Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Finally the weather picked up just in time for the long weekend. After a couple of days cooped up in the RV half way up a mountain getting snowed on it was good to get out! This really is such a beautiful part of the state - we took a long ride out north west of Santa Fe - up to Taos area. Lots to see and do along the way!

San Francisco de Asis church - it's in some dispute whether this is the oldest or second oldest church in America - either way it's old! A lovely adobe building - the straw is literally crumbling out of the walls with every gust of wind! - But adobe building techniques are not to be sniffed out - it was built in 1815!

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge - with incredible views into the river gorge some 650 feet below! The landscape around and approaching the bridge is quite flat and within 1/4 mile of the gorge we still hadn't seen the gorge - then suddenly it opens up like some giant crack in the earth - Amazing views along the gorge with the mountains far off in the distance.

Taos Peublo - was built around 1450 and has been continuosuly inhabitated ever since! It's the largest exisiting multi-storey pueblo structure in the USA and is traditional adobe construction and is home to a fair few ferral dogs following you round and begging for scraps!

Taos Plaza - we stopped in Taos town for our lunch and listened to the drone of Harley Davidsons going by. Being Memorial Day weekend every man and his pillion rider were out on bikes proudly wearing their Vietnam Vet jackets (did the US Military issue Harleys to their War Vets to see out their days deafening everyone with the noise???) On the up side it was free parking on the plaza and a cheery display of Stars & Stripes flags backlit in the sunshine.

Red River - we soon discovered the source of all the Harleys...Bike Week in Red River! The place was heaving. It took about 15 minutes to ride the 1 mile downtown main street. I don't like (the noise of) Harleys (who'd have guessed eh?) BUT they do look good - especially en masse and there was a party atmosphere even just riding through.

Took the 'Enchanted Circle' road - 84 mile loop around Wheeler Peak the highest in New Mexico (13,161ft) - still completely snow capped at the moment and by the time we passed by glowing in the last rays of sun.

We had such a long ride out - didn't get back till 10pm - 2 hours after sunset by which time it was freezing of course! Just as well the neighbours had a healthy campfire roaring away to sit beside!

This morning we said out goodbyes to Nancy and Chris - after nearly a week of having some Brit Rv-ing neighbours they're fast-tracking their way to California whilst we're Arizona bound. We moved further up the hill but back into a site with electricty for the night to recharge our woeful batteries after battering them with an overdose fan heating!

But with more gorgeous weather another day out on the bike beckoned. There's so many variations of roads around the area - all with such lovely scenery and good roads just to be out enjoying the ride and the long weekend holiday! (but with that ever-so-slightly smug thought that I'm not going back to work tomorrow! (Yes you can all laugh oh-so-loud at me when it's my turn, but until then...!))

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