colors here along the banks of the Rio Grande in the midst of chile fields, cattle ranches, and horse farms. Unfortunately, invasive salt cedar has infiltrated here, but even salt cedar affords some great color this time of year.

Hatch Valley salt cedar

However, we’re in a rush to get to lunch, so I’ll spare the words and post a few more scenic shots for a moment:

Hatch Valley

Hatch Valley

Red rocks of Hatch Valley

Now on to the important stuff—Hatch’s hidden gem, Sparky’s Burgers, BBQ, and Shakes:

Sparky’s World Famous Burgers, BBQ, and Shakes

On Friday we’ll head inside for a review of the food, but for now we’re going to look at the kitschy collection of 1950s roadside nostalgia straight out of the heyday of Route 66. Here you’ll find everyone from Robin Hood to Colonel Sanders to Yogi Bear:

1950’s roadside kitsch at Sparky’s across-the-street parking

Even Sparky is present here:

Sparky posing with one of his burger creations

Here are some closeups of this eclectic sampling of roadside Americana:

Spicing up a bucket

Even Yogi likes Sparky’s burgers

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Filed under Automobiles and Driving, Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation

Hatch Valley Road Trip—Clint Eastwood was hanged near here


Along the Rio Grande

One of our favorite weekend day trips is along the back roads between El Paso and Hatch, New Mexico. It’s scenic. It’s historic. It’s delicious. Deliciously spicy, that is. Hatch is home of the world famous Hatch chile. And what is Hatch’s green chile good for? Glad you asked. A while back I posted my chile rellano recipe using poblano chiles, but Hatch green really makes that recipe shine. And let’s not forget that modern culinary miracle, the green chile cheeseburgers. You’ll see one of the best of those on this week’s Fun Food Friday.

Chile field

By the way, did you know that Clint Eastwood was once lynched here in the Hatch Valley? That occurred along the banks of the Rio Grande not far from where these photos were taken, very close to Fort Selden (topic of a future blog article). The year was 1968, and poor Clint was mistaken for a murderer by a posse that included, of all people, kindly Skipper from Gilligan’s Island (Alan Hale, Jr.) in the movie was Hang ‘Em High.

Surrounding hills

But to heck with Clint Eastwood. This is chile country! And lunch is right up the road!

Chiles

Another great feature of this recent road trip is that the foliage was just beginning to succumb to fall.

Mesilla Valley fall colors

We’ll continue with narrative on Wednesday, but for now I’ll leave you with some more sights from this drive through the country:

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Fun Photo Friday — Favorite Photos from the Catwalk


Over the Creek and Around the Bend

Over the Creek and Around the Bend

I hope you enjoyed this road trip over the past three weeks, including the extraordinary 1Zero6 Café review and the tour of Silver City, New Mexico.  Here are today’s favorites from the Catwalk:

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Filed under Automobiles and Driving, Fun Photo Friday, Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel, vacation