When you have an almost 14 year old dog every day and every trip is “golden”. If you don’t know us, every Aug/Sept you’ll find us traveling. Every year we a take a week off from the 9-5 grind and travel somewhere (usually new). We are so grateful that even this year we were able to take another one of those annual trips all together just you, me and the dog.
This years adventure was a little different than most because we were (and still are) in the midst of a pandemic. We, like most people this year chose to spend our time out in nature in our home away from home.
Our trip this year consisted of multiple stops ranging from Eastern AZ, crossing the border to NM, up thru the Enchanted Circle of NM and finally back to Southwest CO. Our first stop was in the White Mountains where we spent four days campground hopping with a few of our close friends. If you have not been to the White Mountains in AZ over Labor Day weekend…well you better hope you have a reservation. What we thought was a two night reservation at Hoyer Campground turned out to only be one night. Disclosure: don’t ever let the men do the planning! LOL. It turned out okay because we found Benny Creek Campground which was a very quaint little place, 1) because it had the name Benny and well … 2) because it just was. We would highly recommend Benny Creek Campground. We also stayed a few nights at Big Lake in the Apache Trout Campground loop. There are several different campground “loops” at Big Lake. Do your research before you go because all the loops are different.
After four relaxing days in the mountains we headed East and crossed the border into New Mexico. After only a few hours of driving we made a spontaneous stop in Datil, NM at a a quaint little BLM campground called Datil Well Campground. It was a whopping $5 to stay there and it was very well maintained. We settled in for the afternoon and went on a splendid nature hike. This will be a go-to spot in the future when we are able to stop at the Very Large Array (National Radio Astronomy Observatory) near Soccoro, NM. Due to COVID-19 the observatory was closed, however we were able to take some pictures as we passed by these radio antennas situated ever so precisely in the middle of the desert.
Our destination for the next night was Eagles Nest, NM which is a higher mountain town and was our first stop on our loop through the Enchanted Circle of NM. The Enchanted Circle of NM is a scenic byway that runs from Taos, up through Angel Fire, Eagles Nest, Red River, and then through Questa. It’s a beautiful trip worth taking. Our favorite stop of them all was Red River. It’s a quaint little ski town full of fun things to do including hiking, 4-Wheeling, fishing, shopping, etc. We stayed 3 nights at the 4K River Ranch & Lodge, situated right along the Red River, which we highly recommend. They are open year round, equipped with cabins and RV sites and the staff is excellent. We 4-Wheeled up to Goose Lake on a cold rainy morning. It was very cold and foggy so we didn’t actually see the lake, however we made it to the top.
We also took an afternoon and went back to Angel Fire to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was the first memorial for Vietnam Veterans in the US. If you yourself are a veteran, or you know someone that is or was a veteran it is worth the trip. One of the best things to see there is the Viking Surprise Huey Helicopter on full display. It’s quite a site to see.
In the midst of a pandemic we tried very hard to avoid doing things or going places with mass crowds or gatherings. This Veterans Memorial is a great place to add to your list for a low key site seeing adventure. The memorial has multiple sites to see outdoor as well as an indoor visitor center and gift shop if you choose to do so. The park is free for those who enter as well as the visitor center/museum, however don’t forget to make a kind donation or small purchase!
After several days of exploring from AZ thru NM we started making our final trek back home to SW Colorado. Along the way we made our final stop at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge about 10 miles NW of Taos NM. This was yet another great way to enjoy our vacation in the midst of a pandemic. Getting out and getting some fresh air and looking at all of natures glory. It was quite spectacular.
We are so grateful that our cute little camper was and still is able to keep us safely social distanced and self contained so we could enjoy a vacation even in the midst of a pandemic. We thank you for reading along and hope that you find some inspiration for planning your next vacation in your home away from home. Please follow along for the next adventure!
Adventure on my friends!