Wednesday, April 23, 2014

See then flee

I did sort of a check-it-out-for-future-reference-and-warmer-weather expedition from Coyote Creek, to Cimarron Canyon, to Taos and back to my general purpose New Mexico base camp, Albuquerque.

It was good that I started early, and that it was an off-season weekday. The highway from Coyote Creek to Angel Fire was very narrow, shoulderless and twisty. I don't know what I would have done if I'd encountered someone coming the other way, since driving into a tree or off a cliff would not have been acceptable. To me. It was pretty, though. And this is what it looks like at the 8,200' summit, once you break out of the canyon and there's a place to pull over:

Wheeler and/or Pueblo Peak(s), I think

Angel Fire is a ski and golf resort town. Today it was too warm for one, too cold and windy for the other. Not my kind of place anyway.

Eagle Nest Lake State Park, north of Angel Fire, is just a reservoir, a boat ramp, and parking spots for boat haulers and RVs surrounded by grassland. Like so many lakes in the drought-plagued west, the water level was way down, despite the spring thaw. But if you want to boat and fish, it's there for you.

Eagle Nest Lake

Turn east at Eagle Nest and you enter Cimarron Canyon. It's very dramatic. It will be even more appealing when the trees leaf out. (See, I'm here too early.) There are two disadvantages for my style of camping, though. The tightness of the canyon and the canopy of trees severely limit solar access. And there's no cell signal. I think I could adapt for a short stay.

Cimarron Canyon

As for Taos? It didn't really do anything for me. Maybe if it had been the '80s. However, the drive over the pass was pretty. Conversely, the drive from Taos to Santa Fe wasn't enjoyable at all. Are we there yet?

This all sounds negative, right? But it's part of the grand exploration. I had to go see for myself, knowing beforehand that some places won't appeal to me.


  1. Just past Taos, over the Rio Grande bridge, is the Earthship community. I enjoy visiting there because the people building are friendly and like to answer questions and because the building inspector who still lives in my body is fascinated by alternative construction, and there's nothing more alternative to this aging hippie than a rammed-earth-tire building that's fully self-sustaining, right down to the veggies growing in the "patio" - and seeing all the privately-owned Earthships dotting the terrain for miles around just warms the cockles of my heart :) Sounds like you're having a hoot of a time!

  2. We seem to have taken different roads.