After traveling the last 200 miles or so of Texas, route 87 brought us across the New Mexico border and treated us to our first views of the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. Man, were we excited! I’m sure that pictures can’t capture the beauty but we snap them anyway.

Like a magnet, we are drawn to those mountains, so we continue west to the town of Raton. In Raton we are 80 miles from the Red River area that Darryl told us of, where he rides dirt bikes, and we are at the bottom of the first pass we must cross to go into Colorado. We are also at a cross roads where we have no choice but to get on an Interstate highway, which we have been fairly successful of avoiding. This is a great place to park the Grand Villa and unhook the Jeep.

Off to the Red River/Taos/Angel Fire/ Eagles Nest area, a highway loop known as the Enchanted Circle. On highway 64 we enjoyed scenic views, lots of antelope, and a warning ticket from a very nice New Mexico State Trooper.

Entering the Carson National Forest and going into the ski area town of Red River was spectacular. We stopped at the visitor center where we learned that jeeping the mountain roads was not only allowed, it was almost expected. The young lady at the visitor center had experienced a lot of the trails and told us some to take to see abandoned gold mines. Cool, so away we go…..

The town of Red River was our favorite of the area, but Taos was very interesting with every building being adobe style. Taos also has a pueblo, but the indians wanted a lot of money to get close to them, so we took a couple of pictures from a distance, and moved on.

As we traveled along, we saw thunderstorms forming in the mountains and stopped on the side of the road, right beside a county sheriff who pointed out that the mountain that was getting the storm was Wheeler Peak – the highest mountain in New Mexico. We noticed a sign that described the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which is the second highest in the country, so away we go again….

Wow, what a sight! This must be the area where the horse runs right to the edge of the cliff in every western movie.

On to the road heading back towards camp where more scenic views of cliffs and streams and signs of spring. We were sure we would see a bear, but no such luck – maybe one day. Anyway, back to camp, and we witnessed the first crash we have seen on this trip — right in the campground!

We were outside milling around and our next door neighbor was getting ready to pull out of his campsight but the brakes on his towed vehicle were engaged because his battery was low and his supplemental braking system was holding the brake. Apparently he had started his camper and put it in drive and when it didn’t move, he went out and started the towed vehicle, well, when the battery charged enough, the brake released and away it all went — right into another camper and pushed it all about 120 feet, right into a tree! We felt terrible for the guy, but told him he should look on the bright side, no one was hurt. Just goes to show that bad things can happen at anytime. We wish this couple the best of luck in the future. At least he had a sense of humor. He bent over and asked Mark to kick him.

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