I'm planning a road trip from Las Vegas out to the Socorro / Albuquerque area in the beginning of October (flying into Vegas, flying out of Albuquerque), to drop in on Trinity Site's Bi-annual opening on october 6th, (its a little nerdy I admit but I've always been curious about it). This will be my first time in the Southwest United States, and I am looking for suggestions on driving routes and sites for a first-timer between vegas and the Albuquerque area, I guess I'm mostly interested in stargazing and photo drives.
I've given myself about 4 days to get to Socorro, and will have 3 days to just tour around the area upon arriving. I realize the Albuquerque Balloon Festival is going on the first weekend in October so that might make finding lodgings difficult, so I'm thinking of maybe avoiding the city until the day before I fly out.
A lot of the forum posts I've read have been very informative so far. I've also looked through route books, and online, but would love to get some opinions, experiences or ideas while still deciding what to do.