As has been pointed out recently I’m way behind. My hope is to get all caught up before we hit Alaska this summer. So this one’s for you John 😉
October 3 – 9, 2018
“Albuquerque, he’s my turkey and he’s feathered and he’s fine…” Sing it with me. 🙂
I cannot say Albuquerque without that song running through my mind (maybe it just a kindergarten teacher thing), but Albuquerque was no turkey. In fact it was awesome! Now I can’t tell you anything about the town of Albuquerque. I’m sure there are plenty of neat things to see and do there, but we came for only one reason: the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the largest celebration of hot air ballooning in the world.
Traveling further south we stopped for a few nights at City of Rocks State Park. It’s kinda strange because you are driving through grasslands and fields and then these rocks just pop up out of nowhere.
There are lots of cool rock formations to climb on and around.
You can camp right up among the rocks, but we chose the hook-up sites and had this great view of the rocks from our site.
One afternoon I took my bike on the trail that loops the campground.
The trail was longer and hillier than it looked and I had forgotten we were still at a high elevation and it was nearly 90 degrees so I very nearly didn’t make it back. Boy that dry desert air really takes it out of you! Took me a couple of days to recoup.
We made a visit to Silver City which was supposed to have lots of cool artist shops, but most were closed on Tuesday. The few we did find had interesting stuff.
We had more great evening views.
Sadly we had to leave New Mexico and head toward Phoenix so I could fly to Boise for my nephew’s wedding. On the way we stopped in Benson AZ at an Escapees Park. We love the Escapees parks for their friendly folks, reasonable rates, and especially their clean, cheap laundry facilities! This one had great desert views and we enjoyed the sunny weather.
On our way to Phoenix we needed a place to stop for lunch. Luckily we happened upon the Casa Grande National Monument. It was a great stop for lunch and a little exploration.
Outside Phoenix we stayed at Lost Dutchmen State Park. We had heard so many good things about this park that we were disappointed when our spot turned out to be in a crowded loop. Riding through the campground we found other nicer spots but none were open for the 9 days we were staying. Luckily during the week it was quieter and less crowded.
Still the views of the Superstition Mountains as they changed in the evening light were great. While Chuck enjoyed those and some 90 degree days, I flew to Boise for highs in the 50s and a great visit with family.
So after Chuck’s week of projects around the trailer and my busy week with family, it’s time to make some decisions about where we head next. There are so many possibilities that sometimes it can be daunting. We’ve had such a busy month that I think we need a few days to relax before we decide.
After Taos, we headed to Valley of Fires Recreation Area in Carrizozo. Here we were greeted by stunning views, a walk through black lava fields, and lots of wind. This place is definitely worth a stop, even if you just walk the path through the lava field.
Since we had been moving around quite a bit we opted to stay in our awesome site instead of moving closer to the other places we wanted to explore. This meant about an hour’s drive to White Sands National Monument but it was a beautiful day so it wasn’t bad.
Another day we drove 45 minutes to Three Rivers Petroglyph Recreation Site. They have over 21,000 petroglyphs that were chipped into the rock over 600 years ago. They are so cool that it took us forever to hike the 1.5 mile trail. By the time we came back down we were the only car left in the parking lot!
This was such a cool area that we will have to come back. After all we missed the Smokey the Bear Museum and gravesite. Yes, there was an actual Smokey the Bear and he was from New Mexico. Who knew?
No matter how hard I try it seems like I’m only getting further behind on the blog. So in a last ditch effort to catch up I posted two blogs last week and now I’m blowing through the last month with multiple posts today.
We arrived in New Mexico to cooler, cloudy weather in the mountains north of Taos. We stayed a couple of nights at Eagle’s Nest State Park, part of New Mexico’s Enchanted Loop. There was some pretty mountain scenery heading through the pass and nice views from our campsite, but we didn’t do much exploring. At over 8,000 feet in elevation it was cooler than we wanted so we headed to the lower elevation of Taos at 6,900 feet.
The Taos Valley RV Park was kinda quirky and in need of some attention, but it got us close to the sights.
We walked on the Rio Grande Bridge, the most beautiful steel bridge according to the sign, in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. I had never seen crisis hotline phones out on a bridge, but it makes sense. We even spotted a big horn sheep.
Afterwards we stopped at Taos Brewing Company for some food and beer. We found the coolest old truck in their parking lot. Someone is also putting in a collection of old trailers for overnight rentals. I would have loved to peek inside in all of them.
Another day we explored the Taos Pueblo. I expected the pueblo to have plaques explaining the history, but I guess you have to take a tour to get information, which we weren’t keen on doing. Still it was a photographer’s dream to just wander around.
We walked around Taos’ central square but found it a bit touristy. We preferred the metal sculptures and Mexican imported goods at a shop on the outskirts of town. We also found a cool local t-shirt shop.
This has been our first stay in New Mexico and it’s left me excited to see more.