Seekin' My World

Brenda's wanderings and wishings

Not ATC but New Mexico! August 1, 2017

Filed under: Non ATC Bobcat travels — Sierrashadow @ 8:29 pm

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This isn’t about my ATC Bobcat camper, but I have been traveling with a college roommate for almost 40 years. This year we decided to connect with a third roommate we haven’t seen for a few years. So New Mexico was our destination. We managed to cover quite a bit of area, and kept to the higher elevations for the coolness. Unfortunately, it was monsoon season, so we had daily thunder storms, but after a full month of over 100 at home, it was delightful and brisk at 85 degrees.

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We went to Tijeras ruins from the Pueblo period. Since they covered them up after excavation, there wasn’t much to see. But the museum was having a pottery making day and it was fun to see several ladies having a great time learning a new skill. Then we went on to Quarai ruins, which has a Franciscan church ruin that reminded me of the cathedrals in Scotland. The colors were fabulous. I love those puffy clouds.

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Someone was very talented and creative in Mountain Air. Shaffer Hotel has been closed for years, but it is still worth a look.

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The next day we went to the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History. I wasn’t expecting it to be so fascinating, but I throughly enjoyed it.

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Then we headed up the back side of the Sandia Mountains. Tinkertown was a hoot. They don’t make tourist traps like this anymore. Some old geezer spent a lot of time whittling and collecting. It is an amazing collection.

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I got a kick out of this one after 35 years in the profession.

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This sign has much to recommend.

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Then we went up to Santa Fe where I remembered being impressed with this staircase 30 years ago at the Loretto Chapel. I wish I had a clearer picture of it, but it was pretty dark and crowded in there. The nuns prayed for help when they were told it would have to be a ladder. After nine days of praying a carpenter arrived looking for work with just a donkey and a toolbox. A few months later he disappeared without pay. They couldn’t find him to thank him even though they tried everything. It is beautiful construction, I can see why people consider it miraculous.

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Three of the four “Wild Women of the Fifth Floor” UCSB 1978-1979.

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Just to the south of Taos, but can’t remember the name of the church.

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The enchanted Circle driving route. Gorgeous!

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My only nod to my camper. “grin”

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Pronghorn right by the side of the road.

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Leaving Taos for Chama, looks very flat and boring. Then this gorge opens out of no where for the Rio Grande to pass. Heights give me the willies, but I got out there anyway.

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Earthship.org was interesting but they wanted a fee to enter. Wasn’t that interesting! Definitely for the nonconformist personalities.

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The Cumbres and Toltec narrow gauge scenic railroad was a blast from the past. 6 hours chugging along, crossing the border between New Mexico and Colorado 11 times, eating a fabulous lunch miles from the nearest road, ending up covered in soot and ashes and loving every minute of it.

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Heading south past Ghost Ranch of Georgia O’Keefe fame (saw it last time, don’t need to do it again) are some beautiful cliffs and Echo Amphitheater.

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The Jemez Springs area is beautiful. The Walatowa visitor’s center moved me emotionally. The level of respect for education and educators was gratifying. They put value on children as the next generation and the future of their entire civilization. We could learn a lot from them. I tried to tell the poor clerk there how much I appreciated it, but ended up a blubbering mass. I hope she realized I was ok! And the taco across the street was amazing! Couldn’t ask for better surroundings.

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On up the road is “Soda Dam”. My friend had some hazy memory from 30 years ago and finally pinned down where it was. So I knew from the moment she saw it in the guidebook, we were headed there. But I was glad because I don’t remember doing the road along the Valles Caldera, and it was beautiful!

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We had a daily deluge all but the train day. But New Mexico does them up right. They were short in duration but powerful in execution. Very refreshing.

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So it was a great trip. The rental car performed well. We brought the tents and sleeping bags, but never broke them out because of the rain. So the trip ended up being more expensive than anticipated, but worth every penny. I love traveling with my buddy. And now need to find a time to take out the Bobcat again.

In two weeks I take the Bobcat to Yosemite for a family trip spread across three sites. Will have my husband in the rig for the first time ever. Will toss the tent in just in case it doesn’t really fit two people. Looking forward to it.