Another blogger recently challenged her readers who are also bloggers to write 365 posts to see if they could change the world for their audiences in one year. Now, folks, I have to tell you that I think that’s a very lofty ambition, both the writing and the changing the world part. But why not spend a few minutes here every single day giving you a dose of what I love best about New Mexico?
For anyone who is in a new relationship, I have a best-date-ever idea for you, especially if your girl/guy is a New Mexico nut. Like me. Suggest a Saturday drive that leaves Santa Fe, goes to Taos and arrives just in time for breakfast. You can shoot for seeing the sunrise over the Rio Grande Gorge as you top the hill going into Taos. That was our plan, but we didn’t quite make it.
After breakfast somewhere fabulous in Taos (and that, my friends, is a whole ‘nother post), head north out of town and catch highway 64, headed west. That’s the road that goes over the Rio Grande Gorge. Stop at the Gorge for a look, unless you have a bit of an aversion to heights, like me.
Travel to Tres Piedras (about 30 minutes), and then stay on 64 through the Carson National Forest to Tierra Amarilla (about an hour and 15 minutes). Yes, it’s breathtakingly gorgeous. Yes, it’s not a highly traveled road. Yes, it’s so quintessentially northern New Mexico that it will make you swoon if you’re a New Mexico nut like me. The rest of you will just enjoy the scenery.
When you get to the end of the road, turn right so that you’ll end up in Chama. There’s a charming little dive bar there (egad! I didn’t write down the name) where you can put a dollar in the jukebox and listen to Merle Haggard OR Led Zeppelin OR Steve Earle while you drink a Marble Brewery Red Ale.
And then you can head south through Abiquiu.
I once spent a weekend in Jerome, Arizona, celebrating my best bud Sabrina’s birthday with her and Glena. Jerome sits high on the side of an Arizona mountain overlooking Sedona. The views are endless, and every time we’d turn a corner, one of us would say, “Well, good grief, there’s another damned view.”
That’s how I felt on this best-driving-date ever. Every time we came around a corner, there was another damned view. That’s how northern New Mexico is. Those of you who don’t live here have no idea. If you’ve only been on the interstate driving through the state, you’ve missed some of the most amazing vistas in the country. It’s not a mistake or total chance that Georgia O’Keeffe ended up in Abiquiu for the final years of her life.
I’m going to shut up now, and let the pictures speak for themselves.
But remember, if you’re dating a New Mexico freakazoid, this day of driving is a great idea. The only thing better might be the Northern New Mexico dive bar tour. . .but that’s for another day.
So starts our 365 days of New Mexico. Let’s see if we can change the world. Or at least our little corner of it.