New Mexico’s cheeseburger trail
Thanks to the New Mexico Tourism Department, you can now chart a trip across the scenic desert state by its cheeseburgers, said Donna Tabbert Long in National Geographic Traveler. New Mexico is famous for the green-chili cheeseburger, a “juicy meat patty, draped with melting cheese, heaped with a pile of roasted green chilies.” Whether “sizzled on a well-seasoned griddle or grilled over an open flame, the gussied-up burger is on menus all over the state.” The tourism board has mapped out a trail, along the state’s most traveled roads, of 48 establishments that serve up the very best. The standouts were chosen from among 185 nominees, and they range from the “nationally unsung” Michael’s Mini-Mart, in Velarde, to such renowned spots as Bobcat Bite Restaurant, a “mom-and-pop” operation on the outskirts of Santa Fe.
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Coasting down a Hawaiian volcano
After I watched the sunrise from the lip of Haleakala, the rest was downhill, said Christopher Reynolds in the Los Angeles Times. But only literally. I had signed up for a 27-mile group bike ride from the top of the Maui volcano down to sea level, which meant a pre-dawn start and stepping off a bus into a “volcanic moonscape” and “40-degree gusts.” But “when the sun hurled its first beams at us from the horizon,” the early wake-up seemed worth it. Soon I was fastening my helmet and starting down the open road on our 6,500-foot descent. Around every hairpin turn we encountered “green valley, blue sea, and, because the high ground is cattle country, the occasional cow pie.” Zipping past island villages and “hardened lava and cane fields” at a brisk 24 mph, I was expecting to be intimidated. But “I wasn’t—just invigorated.” I was a “kid again, grinning side to side.”
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