October 5-7, 2020
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Prior to our departure from Tombstone last week we were given a mission. An important mission to locate a piece of property in a remote area west of Taos.
My BFF inherited this quarter acre years ago but has yet to find her way there. They got close once, but were unsuccessful. Since then she's gotten the GPS coordinates and has now tasked us with tracking it down. Not knowing the state of the roads/access it's believed having the Jeep may be necessary!
So Monday we're off on what will be 100 mile drive to see if maybe we can find it.
We take Hwy 84 through small settlements, mostly one or two buildings along the road with several farms dispersed in the distance. As expected there is plenty to enjoy along the way.
|It is very dry yet wildflowers flourish in some areas.|
|Autumn-colored vines catch my eye on this now closed cafe.|
|For a couple miles we're surrounded by these unique formations.|
Initially this road is looking passable for motorhomes (the ultimate goal is to see if the property could be an option for boondocking). When we find a large cleared space we're even more optimistic.
|On the other side of the entrance road is this communication building. My mother called them "flying saucer repair stations" and they always give me a big smile when we come across one.|
|Not RV friendly :-(|
Back to Hwy 64 and a couple more misses before we find what seems to be the "way in". A few rugged structures and trailers that most likely will never exit the area are scattered about, and several dirt roads of different widths and conditions crisscross around us. But alas we find what we're looking for!
|Getting a closer look at this place we're glad the gate is locked.|
|We never really "need" the Jeep but I'm glad we have it.|
|"You have arrived at your destination."|
|They are small and there are very few of them, but Bill wants our friends to know they have a tree on their property!|
|The shrub is so thick that walking on the roads is much easier.|
So we successfully complete our mission and while the location is peaceful with huge views all around, the goal of finding a place for boondocking in our motorhomes is a bust.
We continue into Taos, checking out the interesting Earthship homes along Hwy 64. It's surprisingly busy in town with lots of road construction, and we just continue through without stopping.
|The "dots" are bottles. All seem to have at least a few in their walls.|
|All solar and wind powered.|
|Quirky is the norm.|
Hwy 68 offers long views of the Rio Grande gorge. We crossed the bridge over it on Hwy 64 but there were a lot of people so we didn't stop to look (it's spectacular from the vehicle!). The highway drops down and we're hoping that maybe there will be water in the Rio Grande. Yes! And the prettiest scenery we've seen so far. All the roadside stops are open - parking lots and pit toilets. A couple people have stopped to fish, but mostly we have the space to ourselves just to enjoy the water.
|We try to imagine the travel challenge this deep gorge presented to early tribes and pioneers.|
|Aspen glow along the hill above the river.|
|And along the water's edge.|
|So refreshing after all the dry terrain.|
The smoke continues to dull our skies and I'm not sure if we'll be able to appreciate the "scenic" of this drive. Maybe there will something else to enjoy besides the long views.
You know how when you first see pretty trees or flowers or rocks, and you start taking photos and then start noting places to stop on your way back to be sure you capture those glimpses you missed on the way up? The first few miles are just like that. Clusters of yellow aspen and cottonwood are beautiful along the road.
And then we come around one corner and the whole mountainside explodes with color! It's such a surprise that I can hardly take it all in. What a glorious sight!!
This is a winding mountain road, lots of wow!s around each turn. In the middle of the amazing fall color is a stop called, not surprisingly, Aspen View. Also not surprising is the number of people here. To see the views. Of Aspens. I hear several people say this is the "peak week". We really scored on this "maybe"!
Getting to walk among these golden beauties is a blessing. No need to stop at those "glimpse" spots on the way back, we've immersed ourselves in fall color!
Turns out we didn't miss those long views at all :-)
In addition to all the San Antonio recommendations we loved from (exploRVistas.com), Jim also told me about a tasty and unique eatery in Santa Fe. Neither of us have had it before, but maybe we'll like Venezuelan food at Santarepa Cafe. We love it!! With everyone masked and outdoor seating it's another lovely and safe experience. Thanks Jim and Diana for this perfect recommendation!
|Delicious food and warm, personal service.|
|I did manage to capture this tray of chilis drying in the sun. Don't they just feel like New Mexico?|
We'll make a couple stops, have a bit more vehicular drama, and return to Tombstone. In the next post.