Eagle Nest, New Mexico - July 4-16, 2021
We had planned to make this trip to northeastern New Mexico last year at the time we ended up going to southern Colorado. We didn't go to NM because we would have had to quarantine for two weeks due to the governor's executive order. We have our vaccinations now and there were no restrictions at this time, so we were able to make it in the summer, and escape the heat in Texas this time of the year.
The weather was very pleasant in Eagle Nest, with nightime temperatures in the upper 40's and daytime temperatures in the upper 70's. There were some rain storms in the area that slightly affected our activities, but not to be an issue. The trails were wet, but most of them were up the side of a mountain, so we probably wouldn't have hiked them far anyway.
With the pandemic still in process, we maintained our vigilance, although we were a little more relaxed most of the time.
[Sunday] We left home after church and a quick lunch. We took TX-99, US-290 and TX-6 to Riverview RV Campground in Waco. We left home at 2:00pm and arrived at 5:15pm. The park is out in the country south of Waco. We camped in site #85.
[Monday] Today we left Waco and traveled north on IH-35 through Ft. Worth and US-287 to Childress, TX. We camped in site #21 at Treetop RV Park. This park is inside Childress and on a full city lot. They seem to have a few sites set aside for travelers like us.
[Tuesday] Today we left Childress at 8:30am and continued on US-287 to Amarillo. We took US-385 and US-87 on to Clayton, NM. Then US-56 to Springer and NM-58 & US-64 to Eagle Nest, NM. We camped at Golden Eagle RV Park in site #58. We drove through some rain in NM and it rained a little after we got set up in our site. The elevation of our campsite is 8,240 feet, and the temperature was in the upper 60's when we arrived about 4:00pm.
[Wednesday] Today we decided to get some familiarity with the area since we have not been here before. In the morning we drove to Red River, a touristy ski area (8,671 ft altitude) and decided that it was worth a visit in the next few days. After lunch, we drove to Angel Fire (8,406 ft altitude) another ski area, and rode the ski lift to the top of the mountain (10,671 feet) and back. We plan to visit the town again. After a short stop at the trailer, we drove east on US-64 toward Cimarron, stopping and taking photos for about 6 miles. A nice clear trout stream (Cimarron River) ran beside the road. The weather was clear and in the 60's in the morning, but clouded up and rain showers appeared in the late afternoon. Lows are in the upper 40's at night and low 70's days. This is a nice area to visit in the summer, but would be a little to cold for us in the winter.
[Thursday] This morning, we drove to downtown Eagle Nest. We walked from the south end of town, to the north end and back, along the main street. We stopped and looked in a few of the stores that were open. It is not as overrun with tourists as Red River and it doesn't seem to be doing as well financially. After lunch another rain storm appeared from nowhere in the mountains to the norteast and rained for a while at our trailer. After the rain stopped, we drove to Angel Fire to see if there was anything of interest to us there. Turns out that there is really nothing of interest there except the ski lift, which we did yesterday. There isn't any old downtown area of the town. We stopped at Dollar General, which was the high point of the trip!! On the way back to the trailer, we stopped at one of the Eagle Nest Lake State Park day use areas and took some photos of the lake. The main attraction of the state park is to fish in the lake.
[Friday] This morning we drove down south to Taos. By the time we got there it was time to eat lunch, which we did at one of the downtown restaurants. With a rain storm brewing in the mountains to the northeast and heaaded toward Taos, we decided to drive about 12 miles to the northwest to the Rio Grande River Gorge Bridge. They have it fixed so that you can walk out on the bridge and look down into the massive gorge and see the tiny Rio Grande River flowing down below. Quite impressive. The wind was blowing about 50mph off the storm, and would almost blow you over. We drove back to Taos and the rain was gone and we went to the Kit Carson Home and Museum, where we spent about an hour that included a film and guided tour. We then walked a few blocks and through the John Dunn House shopping area, before returning back to the trailer in Eagle Nest.
There were lots of interesting adobe building in Taos, but difficult to take a picture of from the truck.
[Saturday] We decided to go to Red River and spend the day. We packed a picnic lunch and drove there. We rode up the ski lift and walked on one of the trails at the top of the 10,000 ft mountain. We then enjoyed cookies and hot chocolate at the cafe at the top. We watched to chipmunks beg for food. After we got back down, we ate our lunch in the truck. We then decided to drive over to Questa to see what that little town looked like. There was not much to it. Just a few rundown buildings and houses. On the way there we passed what looked like some type of mine. It turns out that it was a Molybdenum mine that is being reclaimed because of a pollution problem. It looks like a big undertaking. We drove back to Red River and went to the Visitor Center, where we had a nice informative conversation with a lady that works there. After a stop at one of the variety stores, we drove back to the trailer in time to view streaming of the Saturday night Second Baptist Church service.
[Sunday] This morning started off cloudy and cool. We thought about trying one of the mountain trails in the early afternoon, but the weather started looking treatening. Instead, we drove to Cimarron in the mid-afternoon. There is not much of interest there except the historic St. James Hotel. The hotel was built between 1870 and 1880 by Henri Lambert. Staying in the hotel back then was the Wild West. With little law enforcement, disputes were settled with guns. The Saloon, Lambert's Place, was opened in 1872 and became known for bullets, gunfights, and famous patrons. At least 26 people have lost their lives in the hotel saloon. We toured the hotel and had an interesting discussion with the lady that works at the front desk.
Staying in the hotel now is almost like staying in a museum, with all the history recorded on the walls of the hallways. It would be a nice place to spend some time.
[Monday] Around 10:30 this morning, we drove to the Clear Creek Trail and began hiking on it. After about 0.4 mile, we came to a spot where we would have needed to walk a slick looking plank across the creek. We decided to turn back rather than risk a cold bath in the creek. We returned to the trailer for lunch. After lunch, wth weather started looking risky for outdoor activitis, so we stayed in the trailer in the afternoon.
[Tuesday] Today we started back home. We took US-64, NM-58, NM-39, NM-469 and NM-209 to Clovis. There we stayed at Clovis RV Park for the night. After supper, we walked on a trail around a lake at the park adjacent to the RV park.
[Wednesday] Today we continued our trip back home. We took US-84 and US-385 to Midland. We stayed at Midland RV Campground.
[Thursday] Today, we continued our trip back home, stopping in Stanton to meet with Kay's cousins for lunch and a nice visit. Afterwards, we took TX-137, TX-158, US-87 and TX-71 to Llano. We spent the night at the Llano City RV Park on the banks of the Llano River. We stopped on the way at Cooper's BBQ and loaded up with some necessities. After supper in the trailer, we took a walk along the river.
[Friday] Today we completed our drive back home. We took TX-71 to US-Alt90 back to our home and arrived in the mid afternoon. Light rain greeted us at home.
This draws to a close our brief trip to northeast New Mexico. We hope you enjoyed the photos and brief descriptions of our activities. God willing, join us again soon for another travel adventure.
Goodbye for now,
Lawson & Kay
Blessed be the name of the Lord From this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its going down The Lord’s name is to be praised. (Psalm 113:2-3 (NKJV))