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.


  1. That looks like a fantastic drive! Going on the list:)

    1. It was a fantastic drive. It had been on my list for years and I was not disappointed. We stayed at a pretty nice Passport America park in Questa that was perfect for doing the Enchanted Circle and also, not too far from Taos.

  2. That herd of sheep is totally cool!