Days 294 to 328 – Kicking Around New Mexico and Colorado

New Mexico…
Bernardo, NM, is 50 miles south of Albuquerque on I-25, and is the home of the Kiva RV Park and Horse Motel, which caters to seasonal senior travelers (B&B) and travelers with any matter of furry pets (me). We were there on Easter Sunday and guess what???  The “town” was shut down!  So there wasn’t much to do, and considering my past experiences at horse motels, I wasn’t especially anxious to walk around the RV Park (there were no horses there anyway).

On to Roswell, NM and the Bottomless Lakes State Park for 4 nights. The weather was bright, sunny, and warm, the sunsets were beautiful, the spring flowers were blooming, and the smaller bottomless “lakes” were a strange shade of green; ergo, I was not allowed to go swimming.  B&B went ATVing on nearby Haystack Mountain and came back raving about the scenery. I don’t understand – all deserts look the same to me!

ATVing on Haystack Mountain 

Bottomless Lakes State Park 

Las Vegas, NM.  Do you believe it, no Casinos. No water either. Apparently people are leaving the area quicker than you can say “Buster, No!” because everything is drying up.  Too bad because B&B were interested in some local real estate (a unique round stone house with land and trees), but you can’t live without water!

Raton Pass, on the border of New Mexico and Colorado, “was one of the most important, yet treacherous, segments of the Mountain Branch of the Santa Fe Trail.”  The pass cuts through the snow-capped Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the 7,881-foot summit is accessible via I-25.  An overnight at the Raton Pass Camp & Café (off I-25 in Raton Pass) provided us with the incredible views of both the southern tip of the Colorado Rockies and the majestic Sangre de Cristo Mountains – views that were once only afforded to travelers of the Santa Fe Trail.  It was nice and cold there, too.

Five days in Canon City, the county seat of Fremont County, Colorado.  Do you recognize the name Fremont?  The boss’s ancestor, John C. Fremont (the Pathfinder) was evidently big up here – all kinds of things named after him.  Home base in Canon (pronounced canyon) City was the expensive but very nice Mountain View RV Resort where it snowed and rained so hard one night that the Enterprise sunk down into the softened ground and had to be braced up and re-leveled.  What fun…  While there, we all drove out to the Royal Gorge Bridge Park, but we didn’t walk out onto the Suspension Bridge or take the Tram over the Royal Gorge (even though I was technically allowed to do both) – I guess B&B thought that I might be afraid, duh… it’s Mr. Big that is afraid of heights!  The weather was mostly cold and snowy, but that didn’t stop B&B from taking a 2-hour scenic ride on the historic Royal Gorge Route Railroad (which transits the Royal Gorge along what is considered to be the most famed portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad).  I was left behind, but they did bring me back doggie bags packed with leftovers from their Prime Rib dinners.  Oh, and the Boss had so much to eat and drink that she couldn’t move for about 16 hours.

Mountain View RV Resort 

Royal Gorge Park 

Royal Gorge Train

One last lovely day at the Conejos River Campground in Antonito, CO (where we have stayed before) and we headed back to New Mexico, first stop being the quaint southwestern town of Taos.

Back to New Mexico…
The Monte Bello RV Park is our go-to campground in Taos, NM.  It has great views, great walking trails, great sunsets and it’s close to town, the mountains, and the Rio Grande Gorge.  It’s also close to D.H. Lawrence’s ranch;
“The D.H. Lawrence Ranch, also known as the Kiowa Ranch, is located in San Cristobal, New Mexico, approximately 20 miles north of Taos. Situated on Lobo Mountain and comprising 160 acres, it is located at 8,500 feet. Under the 1955 Last Will and Testament of D.H. Lawrence’s widow Frieda, it was entrusted to the University of New Mexico for the purpose of creating a public memorial to the world-renowned writer” (the Boss likes his poem “Piano”), but we didn’t make it there – all our time was devoted to ATVing on the Cebolla Mesa (in the Carson National Forest), Doing the Enchanted Circle (a tour around the Taos Ski Valley that includes the towns of Angle Fire, Eagle Nest, Questa, and Red River – where we had lunch at the only Bar in town) and having lunch on the patio of our favorite Bench Street Cafe on historic Bent Street in the heart of Taos.

at Montebello RV

on the Cebolla Mesa 

Santa Fe, NM at Santa Fe Skies RV – the weather was COLD, but however much I liked it, B&B didn’t.  They mostly huddled together inside while I kept guard outside, but on one warmer, sunny day we drove into Old Town Santa Fe for trinket shopping (old books, spices, and a Russian Doll) and, always my favorite, a delicious sidewalk lunch.

To Albuquerque, NM for RV maintenance and groceries.  Our plan had been to stay at the American RV Park for 5 nights and 4 full days, relaxing while the Enterprise went in for a regular 15,000 mile servicing.  Well, 7 nights (4 at a pet-friendly La Quinta Hotel), six days, and 8K dollars later we were off to Kirkland, NM for an abbreviated stay of 1 night.  What happened? you ask.  During the scheduled servicing, it was determined (by our good friends at Statkus Engines in Albuquerque) that the fuel pump was leaking.  Ok, so the radiator had to be taken out to replace the fuel pump – 12 hours labor.  Then, once the radiator was out it was determined that the engine’s cooling fan assembly was also leaking.  Special orders and overnight shipping were required as was our temporary removal to the La Quinta.  It was horrible there!  The window would not open (I actually thought the window was a French door, like at home, and kept trying to go out through it) and the rugs smelled!  Oh, how I yearned for the MotorHome.  To make it even worse, the nice lady at Statkus Engines warned us that our ATV (and maybe even the truck) were subject to being stolen out from under our noses – while we slept – at the La Quinta where we were holed up.  Thank goodness she allowed us to unload and store the ATV in her garage lot!

The Boss took no pictures in Albuquerque, she was way too anxious.

The drive to Kirkland, NM was quite picturesque (even I sat in front and looked out the window) but very long, passing through at least 5 Indian Reservations, and when we finally arrived at the Homestead RV Park we were all bone tired (but not too tired for a bone, ha-ha)!

Along the Way

We were up for another really long drive (367 miles, 8 hours) the next day but were all happy to be “fixed” and on our way to Bryce Canyon, Utah.
Adios, Mi Amigos!


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