Sunday, September 25, 2011

Way West, Day Three

We left Guymon, Oklahoma and headed west. The expanse of the land was amazing, sky blue beyond belief. We could drive the highway for a hundred miles and only meet maybe seven cars. The sage gave way to spiny cactus and pointy yuccas. The earth showed shades of cinnamon, sand, and rose. Gradually pronghorns appeared. They are shy creatures and skittish. I was lucky to get some good snaps today.
One stretch of road turned to gravel for seventeen miles, but it was some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable. The grass was irrigated and green as a cucumber. It was open range and we spotted a small group of gorgeous buffalo.

At Folsom, a village with a population of 85, we stopped at the local museum. It was a rugged little place, but trying to preserve and present the local history. Their claim to fame is the Folsom Man and Folsom arrow point are named after this village.
Ten miles down the road the National Park service hosts visits to the Capulin Volcano, a now dead volcano. A two mile drive to the top of the cone is beautiful and amazing. One can see other cone shaped volcanoes active during the same period as Capulin. It is highly possible that Folsom Man walked and hunted the area and heard the eruptions of Capulin.

On down the road, through the Cimarron canyon where we found a mule deer in the road, and a night’s stop at Eagle’s Nest, New Mexico for some sleep.

Day Four

It was 33 degrees when we got up in Eagle’s Nest. Burr! We headed out early looking for wildlife. Gradually the temp rose to the 60s and hit 81 before the day was done. We traveled in an area we had been in before, but we took all new roads, back roads. They were beautiful and sometimes challenging. One narrow back road brought us right to an alpaca farm outside Mora. Those animals were darling romping across the fields. Mora has a weaving studio, and the alpaca hair must be handy!

We then took a twisty road through a forested mountainous region that feed into the High Road to Taos. Part of that High Road we had been on before and recognized the turn into Chimayo. We went to see the Chimayo church which we had seen before. Nearby we bought some fresh dried chilies from Hatch, New Mexico. Chimayo had been so dry all summer with water shortage, the farmers were denied the right to plant chile fields. Then we had a lovely lunch at El Rancho de Chimayo. The day was perfect for dining on the patio where we ate regional foods.

Then we continued working towards Santa Fe. This trip we took the time to visit several pueblos, Santa Clara being the first. We passed on San Indelfonso due to a fee just to drive in and more fees for camera, etc. It looked like the rest so we passed. We drove through Tesuque pueblo and on into Santa Fe for the night.


BECKY said...

I am just loving all this! I must've not been keeping up with your blog very well, to not know you'd plan such an awesome trip! Enjoy!

Linda O'Connell said...

Claudia, thanks for taking us along on this adventure. One of my fondest memories happened forty years ago out west. We were driving on a section of unpaved muddy roadway and wild horses galloped across the land. It was still wild west.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Claudia, sounds like SO much fun. I love Santa Fe.Never saw so many art galleries in one place in my life. You are giving us a wonderful tour! Thanks for all the photos, too. Susan from