Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Enchanted Circle

This past Fall, while we were traveling around northern New Mexico and Colorado, we spent a day driving the Enchanted Circle scenic byway. The Enchanted Circle is an 84 mile loop that runs through national forest, ski resorts, historic towns and Taos. It encircles Wheeler Peak, the highest mountain in New Mexico, part of the Sangre de Cristo range. I promised in my last blog post to post some pictures from that drive so here goes.

We started our drive in Questa and within a few miles we came upon a herd of bighorn sheep.

Our next stop was in Red River. We walked around town a bit and took some pictures. Red River is a ski resort that gets crowded during ski season but it was quiet on this beautiful fall day.

Between Red River and Eagle Nest

We've been wanting to check out Eagle Nest Lake State Park so we stopped there awhile. It was a really nice park but we'd need to figure out a better route to take the motorhome there. 

The next town along the circle is Angel Fire where we stopped to visit the Vietnam Memorial State Park. Here is some information from their website about this memorial.
Following the death of their son, U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Victor David Westphall III, Jeanne and Dr. Victor Westphall began construction of the Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel to honor the memory of their son and the fifteen men that died with him near Con Thien, South Vietnam on May 22, 1968.

The Chapel was dedicated on May 22, 1971, the 3rd anniversary of the death of 1st Lt. David Westphall. It was the first major memorial created to honor the veterans of the Vietnam War, and inspired the establishment of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C., which was completed over ten years later, in 1982.

Victor "Doc" Westphall dedicated his life to the Memorial. He lived in an apartment on site, and his entire purpose was honoring his son and the more than 58,000 others who died in Vietnam. He reached out to the families that had lost their loved ones, and welcomed home the "maimed in body and spirit". In his own words, "We who must will do what we can to encourage humankind to preserve rather than to destroy."

View of Angel Fire from the memorial

Our last stop before returning to Questa was at the Plaza in Taos. I love the plazas in the different New Mexico towns and the one in Taos was really nice. There was live music playing and just a really nice vibe to the place.
Well, that's pretty much it for our drive along the Enchanted Circle. It was a great day and a great drive-one that I think we'll do again. I'll end with a few pictures of the Rio Grande from our drive leaving Questa to head to southern New Mexico for the winter. We loved our time in northern New Mexico last fall and hope to return there soon.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Fall Travels: Part One

 We've been back in southern New Mexico for about a month, enjoying the beautiful weather and uncrowded campgrounds at Elephant Butte Lake State Park and Caballo Lake State Park. We plan to spend most of the winter here again, depending on the weather. The pictures today are from our Fall travels in northwestern New Mexico and Colorado. We revisited some areas from earlier this year like Abiquiu Lake, Tetilla Peak Rec Area and Storrie Lake and explored some new areas like Taos, Questa, N.M. and Antonito, Colorado.

Festival at Santo Domingo Pueblo

Old trading post being restored by the National Park Service


Cattle crossing and alien abduction sign.

Rio Grande Gorge
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Lazy L Ranch
Questa, N.M.
Eagle Rock Lake near Questa

Conejos River in Antonito, Co

 Our time in Colorado was short because it was starting to get cold so we headed back to Questa for a few days before heading south. While we were in Questa we drove the Enchanted Circle scenic byway. I took so many pictures that day that I decided to save them for another blog post so be sure to stay tuned for Part 2.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Summer Travels: Part 2

We left Gallup and headed west on Route 40 into Arizona. It was early June and unseasonably hot but luckily this section of 40 parallels some of the best old Route 66 stops. If you like trading posts and dinosaurs and tee pees there are a lot of fun photo ops, just perfect for travel days when it's 100 degrees out and you want a quick stop.

Yellowhorse Trading Post is on the border of Arizona and New Mexico with buildings in both states.  On the New Mexico side there are even ancient ruins in the cliffs behind the trading post.

Yellowhorse Trading Post

Fake Animals

Ancient Ruins

My big ($5) purchase

We made it as far as Williams, Arizona where we finally decided it wasn't going to get any cooler along our planned route and decided to turn back and head towards Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. We did have a few more fun Route 66 stops on our way back. 

Jackrabbit Trading Post

Standin' On A Corner in Winslow, Az...

We had flights scheduled for late July and late August out of Albuquerque and needed to stay relatively close, so our time in Colorado was brief. It was great to finally escape the heat though. We stayed at Navajo Dam State Park in Northern New Mexico over the 4th and then spent time in Durango and Pagosa Springs before heading back towards Albuquerque. Here are a couple of photos from Pagosa Springs...

We're back in New Mexico after two great trips by plane to visit family in California and Maryland. (We miss you all so much!) We're probably going to head back up towards Colorado before it starts getting cold. We want to see the Aspens in their Fall glory and maybe pick some raspberries at Salmon Ranch on the way up. Stay tuned and thanks for visiting!