That New Mexico light is special. Even in midday, there is a clarity and lack of harshness to the light that I have not seen in other part of the country. Here is the first photo I ever shot in New Mexico during a cross country road trip 6 years ago. I was on I25 between Santa Fe and ABQ and had to stop the car to take this shot. I could see all the way back to the snow-capped mountains,and the combination of light and landscape colors were unforgettable.
Here is a shot I captured just after a short rainstorm on Route 66 near Acoma (about a half hour outside of ABQ). It does not do justice to the incredible light I saw that day. Having lived in Phoenix and ABQ, I must say that Phoenix can have some spectacular sunsets, but the light during the day is harsh and full of glare. However, New Mexico has some of the most consistently beautiful light I have ever seen in the states.