Well, Howdy! Long time, no see. We ARE still going and going and going.....
After City of Rocks, we headed to northern New Mexico and spent a few days outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico (NOT Nevada) at Storrie Lake State Park. After City of Rocks, Storrie Lake was a bit of a letdown, but there was plenty to see and do nearby.
We were able to catch up with our friends, Bob and Maureen, who have been fulltime RVing for over seven (7) years now.
|Bob and Maureen|
They were the first couple we met in Florida when we started our adventure 2 1/2 years ago. They had been staying in the Las Vegas area for several weeks, so they showed us some of the sights.
First, we went 'hot potting'! Say what?
|Hot Pottin' at Montezuma|
Hot potting is soaking in natural hot springs. Just outside of town are the Montezuma Hot Springs, which was a great attraction for the 1890's Montezuma Hotel, where people came to rejuvinate their bodies in the hot mineral waters. Rumor has it that Jesse James and Billy the Kid soaked in these springs!
|Former Montezuma Hotel|
After a good soak, we continued up the road past the hot springs as it made it's way further into the mountains. We ended up at a quiet forest service campground on the Gallinas River. A few trailheads are there that deserve further exploration at a future date.
In the afternoon, we walked around the historic plaza of Old Town Las Vegas.
|Las Vegas, NM|
|Las Vegas, NM|
|Raging River going toward Taos|
As we walked around town, we worked up a powerful thirst. A visit to the Taos Mesa Brewery took care of that!
|Taos Mesa Brewing|
|Outdoor Seating with a View|
We strolled out onto the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, where far below, we spotted some Bighorn Sheep. Later, we saw more Bighorn Sheep incredibly close off the side of the road.
|Rio Grande Gorge Bridge|
|Big Horn Sheep|
|Big Horn Sheep|
How's this for a Close-up?
Up the road a few more miles, we drove through Earthship. What is Earthship? Click here.
|Earthship House 1|
|Earthship House 2|
|Earthship House 3|
After our stay at Storrie Lake State Park, we moved 100 miles west to Cochiti Lake.
This is a Corps of Engineers Lake and Campground that was quite beautiful. We somehow scored what we felt was the best campsite, sitting at the top of the campground with 360 degree views of the lake and surrounding mountains.
|Our Cochiti Lake Campsite|
Just down the street from Cochiti Lake was a place called Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Turns out Kasha-Katuwe is famous for it's cone shaped rock formations, which were the result of the Jemez volcanic eruptions about 7 million years ago. The surreal hike through the slot canyons and past the tent rocks was unlike any place we have ever been before.
|Beginning the hike at Kasha-Katuwe|
|Into the Slots|
|Tent Rock Formations|
|View from the Top|
We made several trips to Santa Fe from Cochiti Lake. We spent one day with Bob and Maureen again, checking out the cool farmers market and walking around the historic and very busy plaza.
|Santa Fe Marketplace|
|Covered Wagon in Santa Fe|
We also made a trip to Bandelier National Monument. From Cochiti Lake, the monument is 8 miles as the crow flies, but 70+ miles via roadway.
|Bandelier National Monument|
|New Mexico Style|
This is another place like others we've visited that protects the petroglyphs, cliff dwellings, and masonry foundations of the homes of the Ancestral Pueblo people who lived here hundreds of years ago.
|Ancient Puebloan Structures|
The highlight here for us was a visit to the Alcove House, which required climbing 4 ladders to reach.
|Climbing the Ladder|
|Long House Remains|
Altogether, we spent about 6 weeks in New Mexico. Just like so many places we've been in the last 2 1/2 years, it's another we want to return to and spend even more time. Gee - that list is getting long. Somewhere along the way, we're gonna need to find the fountain of youth!
|Beauty in the Desert|