Taos and Santa Fe

September 5, 2008 – Arrive in Taos

Debbie and I met Keith in Abilene on Thursday to stay overnight at her mom’s place.  We made our way to Taos on Friday by way of Las Vegas, Mora and over the scenic Hwy 518.

Of course, we had to say hello to the llamas north of Mora.  

We stopped at the Sipapu rally grounds to enjoy a Pale Ale in the wonderful afternoon mountain air on the balcony of the ski lodge.  The sounds of the stream below us was soothing and fitting for the mountain setting.

  We ran into Herman and spoke a bit about what he had done so far, and we quizzed him on restaurants in the Taos area.

Debbie and I stayed at the Adobe and Pines Inn bed & breakfast just south of Taos near Hwy 518.  This complex was originally built in 1830, and is presently hosted by Louis and Katherine Constabel.



Katherine and their very mellow ginger cat, Ray.    
  Very cozy fireplace in our bath. 

The inn is very comfortable and full of photography possibilities.  Georgia O’Keeffe is said to have stayed here during the peak of the artists’ activity around Taos.

We went out later to Rellenos, a locals favorite.  The food was very New Mexican.  Deb and I enjoyed Hatch Chili rellenos and Keith went for the enchiladas.  I’m sorry I did not capture the plates in an image before we tore into them, as the food looked great.

Saturday is a ride through Chama and up into Colorado over the Cumbres Pass.


September 6, 2008 – Chama and Cumbres Pass Ride into Colorado

After a very wonderful breakfast that Louis and Katherine prepared, we mounted the Beemers and headed off into the west.
Taos B & B Zoo
We rode out of Taos on Hwy 64 and made a stop at the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge.  The weather was just perfect with good temperatures and a clear blue sky.
The Jemez mountains were chilly as we climbed up to 10,400 feet and the view from the west side was splendid in the dry air.
Chama looked like a good place to grab a drink before we headed out of New Mexico up over the Cumbres pass into Colorado.  It still looks like a storybook around Cumbres with the tall pine trees and the narrow-gauge rail for the steam engine train.  We stopped in Antonito for tamales and red chili burritos.






The return south to Taos was a bear with a strong west wind that did not let up.  We regrouped at the inn, went shopping for a bit around the plaza, and then had way too much food for dinner at Ogelvie’s Grill while the sun went down.  Another good day in this wonderful land…


September 7, 2008 – To Santa Fe

After another great breakfast at the inn, we reluctantly packed up and started moving towards Santa Fe.
Louis showed us around his zoo of sorts.  He loves his animals and takes very good care of them.  He even has a protected area for their five cats where they can come and go from their house and not get eaten by the coyotes. Greta

We headed down the road to Santa Fe with a stop at the Blue Mesa Winery for a tasting.

After arriving at our guest house on Bishop’s Lodge Road, we went into town to walk around and see the sights.  A gypsy band was performing at Jackalope, and the Fiesta was just wrapping up at the plaza.  Coyote Café Rooftop Cantina was the place for dinner where Deb and I enjoyed a burger with sliced green chilies and sweet potato fries.  Very tasty!  We wandered about a bit more while everyone was cleaning up from the celebration.

Monday is a ride through the Jemez Mountains past Bandelier National Monument cliff dwellings. 


September 8, 2008 – Cochiti Pueblo and the Goat Trail Ride

After a tasty breakfast of juevos con carne on the plaza, Keith and I headed out on the bikes towards Los Cerillos and Madrid.  Cerillos looks the same that I remember from my last visit in 1985.

Madrid has turned into a tourist trap.  Keith headed back from Madrid to look around the galleries of Santa Fe.
I went on down Hwy 14 to cut across a county road to head towards the Jemez Mountains.  Once I got to the Interstate, I reconsidered my original plan to go south near Albuquerque and go up the west side of the Jemez.

I decided to go through Cochiti Pueblo and take what looked like a shortcut gravel county road to intersect Hwy 4 near Los Alamos.

The GPS showed what looked like the route I wanted to continue past the pavement, but it soon turned into a mountain goat trail.  A deep water crossing convinced me to turn back and think the route over again. 


Back in Cochiti, I stopped in the pueblo store to ask one of the local Indians if he knew the way.  He said to go back towards the mountains and take the first right.  I asked him about the condition, and he said it’s a bit rough at the start, but then it smooths out nicely.

The bit rough lasted about 14 miles, with some more sections of goat trails.  Elke has never seen this type of GS route yet, and will likely never again.  It was a job to keep the bike pointed in the least rutted sections of the road and to avoid the large rocks, but it did finally look a bit more sane near the top of the mountains.


Once the pavement reappeared, I was a bit relieved to just have to concentrate on not hitting the guardrails.  The temperature was down in the low 60’s up in the mountains, and the clouds above the pines were a pleasure to watch building into afternoon storms.  I kept passing LANL Tech Area signs all along the road as I got into the lower elevations.  Must still be a lot of action going on there.  I worked my way down past the cliffs where ancient Indians found shelter from the elements.




I was greeted back at the house by Debbie,
who looked very good in a shirt she bought this afternoon.

We wound back up on the plaza to have a more healthy dinner at the Atomic Café than the past days.  Wild day up in the forest fire roads, and quite an adventure.  Tuesday, we reluctantly head home.  It’s been good, real good!

Photos    https://photos.app.goo.gl/dpMjURkA2FqFA9gK6

Tracklog    https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/taos-santa-fe

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2 Responses

  1. WorldRider says:

    I think I spot a donkey there… and a winery… hmmm two of my favorite things to photograph. Good stuff Richard… amazing how little things have changed and then again how much has changed in 23 years!


  2. Richard Swim says:

    Allan – Welcome back to the States!  And thanks for stopping by my blog.  I’m looking forward to seeing your book of your travels once finished.  I know you have a lot of work to do on the book and a whole lot of experiences to remember!