On the road again

Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

 Mesa Verde was the most northerly place we had decided to visit, so we now headed SE towards Durango and Chimney Rock Archaeological Site. The lovely people at the visitor centre did their best to persuade us to take the tour, and we would have loved to have gone as there was virtually no-one there, but it took 2.5 hours and we had a long way to go. Regretfully we declined and had an ice cream in the cafe watching hummingbirds on the feeder. I couldn't believe how fast their wing beats were – its one thing seeing it on TV, but to actually witness it is something else again. 

 We sat talking to a Texan couple at the cafe who were doing a similar tour to us, but in reverse; they had come from Santa Fe and recommended a campsite to us, so we got under way. The countryside was really changing as we headed south, turning from desert into grazing land with wooded hills and houses built of timber. Hwy 84 gave us great mountain views as we stopped at Heron Lake for lunch (I do like a scenic spot for breaks, and this was certainly that) then continued on towards Santa Fe.

 Our intended site at Espanola looked OK-ish, but we’d got fussy and decided to find the one in the mountains recommended by our friendly Texans. Called Black Canyon, it was a Forest Service campground & was absolutely beautiful, set 8400 feet up in the Santa Fe National Forest with 36 pitches amongst giant Douglas firs. It had vaulted toilets & drinking water and nothing else but the peace of the mountains; nothing, that is, until we switched on the generator because I wanted to microwave some beans....it just reverberated round those self-same mountains causing an unholy din, so we switched it off quick-smart and had cold beans!

 The on-site ranger (in his own caravan) had hummingbird feeders up, and we spent a lovely evening watching them and the sun setting on the canyon – all this for $10 a night to be put in the honesty box at the entrance. We had yet another thunderstorm that night, but it was great to hear (and feel!) the thunder rolling round the mountaintops.
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