2013-13

Rio Grande River Gorge

Rio Grande River Gorge

We crossed the Rio Grande River Gorge just before entering Taos, NM.  What a beautiful area!  We are currently at Eagle Nest State Park, about 40 miles East of Taos.  The little town of Eagle Nest is very picturesque, nestled at the foot of the mountain and right on the lake.

Town of Eagle Nest, NM

Town of Eagle Nest, NM

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The fires in Colorado are really doing some damage but the smoke in the sky makes for some really pretty sunsets and sunrises.  We plan to stay here until after the 4th of July and will probably move to Cimmarron Canyon State park which is in a more wooded area, with a stream running by the campground.  We have put up some tarps for a wind block so we can cookout in the little ramada and have our propane campfire.

Outdoor kitchen with tarp wind break

Outdoor kitchen with tarp wind break

Smoke from Colorado fires make a nice sky

Smoke from Colorado fires make a nice sky

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2013-12

The four of us took a drive north of Chama into Colorado.  There is some very beautiful scenery in that area.  There is also a very destructive caterpillar that is killing all of the Aspen trees—What a Shame!  The evergreens in the valleys and on the sides of the mountains  are still beautiful but the entire landscape is patchwork spotted with brown aspen trees or what is left of them.  The caterpillars are so plentiful that when we stopped the car, we could see that they were crawling all over the road.  They might not do quite as much damage as a forest fire but they run a close second.  Sandra and I took off yesterday for Ojo Caliente mineral springs and spa.  What a glorious day for it.  We soaked in a number of mineral pools and enjoyed a mud bath.  It really felt good on my aching bones after my fall and the long hike.

This morning we went to see a classic camper show in Chama.  We saw campers and trailers from the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s.  There were Airstreams, Shasta, Chinook, and Silver Streak.  It is amazing how some of them have been restored.  These people were all very friendly and quite clever at the way they use every inch of available storage.  The decor was most impressive.  Some very retro looks.

2013-11

Sandra and I setting out on a hike

Sandra and I setting out on a hike

We started out on a beautiful morning for a nice hike to the peak.  We were assured by John that the view would be well worth it!  About half way, Sandra had enjoyed all the view she could stand and decided to wait for John and I to reach the peak.

I'm sure I look very brave out on this ledge.

I’m sure I look very brave out on this ledge.

I might look comfortable out on the ledge, but I have a death-grip on that tree.  Some of my friends may remember my ‘dirt diving’ class from a few years back, well I got recertified after this picture was taken.  I tripped over a log and sprawled out on the rocks.  I didn’t know how hurt I  was until later in the day.  My left knee is very tender and I am stove up.  I did reach the peak and John was right, the view was spectacular.  You could see both Heron Lake and El Vado Lake and the Chama River.  Breathtaking!  I don’t believe I will hike tomorrow.  Sandra and I are going to Ojo Caliente to soak in the mineral pools and have a mud bath.  As always, John has much better pictures.  https://rvjohn.wordpress.com/

Proof I made the peak!  Heron Lake and Chama River in the background.

Proof I made the peak! Heron Lake and Chama River in the background.

2013-10

I just returned from a long weekend in Wyoming at a family reunion.  It was great to see everyone.  I saw a brother and a nephew that I haven’t seen in 9 years.  There was lots of laughs and music and good food.  I’m now back with John and Sandra and we have been joined by Barry Stone.  We took a short trip into Chama yesterday, quaint town!  Today we drove south to Echo Canyon.  A very impressive natural amphitheater with a great echo.  We also drove through part of the Carson National Forest and talked to the Ranger about the area.  We  stopped at Tierra Wools.  They raise sheep with a superior brand of wool.  They also give classes on weaving, we saw the looms and the variety of plants and herbs that are used to dye the wool many different colors.  Needless to say, the products were beautiful and far too expensive for any of us to buy.  John has us lined out to get back to hiking tomorrow morning so I will have pictures to share  later.

2013-9

I read lately that an ‘adventure’ is what you call something that might have been trouble after you are out of danger and home safe and sound.  What an adventure we had a couple days ago.  We went to see Chaco Canyon.  We were warned that the last 20 miles of the road was a little rough.  Since I have a jeep and 4-wheel drive, we decided it would be worth taking the chance.  And it was!  A very impressive set of ruins of ancient pueblos and kivas and great rooms from about 1,000 years ago that are lining both sides of the A sample of the walls with connecting 'window' type openings.canyon.  It was easy to see how the Anasazi and Pueblo built a community, much like any city of today.  I have a few pictures but if you would like to see more, check out       rvjohn.wordpress.com     John is a much better photographer than I and he has all the high-dollar cameras and lenses.  Now, back to the ‘adventure’.  The road was terrible.  Much of it was so washboarded that we could only do 5 mph.  There were also areas of just sand that  was deep and tough to navigate.  We took a picnic lunch and were able to sit in the shade of a ramada to enjoy it.  I am getting ready to go to Wyoming for a family reunion and will rejoin Sandra and John at Heron Lake in a couple weeks.  I believe Barry Stone will join us there also.Intricate arrangement of a kiva, possibly ceremonial.

Large kiva with bench seating around the edge

2013-8

We are spending time this week traveling outside the State Park to visit points of interest.  We toured the underground Mining Museum in Grants, guided by a man who worked 50 years in the mines.  He had a wealth of knowledge to share.  In it’s day, the fields north of Grants were the largest producer of uranium in the US.  Four large companies including Anaconda and Kerr-McKee were subsidized by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC).  The AEC paid for all the infrastructure to operate the mines.  The mines shut down when the price of uranium dropped and the cost of labor increased.  A joint venture company (Canada and Japan) has plans to reopen mining in the area this Fall.  The fields have a very high grade uranium.

Grey Wolf

Grey Wolf

Wolf-dog

Wolf-dog

We toured the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary.  They have about 70 animals.  Wolves, wolf-dogs, dogs and a fox.  Most have been rescued from people who thought they would make good pets.  Some have been trained(as best you can train a wolf) and have been featured in movies and TV shows.  We also visited a place called El Morro.  It is a place where travelers carved their names as they traveled through the area.  Earliest writings are dated 15 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.  Most were  traveling up from Mexico.

A view from the bottom of El Morro looking toward where John hiked.

A view from the bottom of El Morro looking toward where John hiked.

 Sandra at the base of El Morro

Sandra at the base of El Morro

2013-7

a view of the canyon

a view of the canyon

In one day, I had a walk to the visitor’s center, a walk to the bath house and a bit of a hike and John is talking about another hike later today.  He’s just too darn healthy for me.  If I keep this up, I’ll probably lose weight and get healthy too.  My God! A fate worse than death!

On the most recent hike, John and Sandra have decided to collaborate on a book called ‘Do Do for Dummies” on how to identify scat in the wild.  We found out that at one time Bluewater Lake was overrun with goldfish after people had used them for bait to catch catfish.  There were so many that at times the water looked orange.  The lake was then stocked with tiger muskies who eat goldfish.  We saw a picture of the state record muskie caught here.  Over 50 inches long.

We Have seen some beautiful overlooks and hiked almost all the trail around here.  This next week we will take the car to go see other points of interest.

Notice John in the background

Notice John in the background

Another canyon view

Another canyon view