Saturday, 24 November 2012

Enchanted New Mexico

We weren't sure what to expect of New Mexico as it is usually not on the must see list. We crossed the border from Arizona and it seemed to be just more expanses of the flat land we had just seen (for quite a few miles) , but once we arrived in Alberquque (we don't have any pics but very cool city with an abundance of vintage stores, good coffee and an alternate vibe) our moods lifted and we realised we may have stumbled on something quite special in the enchanted New Mexico.

The long road to New Mexico.
After we picked up Grant some snowboarding boots and a velvet jacket (don't ask) and me a snowboarding helmet in Alberquque, we made the trip to Taos (amazing ski slopes) via Santa Fe where we decided to spend Thanksgiving.

A quaint village we passed on the Turquoise Trail.
This should be the emblem of New Mexico - hanging off houses everywhere!
The road up to Santa Fe ski slope. Not enough snow yet unfortunately - bugger because people say when this is happening, it's about as good as it gets.
View over Santa Fe Valley.
Whilst in Santa Fe we thought we should spend a little time being cultural so decided to head out to Abiquiu to view New Mexicos most famous artists house, Georgia O'Keeffe. O'Keeffe was an American Modernist artist who was inspired by the amazing landscape of northern New Mexico. Her house, a 5,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial-era Abiquiu compound, was in ruins in 1945, however O'Keeffe bought it back to its glory. Sitting on top of a rocky dessert mountain you can see why this landscape inspired her. No photos were able to be taken but have taken some from the Internet because you need to see her creative space to understand her art.

And here is some of her works.

Well worth the visit and makes you look at the landscape around and see it's beauty.

Next stop was Plaza Blanca, also know as "White City". This is reached through private property, belived to be owned by a trust fund hippy who bought in the 70's and converted to Islam. Beautiful but eerie white limestone rock formations rise 60 feet into the sky.

Cotton wood trees line the roads on the way to White City.
Last stop for the day (yes massive day) Bandelier National Monument. We had heard there were some cliff dwelling sites around New Mexico, but wasn't expecting this! Amazing preservation on how the Ancestral Pueblo People lived 10,000 years ago.

Those little holes you see in the rock face are dwellings.
Getting into the feel of the place. There is only a few of these you can climb into, this rest are look only.
The big climb up to Alcove House, a ceremonial cave used by the community.
You can see the big cave behind me there.
Next day we ventured into downtown Santa Fe and discovered a beautiful village. Pity everything was so expensive!

Haven't touched alcohol (self imposed) since NYC so thought we would treat ourselves to a tasting at Santa Fe Brewery. Big manly beers for the big men out here so not to my liking but Wearin thought it hit the spot quite well.

Next morning (Thanskiving) we woke up and felt very thankful for our lovely family and friends back at home. So much so that we had quite the feast in your honour. Here is what you missed out on.

A little salad to wet the appetite.
Rabbit lasagne
Turkey of course!
Someone's favourite - the sticky date.
Trio of pumpkin.
And of course, the thankful ones.

After sleeping off a food coma, we were off to Taos Ski Valley. Unfortunately there has not been much snow so only a few runs we're open. We managed to sneak on for a quick refresh which was much needed. Would love to come back here when there was more snow and perhaps when we actually can actually get down a run without slamming on our bottoms! Spent a chilly night here in Sheila at -11c which was pretty cold in the old girl let me tell you. Woke up to our windows with a thin layer of nice. Hear Sydney is 35c today. Jealous!!!

This afternoon we left New Mexico heading over to Colorado. We have had a tiny taste of the snow so now we are chasing after some more. Tomorrow we are going to hit up Wolf Creek ski valley and then going to try to fit in Breckenridge, Aspen, Telluride and Durango. Just hope they get a bit more snow because is pretty patchy at the moment. Will leave you with a few pics from our drive today into Colorado. Very different from the high altitude dessert and pueblos of New Mexico.

PS - if anyone is in the need of a fantastic van by the name of Sheila for their own US adventure, she is now on the market (much to our regret!).


1 comment:

  1. Cute little Shiela, You'll know her when you see her.(old song). Good luck with the sale.
    Crawling into pueblo caves is a little less comfy than Manly eh.
    Food looks fantastic! I'll expect the receipes when you get home.
    Love mum X