Coming from Memphis we continue our journey to the West. We feel like the first settlers but our trip is a little bit more comfortable with MOMO compared to a wagon. We can only guess which strains these people shouldered to reach the new land.
We drive thru Arkansas and Oklahoma and stay overnight in state parks or wherever we like. Our destination is the Caprock Canyon in Northern Texas. The park is at the edge of a canyon and has a bison herd as highlight. We stay for two days, enjoy the beautiful surrounding and do some nice hikes.
We continue to the Palo Duro Canyon which is the second largest in the USA. On the contrary to the Grand Canyon you can drive down to the bottom because he is 193km long and 10 km width but only 244 meter deep. Unfortunately, the not very friendly park ranger tells us that the campground is full and we can only visit the park during day time. While driving thru the park we realize that more than 50% of all campsites are not occupied at 5pm on a Sunday afternoon. We’ve discussed this with the park ranger without success. It is very annoying to see this kind of reservation policy when coming from abroad with limited time. However, the park is nice with very good views but we don’t feel welcome and leave the area after one loop and a few nice shots.
We go on to the Pecos National Historic Park and to the former Pecos mission. A loop trail leads thru the area where you can see the ruins of a church and the remains of old buildings together with a restored Kiva.
On our way we often cross the historic route 66 which is always good for some nice shots. Also we pass the Cadillac farm where someone put a number of old Cadillac’s in the earth face down. Looks like they felt from heaven. Over the years this place has been established as a test area for graffiti sprayers. However it’ s an interesting spot and the colors on the cars are already a few inches thick.
Our next stop is Santa Fe. We’ve been here some years ago with our kids and have very good memories about the city, the good restaurants and the very good Margarita. And soon we realize that nothing has changed since then. Santa Fe is the oldest town in USA and is on 2000 meter above sea level. The majority of the buildings is in Adobe style which leads to picturesque views.
We continue our journey to the Bandelier National Monument a well worth seeing remain of pre-Colombian cultures. Here you find Cave houses which were also combined with house additions. A loop trail leads thru the area and you can climb into the caves with the help of wooden ladders.
Close-by is Los Alamos a city which was established during the second world war for the development of the nuclear bomb. The science museum informs about the Manhattan project in great detail which finally led to the release of bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today Los Alamos is a huge laboratory for development of things we better don’t want to know.
We find a place for the night at the Santa Cruz Lake. In the evening we have blue sky but in the morning we have heavy snow fall and temperatures below zero. So we don’t have the best weather for good shots at the beautiful Adobe church in Chimayo but it’s really worth a detour.
Because of the weather we skip the visit of Taos Pueblo. We press the pedal to the metal and move on to the Great Sand Dunes which we reach during heavy snow fall. In the morning it’s still cloudy and we make a long hike in the dunes. It’s not so easy to reach it because in between is a river which you must cross without the help of pedestrian overpasses. Wet feet are guaranteed and is not so funny at temperatures below zero. But you get rewarded with a great hike on the dunes and climbing on top is really strengthens. On the next day the sun is back and we see the dunes in all their beauty in front of the picturesque snow covered mountains
In five days we have an important appointment in Denver and we must speed up. We drive thru the Rocky Mountains while it’s freezing cold and MOMO must climb up to 2700m. Out there is Bishop’s castle where Mr. Bishop has built some kind of a chateau or palace or whatever. He builds on it since 50 years despite a lot of resistance from the bureaucracy. Also on our way is the Royal Gorge Bridge. This hanging bridge is one of the highest world-wide and crosses the Arkansas river in a height of 231 meter. We enjoy the excellent view from the overlook point. In case you want to get closer a fee is due.
In Colorado Spings we visit an old working colleague from the days of Digital Equipment who moved to US in 1990 and spent a nice afternoon together and have a lot to talk about. Then we move on to Denver where we park our car for two weeks. We have our 30th wedding day in May and decided to celebrate it in Jamaica on Negril beach. Certainly we will report further. Until then enjoy reading and watching the pictures.