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Exploring New Mexico

We loved our time in New Mexico.  We checked out Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Tent Rocks, Cerrillos, Madrid and Velarde.  We stayed at Rancheros De Santa Fe Campground in Santa Fe.  It had good facilities, semi-private RV spots, tenting and cabins.  It was about 8 miles outside of Santa Fe. Over the weekend, we went to Albuquerque to meet up with one of our sponsors, American Clay, for an open house.

We found some of the best hiking and food EVER!

Tent Rocks Cave Loop – Brenda

AlbuquerqueAmerican Clay

Ilene, Chris, Valerie and Cece at the American Clay open house

American Clay “training wall”

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument – They were designated as a national monument in January 2001.  Kasha-Katuwe is a Keresan phrase meaning ‘white cliffs’, Keres being the traditional language of the pueblo tribes of northern New Mexico. The teepee-like formations cover a small area but are quite remarkable, unique in the Southwest – hundreds of white, pinkish or grey spires, sharply conical in shape, lacking any covering vegetation, that occur in several groups on the east side of Peralta Canyon, 40 miles west of Santa Fe.

The rocks were formed by erosion of thick layers of pumice and tuff, and since the overlying sandstone strata are more resistant to erosion, residual pieces form caprocks over the ash, which, being so soft, erodes rapidly downwards, creating the tall spires.

Tent Rocks – at the top of the trail

Tent Rocks trail

One more at Tent Rocks

Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway – The Scenic and Historic Area of the Turquoise Trail encompasses 15,000 square miles in the heart of central New Mexico, linking Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Enjoy great view from atop Sandia Crest, then drive back into history through the mining towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos, now being reborn – art, crafts, theater, music, museums and restaurants.

Cerrillos (old mining town) – No more than 300 people populate this old mining town. The Pueblo Indians took out turquoise in the hills of Cerrillos. The Spaniards found gold, silver and lead.  There is a nice dedicated hiking trail along some of the abandoned mines.

Welcome to Cerrillos

Cerrillos mining trail – old abandoned mines

Along the trail – someone’s little homestead – lovely

Madrid – hippie, artsy – is a recovered ghost town that now exists as an art destination.

We stopped for an iced coffee at Java Junction

Weasel and Fitz – recycled art/jewelry.  Super cool.

Range West – Stone fountains, sculpture and art.  Amazing stuff.

Valarde – We were on our way to do some white water rafting on the Rio Grande when an accident blocked the highway.  It was too far away for us to see what happened but the cops were turning everyone around.  There were no alternate routes so we started back and saw Black Mesa Winery on our left.  We pulled over for a tasting.  Jerry Burd, the owner and winemaker, stopped by to chat and we had a lovely time.

Black Mesa tasting room

Black Mesa’s vineyard – they grow about 10% of their own grapes

Santa Fe – Killer sunsets, amazing food, great architecture, plenty of local art.  Many of the restaurants follow a farm to table approach and only use local, organic ingredients.

Santa Fe Plaza area

Santa Fe Plaza area

Amazing sunsets daily

Yummy food in Santa Fe – La Choza was some of the best Mexican food we have ever had.  It is the sister restaurant of The Shed which is located in the heart of the Santa Fe historic district. Also check out Cafe Pasqual’s for organic and naturally raised beef, pork, eggs, dairy, produce, sugars, flours, maple syrup, flavorings and spices!  Pasqual’s stays super busy so make reservations.  Maria’s New Mexican Restaurant has great authentic food as well.  Try the vegetarian tamales with the green chile.  They also have over 100 margarita choices so be careful 🙂  There are so many restaurants to try.. two others that are good for quick and tasty food are Coyote Cafe and Harry’s Roadhouse.  Harry’s was right down the street from our campground so super convenient.  Coyote has a rooftop cantina.

Need biodiesel or filtered veggie oil?  Reunity Resources offers both and is located in Santa Fe.


  1. We both enjoyed meeting you at Catherine’s Landing in Hot Springs. Can’t wait to see what beautiful photos you will post next!

    Safe travels, always!

    Michael and Christin

    • Hey there! Thanks for writing. It was great to meet you too. When we get some of the panoramic shots from the rally we will send them to you. Take care!

  2. First went to Santa Fe and Taos in 2009, quaint and beautiful! Would love to go back sometime.

  3. It is a special place, isn’t it.

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