If you\’ve been keeping up with our Road to Arizona routes, you\’ll know we covered routes from British Columbia and Alberta to the winter horse utopia of Arizona. Offered here is a scenario from Saskatchewan through to the Cave Creek area, a route My Stable Life blogger and WHR Managing Editor, Jenn Webster and her husband, trainer, Clay, have travelled a few times in the past years.
Jenn reminds us that while the interstate through New Mexico offers the best highway route, there are currently equine disease testing implications and quarantines currently in place, be sure to educate yourself on those.
Regina, SK to Phoenix, AZ, with two overnight stops; the first in Billings, MT and the second in Albuquerque, NM.
Border Crossing: North Portal, SK/Portal, ND
Total time: 27.75 hours (Day One: 7.5 hours to Billings. Day Two: 13.75 hours to Albuquerque. Day Three: 6.5 hours to Phoenix)
Distance: 3,040 kilometers
Road Conditions: Interstate all the way. Note that where the I25 crosses the Palmer Divide between Denver and Colorado Springs, blizzards and high winds are notorious for causing traffic problems during the winter months. Also, this trip requires a stop in New Mexico – which will necessitate Vesicular Stomatitis and Equine Piroplasmosis testing of your horse(s) prior to re-entry into Canada.
Jenn’s Trip Tips
- The route through New Mexico truly consists of the best highway options. However, if you want to avoid the state completely (hence, the equine disease testing implications), be forewarned! The alternate route through Grand Junction, CO, and south along US-191 will see your rig negotiating rugged mountainous ranges and grades up to 10% in some areas. While the scenery is absolutely stunning along this course, the bill for the repair of your axels and brakes may not make it worthwhile.
Places to Stay: Find the Box T Ranch on Facebook or (406) 252-4388. They offer stalls or outdoor pens with cover (all with automatic waterers), an outdoor riding arena, round pens, hot walker and hookups. Close to hotels and major freeway access but if you’re piloting a larger rig, call ahead for directions to avoid a sharp turn into the driveway.
Food & Drink: The typical American eateries – Fudruckers, Applebee’s, Domino’s Pizza, abound but if you’re willing to venture out a little farther, check out Uberbrew – a contemporary microbrewery with cool sandwich choices from bison burgers, to Schnitzel sandwiches to black sesame yellow fin tuna with Firebird slaw and wasabi aioli in a gigantic bun. Wash it all down with one of their many creative craft beers. Start the following morning of your journey with a Honey Bun from Rock Creek Coffee – a fresh brewed espresso with honey, cinnamon, frothy milk and pumpkin whipped cream topping.
To Do: Plan your trip to coincide with one of the fantastic horse auctions at Billings Livestock Commission. With catalog sales offered once a month of all types of horses, the auction pens at BLS are guaranteed to fix your horse sale sweet tooth.
Places to Stay: The Broken M Ranch offers overnight stabling, indoors or out. Even the Budweiser Clydesdales have been known to overnight here! RV hook-ups available or stay in their fully furnished guest house.
Food & Drink: Blake’s Lotaburger is within walking distance of the Broken M, but if a Green Chili Cheeseburger won’t cut it, try Jennifer James 101 (www.jenniferjames101.com). This place puts a farmer\’s name on the salad\’s arugula, serves foie gras off-menu to anyone who asks, converts beet haters with a divine pureed soup, and closes meals with cardamom ice-cream. For breakfast in the morning, the Broken M offers a plethora of food stocked up in the guest house – make your favorite omelet before you go!
To Do: Visit Albuquerque’s Old Town. Ten blocks of historic adobe buildings, many of which have been converted into art galleries, shops and restaurants. This historical zone of Albuquerque was founded in 1706 and looks today, much like it did when it was built centuries ago.