December 2013

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16 articles in December 2013

I know you feel awful for me, but I had to take a beautiful drive in order to do laundry and buy groceries. I’m not sure I could manage it all the time, but for the one time, I was VERY glad I needed such errands. The road from Ojo to Taos is long, smooth, flat and GORGEOUS. There are almost no trees in this part of Carson National Forest, and you can see for miles around. There is little development, besides a cattle farm here and a mobile home there. I drove almost 20 miles in the wrong direction, all the way to Tres Piedras, and I didn’t even care. Coming into Taos, you cross the …

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Monty and Niko and I spent every morning over the last two weeks hiking. There are five less-than-4-mile trails at Ojo, and we hiked every single one. Each has it’s own different geography: one along the river, one down an arroyo, one to an old mica mine, one to an overlook, and one to the ruins of an old indian pueblo. At almost 6,000 feet above sea level, hiking in northern New Mexico is a little more strenuous than at home. There’s a bit less oxygen for the ol’ lungs. It is dry, even in winter, and we had to drink lots of water. But after a few days, it got easier, and felt great. The smell …

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So, guys, this is the primary reason that I haven’t posted for a couple weeks: I was too busy sitting in hot springs. Yeah, I know, tragic. Ojo Caliente (hot eyes) is a tiny, tiny town north of Santa Fe and south of Taos. The Ojo Caliente Mineral Spa is at the foot of some beautiful hills and hiking trails. And there is an RV park at the spa, maybe 200 yards from the springs. Need I say more? Confession time: I have been to the springs before, but never stayed longer than a day or two. The hotel is a little pricey, maybe not for west-coaster’s, but it’s more than 100 bucks a night. The campground …

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Happy Thanksgiving to me, we had snow. More snow than I thought we’d have certainly, almost two or three inches. It’s a good thing I bought those boots in Santa Fe, or I’d had pretty cold toes. After the initial shock, however, I found I liked the desert just as much in the snow as in the summer. The air is crisp, but not wet, and the mountains look glorious with their white caps on.

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I spent two cloudy days in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the capitol, highest elevation of any capitol in the US. (Had I known this, I might have reconsidered.) The road from Tucumcari doesn’t SEEM that steep. The climb is gradual. However, Lola and I fought an awful headwind, and even going downhill could only manage 50 mph. I was constantly fiddling with Sacajewea’s air-con (A trick with old Jeep’s. Turning the ac on activates a secondary fan, which sucks more air into the engine, thus cooling it.). I even stopped once or twice, fearing that she would over-heat. She didn’t. She performed like a champ, and in our final leg of the journey the wind died down, …

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