I think you could pretty much follow this itinerary:https://www.trippy.com/drive/Santa-Cruz-to-Corrales
I-40 is a nice drive, and it keeps you out of L.A. traffic, Vegas, and Phoenix.
Instead, if you have time, you could take a detour to the Grand Canyon National Park
or a shorter dip down to Sedona
. Also explore the Petrified Forest National Park
since you pass right through.