From the Four Corners area, we drove to Santa Fe (and visited the Bradbury Science Museum), were we spent a few days in the beautiful La Fonda hotel.
After that, we drove to Albuquerque, Cloudcroft and Columbus, and admired the landscape and the ghosttowns that we drove through.
On this page, you will find the highlights of this trip.
The road from Cuba to Santa Fe is not only unpaved for the greatest part; it also takes you through the forest, with a stream meandering next to the road. A wooden cabin here and there, birds everywhere, and the image is complete. Very idyllic!
The strange thing is that this peaceful road brings you to Los Alamos, where the atomic bomb was developed. The Bradbury Science Museum tells you everything about it, and there is much else to see there too.
The Dutch nl day 1 has more photographs, and a couple of links for this part of the journey.
Santa Fe is not what you see before your eyes, thinking of an American city. The streets are not layed in a grid, but resemble the streetplan of old European towns. The houses are all adobe-style, with rounded corners, flat roofs, and never more than a couple of stories high.
The town feels like it is celebrating a special day, everyday. You see bright New Mexican colours everywhere, decorated tyles, painted woodwork, iron pieces of art.
I don't think you're able to find a place there where the food is not delicious.
Maybe the most beautiful thing of Albuquerque is the road that brings you to it, from Santa Fe, if you take the Cerillos Road. That road takes you through several ghosttowns. Some of them are still deserted, some of them are sort of inhabited, and some have bee upgraded to a pleasant sort of artists communities.
Albuquerque itself has some old parts, which reminds one of Santa Fe, and it has a route 66 feel about it, neon and diners and motels. Not unpleasant at all!
What I liked about the peple of Albuquerque, is that it looked like it was inhabited by white people, native americans and mexican looking people in about the same proportions, and I did not get the impression that there were really class differences based on race (which I saw very definitely in Florida).
More photographs of Albuquerque on the Dutch nl day 4 .
From Albuquerque, we drove to the south. First you drive through the woods, with ghosttown-like villages here and there, and then the trees disappear, and you are on a prairie. There were thunderstorms around us, very impressive to see the clouds and the lightnings!
In Mountenair, we visited Smokey Bear Historical Park, with the whole history of the small bear that was used to teach the people to be careful with the woods. The campaing was so successfull that it is now very difficult to explain to the same people, that it is very natural to have fires from time to time, and that you should allow them sometimes.
We ended up in a cabin in Cloudcroft, high in the mountains.
More photographs of the trip to Cloudrcroft on the Dutch nl day 5 .
From Cloudcroft, we traveled to the Sacramento Peak, to the solar observatory. You can see telescopes there, which were used in the old days, and which are used today.
Traveling further took us along the Rio Penosco, through a very idyllic area, and after a while, the landscape changed into desert. Hilly and stony and with curvy unpaved roads at first; flat and with very straight roads after a couple of hours.
This endless road brought us to El Paso, of which Ernst hoped that it would be a dazzling town. However, it didn't show itself as dazzling to us. Dull, depressing, that's what it was...
So, we drove on, along the border with Mexico, until we found Columbus. A small bordertown with its own theatre, a bed & breakfast, and very friendly people.
More photographs of this trip on the Dutch nl day 6 .