Sunday, March 27, 2011

On the Way to Santa Fe

“Thanks to the interstate highway system, it is now possible to travel from coast to coast without seeing anything.” – Charles Kuralt

Recently, we decided to get off the highway and in so doing, turned a 3 hour drive into a 10 hour adventure. Our intended destination was Santa Fe, New Mexico, but we got off Interstate 25 at Walsenberg, Colorado and went west on Hwy 160.

It was a blustery March day. The wind was rocking the car as we drove, and occasional gusts made it feel like we might take flight, but the sun was shining and we were on an adventure.

Up and over La Veta Pass, we dropped down into the San Luis Valley.

At this point in the trip we had a discussion as to whether we should go south at Ft Garland or wait until we reached Alamosa. We stopped for a short break in Ft Garland where we saw a sign for Taos and took a left.

We were in the middle of sagebrush heaven....Is it blue or white sage? Is purple sage another variety or is it called purple because when it blooms the prairie looks purple? Would it be possible for the troubled sage grouse of Northwestern Colorado to make a home in this vast expanse of sage?

Continuing down the road we came to a small village called San Luis. This town is the oldest in Colorado, having been established in April 1851. It is one of those "don't blink or you'll miss it" kind of places, but now I have been there!

Taos was a bustling place at noon. We saw more hitchhikers in one town than I have seen in 20 years. After a quick look-see, we backtracked through town taking a left onto Hwy 64 following a sign to the Rio Grande Gorge. We drove a few miles across the flatest prairie you can imagine, wondering the whole time how a gorge would emerge when there wasn't even a hill in sight and then, there it was...Gorge Bridge, which won an award for the most beautiful long span steel bridge in 1966.

Vendors of various descriptions were lined up in the pullout taking up most of the parking area with folding tables displaying their wares....jewelery, pistachio nuts, pottery, and a big sign for eucalyptus oil.

We didn't have to walk far to see the gorge....Wow, it was a looooong way down there. Standing on the bridge was quite an experience when a semi-truck whizzed past us. The vibration was intense. what a wonderful experience...I love finding odd things just where you would never expect them!!!

to be continued....

1 comment:

  1. Hi Michelle! loved reading about your adventure. I love those kinds of trips! Geri