–All photos by Kate Poss, unless otherwise noted
Hello friends! This is Bajada Bill and Cactus Kate sharing their fifth week on the road. This trip takes us to Taos, where we camped at the neighborly Taos RV Park. From there we visited the tiny hamlet of Arroyo Seco, where there’s great food at El Sol Cafe & Natural Foods, and local artists’ prints at Fine Art New Mexico. From there we drove up to Taos Ski Valley. We hiked the Black Diamond–meaning difficult–steep trail starting at 10,000+ feet. Later we dined at Jalepeños Tacos and More. Good honest food. Another day we drove the High Road to Taos, walking through aspen forests at the Santa Barbara National Forest Campground near the town of Peñasco, and afterward enjoyed a down home lunch at Sugar Nymphs Bistro in the same little hamlet. On our last day we visited the Ranch at Taos Gallery, which features the work of artist Daniel Brown. We met its charming owner Lanna Smith on our last day in Taos.
Arroyo Seco + Taos Ski Valley
High Road to Taos and Peñasco
Albuquerque found us staying at friends and former neighbors Claudia Mitchell and Gerard Del Monte in their home at the foot of the Sandia Mountains. They are artists, and Claudia writes a monthly newsletter, ‘The Artist Next Door,’ featuring interviews with the artists in her neighborhood of more than 2,000 homes. Anne Galer, a friend we’d made while camping at Abiquiu Lake the week before, invited us as her guests to visit the Albuquerque Museum, where we saw a Georgia O’Keefe exhibition, which Anne helped support. Prior to meeting at the museum, we enjoyed lunch at New Mexico Beef Jerkey, a local’s favorite, with Tom Kane, a childhood friend of Bill’s, who we have not seen in more than 30 years. So great to catch up with the youngest of seven children in the Kane family, who Bill was a part of growing up, and still friends with.
Today, Oct. 22, we said our goodbyes and thank you to Claudia and Gerard and their dog Archie. They suggested we visit La Ventana Natural Arch at El Malpais National Monument. Wild country that makes us feel at. home. Bill overheard a mom from Nebraska tell her kids: “Come on, kids. Let’s go see nature the way God made it for you.” The family had a grandma wearing a sparkly Harley Davidson shirt. She really made us appreciate the variety and character of people we meet while on the road. Yup. That’s all that needs to be said, folks.
Now we’re camped at the Red Rocks County Campground near Gallup. It’s got the right vibe here–wild with the spirit of the Native Americans who live here. Even a beautiful wild golden dog who took a bite of Bill’s breakfast.