–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.


Beatrix, Marion, Bill at Taos RV Park
Entrance to the neighborly Taos RV Park, where we camped for five nights
Taos RV Park office–clean and friendly
Karya Siddhi Hanuman Hindu Temple
Karya Siddhi Hanuman Hindu Temple door
Mountain Monk Coffee
Mountain Monk Coffee mural
Jalepeños Tacos and More-good fresh Mexican food
Great and friendly campground neighbors from Toronto-Jim and Kate
Lanna Smith owns the Ranch at Taos Gallery, and stands before a display with her client Daniel Brown’ s art.



Arroyo Seco + Taos Ski Valley

Sol Food Cafe – Arroyo Seco’s living room
Fine Art New Mexico in Arroyo Seco, Art by Reina
Bill in clothes bought at Arroyo Seco’s Little Loved Market vintage clothing store–western shirt and Scottish hat in Taos Ski Valley aspens
Bavarian restaurant and ski lodge in Taos Ski valley
Clark’s Nutcracker, Williams Lake hike, Wheeler Peak

High Road to Taos and Peñasco

Zigzag of gold Santa Barbara NFS
Bill and Kate in Santa Barbara National Forest Service campground near Peñasco aspen. Bill’s wearing zinc-sunscreen lip balm which turned his lips white
Grande Dame aspen at Santa Barbara National Forest Service campground trail
Kate at Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Peñasco. Bill Poss took the photo

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.


Tom Kane–who Bill’s known since he was in grade school, Bill, and Kate at New Mexico Beef Jerky, an authentic and popular eatery in Albuquerque. Photo by a restaurant patron
Kate, Anne Galer, Gerard, Bill, at Albuquerque Museum. We were Anne’s guests for a Georgia O’Keefe and Henry Moore exhibition. Photo taken by Claudia Mitchell
Star Road + White Sun 1920 by artist Ernest Blumenschein. Painting is part of permanent collection at Albuquerque Museum
Banana leaf charcoal drawing by Georgia O’Keefe sponsored by Anne Galer for exhibit at Albuquerque Museum exhibit
Friends and former Langley neighbors Claudia Mitchell, Gerard DelMonte, and Bill at Albuquerque Museum
Anne Galer, an interesting woman we befriended at the Abiquiu Lake campground, relaxes with a lavender margarita at Los Poblanos Historic Inn.
Collared Lizard finger puppet at Claudia and Gerard’s. Photo taken by Claudia Mitchell

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.

La Ventana arch, El Malpais National Conservation Area
Tall shadows at El Malpais National Conservation Area

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.

Red Rock County Campground near Gallup. Bill Poss took this photo
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