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Good times in Northern New Mexico

 
 
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 09:03 am
Have been doing a lot of sightseeing with girlfriends this summer in Central and Northern New Mexico. Thought I'd share some of the highlights with A2K friends not on Facebook.

Starting with the trip to Ojo Caliente this weekend, also the weekend of Balloon Fiesta.

Ojo Caliente is a small unincorporated community in Taos County, New Mexico, United States. It lies along U.S. Route 285 near the Rio Grande between Española and Taos, approximately 50 miles north of Santa Fe, the state capital. Ojo Caliente is known for its hot springs.

It is the location of, or nearest community to, the Ojo Caliente Hot Springs Round Barn, built in 1924, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This is the website for the resort and spa we stayed at.

http://www.ojospa.com/

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Heading off on our weekend trip to Ojo Caliente. We had great timing. Balloon Fiesta was kicking off at the same time and gave us a great send off.


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Brief history of the Ojo area.


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The registration desk and entrance to all the spas.


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Beautiful timber roof and huge timber beams.

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Inside the registration desk building. Various displays of artifacts and old photo slide shows could be seen around the room with the stone waterfall in the center. The leather on those chairs was as soft as buttah.


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some of the artifacts that have been found around the property through the centuries.


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I think I found a spirit in the fireplace at the community hang out and registration desk. Can you see the profile of someone in the brick and flame? The aroma from all the fire pits around the place were making me soooo hungry with their smoky pinion scent.

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Various views of the gardens and walkways around the area. This is one of the fire pits.

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One of the entrances to the walkway and registration building. That's the Yoga yurt in the background!

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Some of the girls attended the yoga class the first morning. Not me, I headed straight for the water!

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To the left is the house we stayed in, it can sleep 3 couples or 6 individuals easily and probably 2 more on the sofas. On the right is one of the rows of hotel rooms for single and double occupancy. Everyone is supplied with much needed robes and towels.

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Well stocked kitchen in a 60's diner style.

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One of the larger hot spring pools. Those lounge chairs and hammocks came in handy when the rain started. Thunder and lightning soon followed and they emptied the pool and spas until it passed. Our towels and robes got drenched.

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This is the farm where they raise all the produce and flowers for the restaurant.

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Dinner with the girls.


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Sherri and I shared a plate. Those tomatoes were the best tasting tomatoes I have ever ever had. And that salmon could not have been more perfect. It tasted very fresh, not frozen, had a light crust and the fish was just a minute over from still being raw with big flaky texture and a wonderful smoky flavor from the cedar plank. The bok choy was very good too. I ate the rice but I don't remember much about it, too distracted by the salmon and tomatoes.

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The menu was expensive. Most of us shared a dinner. We had the cedar plank salmon, the lamb chops and the jumbo shrimp dishes.

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Paula and I couldn't get enough of the hot springs and ended up going back for a final swim for the night until they kicked us out so they could close for the night.

The rest of the photos are of the landscapes and scenery on the way back home from Taos to Albuquerque. I'll let it speak for itself most of the time and just say that the camera does not do it justice. It has to be seen in person to appreciate the many colors, shapes and textures.. This is Georgia O'Keefe territory. It is said that this is where she painted many of her landscapes.

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General store and gas station we stopped at for lunch. It has a little bit of everything.

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Camel Rock.

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We stopped at the Tesuque Flea Market. I found a buddy that kept me entertained so I wouldn't spend any more money.
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Next post will be Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, NM.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 11 • Views: 1,759 • Replies: 19
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farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 09:25 am
@Butrflynet,
neat neat neat. We were in that area many times when I was a kid (Uncle Stoah was an itinerant geologist during his summers free. I went with him many times qn we did LEPIDOLITE hunting in the Okeefe country. (Okeefe was there when I was a kid and my uncle bought a print from her studio. (Which I now own via "avuncular primogeniture"). There should have been many deposits of gem quality lepidolite there.

When I worked at Sandia I loved to just drive around the desert and look for old wrecked cars and trucks an find those derelict adobe houses.

ITS real Halloween country.

MORE PICTURES NOW!!
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 09:29 am
Blue Hole, Santa Rosa. The Blue Hole of Santa Rosa is a circular, bell-shaped pool east of Santa Rosa, New Mexico that is one of the most popular dive destinations in the US for SCUBA diving and training. The Blue Hole is an artesian well that was once used as a fish hatchery. It is a clear blue body of water with a constant 64 °F (18 °C) temperature and constant inflow of 3000 gallons per minute. While the surface is only 80 feet (24 m) in diameter, it expands to a diameter of 130 feet (40 m) at the bottom.

Since Route 66 and Interstate 40 pass through the Sandia Mountains on the way back to Albuquerque, NM, it is necessary for divers to use high-altitude dive tables to compute the dive profile and decompression stops when diving in the Blue Hole.

A diving permit is required to use the pool and can be obtained from the city of Santa Rosa ($8 for a one-week permit).

Tanks may be filled or rented as well as some equipment at a private dive shop located at the site.


The tourism website for the area: http://santarosabluehole.com/


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Brave souls dove off the ledges into the icy water while I meekly tiptoed down the steps and froze one inch of body at a time until I was acclimated and dove in.

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The white buoys in the middle mark the cave entrance for the divers.

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My friend Sherri says it wasn't even close to 61 degrees, more like 40 degrees.


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Getting my snorkeling gear together and freezing into an ice cube while doing so.

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It was cooooold! But, once acclimated, felt really good. We even went back for more in the afternoon after we'd toured other places in the area.


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Nearby Park Lake in Santa Rosa, NM. Fun time for the kids with us. Great inflatable obstacle course and water slide. The lake is fed from the overflow of Blue Hole and since it is only about 3 feet deep is quite warm and a welcome contrast to the cold waters.

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My friend standing in the freezing overflow waterfall of Blue Hole that feeds the local lake and river.

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Santa Rosa Lake, one of three water spots we stopped at in Santa Rosa. There are many more in this area of NM.

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The dam was bone dry before we got the good rains this summer.

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Next post, our two trips to the Jemez Mountains and other scenic spots in the area.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 09:38 am
Looks like you've been taking good care of yourself AND having a good time.
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Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 10:36 am
First trip to the Jemez, we went to a Buddhist Zen temple there for a meditation class and lunch with the monks.

Jemez, NM Bodhi Manda Zen Meditation Center

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Dry creek bed with Buddhist statuary.


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This is the meditation center.

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Fresh from our meditation class with Kevin, our teacher.


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Outside of the meditation temple

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Around the grounds and various buildings of the Zen center.
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Hot springs at the Zen center. The water was so warm you could only stay in it about 30 minutes at a time. The rocks were very slippery with moss and lichens. Getting out, your skin felt silky smooth.

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Me, boiling in the Meditation Center's hot spring.


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My friend, Paula, in the Jemez river below the Zen center's hot spring. They had torrential rains the day before that washed a lot of mud and minerals into the river to turn it a warm chocolate brown. You'll see the source of that mud and mineral flow in later photos.

We stopped at another hot spring bathhouse further in town.

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Paula holding up the facade of this ancient bathhouse building that just might crumble to pieces when she walks away.

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The hot spring pool was beautifully done. The owners have been working on the property for about 20 years and have had to repair or rebuild their pool several times after mud slides and floods. We had a good rain today on the way here, lots of rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Lasted until we turned the bend at the next curve and then we were in sunshine again.
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The buildings around town reminded me a lot of what I've seen in the Sierras and mining towns of Nevada and California.

0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 11:32 am
Second trip to the Jemez Mountains a few months later. We started at the top and worked our way down.

Valles Caldera, a national park and nature preserve. Read the wikipedia and national parks pages for some very interesting history of the area.

About 1.25 million years ago, a spectacular volcanic eruption created the 13-mile wide crater-shaped landscape now known as the Valles Caldera. The preserve is known for its huge mountain meadows, abundant wildlife, and meandering streams and for preserving the homeland of ancestral native peoples and embracing a rich ranching history.

Valles Caldera (or Jemez Caldera) is a 13.7-mile (22.0 km) wide volcanic caldera in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico. Hot springs, streams, fumaroles, natural gas seeps and volcanic domes dot the caldera floor landscape. The highest point in the caldera is Redondo Peak, an 11,253-foot (3,430 m) resurgent lava dome located entirely within the caldera. Also within the caldera are several grass valleys the largest of which is Valle Grande, the only one accessible by a paved road. Much of the caldera is within the Valles Caldera National Preserve, a unit of the National Park System.

http://www.nps.gov/vall/index.htm/index.htm

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Just a few of the birds at the ranger station.
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There were dozens of hummingbirds.

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Then we made our way down to the Las Conchas hiking trail. Located on NM State Highway 4 approximately 3/4 mile south of the Las Conchas Picnic Area, the Las Conchas Trailhead provides access to the eastern most terminus of the East Fork Trail (Forest Trail 137). Starting elevation of the trail is 8,400 feet above sea level. The trail follows the Wild and Scenic East Fork-Jemez River and provides views of meadows, wildflowers and wildlife.
The trail is rated as easy for the first 2 miles and becomes moderate for the rest of the way to the East Fork Trailhead(five miles). To learn more about the trail http://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/santafe/recreation/hiking/recarea/?recid=75790&actid=50ion/hiking/recarea/?recid=75790&actid=50


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Then we hit Soda Dam. This place is amazing! The Soda Dam, along NM state road 4, is a large hot spring deposit, made mostly of calcium carbonate. The springs used to empty out onto the dam over the Jemez River, but most of the water now exits from the roadcut across the road. Courtesy of the NM Department of Transportation in the 1960's. The Soda Dam hot spring waters start at the Valles Caldera, heated by the hot rock and magma beneath. They travel as hot ground water through Pennsylvanian limestones and shales, and rise to the surface along a fault at the Soda Dam. Most of the carbonate rock of the Dam bears traces of algal filaments, and Soda Dam rock has been used in studies of how ancient Martian life might be detected. Learn more here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r3/landmanagement/resourcemanagement/?cid=stelprdb5195088

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The Soda Dam, from downstream. Typical tourist photo. The whole mound is calcium carbonate deposited over millions of years by the hot springs
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The rest of these are the gorgeous geologic scenery coming down the rest of the Jemez mountains and home to Albuquerque.

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We found this trail that lead us through an amazing place. I'll let you experience it along with us via the photos.
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Two tunnels in this narrow one-lane road. And on the other side, it opened up into this!

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There is a video on Facebook of us going through the tunnel on the way back. I don't know how to post it here.
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The remaining photos are scenes heading out of the Jemez mountains.
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Next up, the Albuquerque Bio Park gardens and aquarium. Still need to go through the zoo part of this some other day.


0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Mon 5 Oct, 2015 11:47 am
ABQ Bio Park Botanical Gardens and Aquarium, and Tingley Beach. Nope, this isn't Hawaii or Yosemite. It is the high desert of Albuquerque. This was late Spring/early Summer and the gardens were very lush from all the rain we got in that time.

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The turtles were out getting a bit of sun after a week of rain.

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Watching koi fish in the lake by the Japanese garden area.

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At the Aquarium. Look! It's Jacque Cousteau. The man at the top was cleaning all the fish poop off the glass. In another tank we got to watch a guy in scuba gear feeding the fish.


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Shark week at the aquarium cafe!


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Do I look like a shark?

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The inhabitants were watching us watch them.

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Tingley Beach at the Rio Grande


0 Replies
 
jacksondisuja
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 9 Oct, 2015 03:27 am
According to Summer is good time to Going in Mexico city . last time i am also gong in summer with my family and enjoy lot .
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 12:14 pm
@jacksondisuja,
Before heading out on your trip, you might want to confirm your destination. NEW Mexico is one of fifty states in the United States. Mexico is a country on the southern border of the US.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 01:23 pm
@jacksondisuja,
You just wrote that exact same thing about Canada.
0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  2  
Reply Sat 10 Oct, 2015 07:59 pm
Very lovely pictures. New Mexico is beautiful....even though I've seen only parts of it around ABQ and Santa Fe/Taos.
0 Replies
 
benloy25
 
  0  
Reply Sun 1 Nov, 2015 11:49 pm
Wow amazing pics, I am also thinking to visiting to Mexico with my friends , Can you tell me whats your experience , It was safe place to insisting and what place to visit in Mexico city .
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 12:14 am
@benloy25,
Before heading out on your trip, you might want to confirm your destination. NEW Mexico is one of fifty states in the United States. Mexico is a country on the southern border of the US.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 12:36 am
@Butrflynet,
Amazing how much of northern New Mexico I haven't seen.
Roberta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 01:15 am
B, First and foremost, it does my heart good to see that you're enjoying yourself and that you appear so well and happy.

Thanks for sharing with us non-Facebook folks. I enjoyed the pics (especially the chipmunk) and the scenery.

I've been to many states, but never New Mexico. It's beautiful.

Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 01:27 am
@roger,
Well, you've been to Cuba quite often - that compensates it Wink
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 01:35 am
@Roberta,
I've missed quite a bit of New Mexico during my various trips there, but have been to other places a lot more than twice - it's the Land of Enchantment (I proudly can add that in one of the videos in the Albuquerque Museum one of my etchings has been added. Very Happy )
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Nov, 2015 02:01 am
@Walter Hinteler,
No it doesn't.

Neither does San Yskidrow, some forty miles to the south. Since you've probably passed through the place, you don't have to wonder why the people on Jemez Pueblo give up on calling it San Ysidro.
0 Replies
 
robertcrowden11
 
  0  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2015 03:32 am
Wow great , pics was really too good . Can you tell me for which time you will going to trip Mexico .
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Nov, 2015 04:00 am
@robertcrowden11,
Get it through your thick head, New Mexico is not in Mexico!
0 Replies
 
 

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