At the temple ruins in Ayutthaya, Thailand.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ayutthaya, Thailand.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Khao Yai National Park, Thailand on December 13th.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Into the mountains

We love fresh air and mountain scenery, so we've been looking forward to getting into that type of environment.

Yesterday, we drove through some beautiful mountain passes almost as high as 10,000'. Because it was a Sunday, there were a few other people out and about... but still not what you would call busy.

We left the wildlife refuge early, at around 6:30am. The sun was up, and the birds were awake.

This swainson's hawk can turn his head around well!

Scenery along the way.

Entering the town of Cimarron.

We stopped at the town of Cimarron and had breakfast and made some mother's day phone calls. 

Then headed into the mountains.

We stopped at the Palisades Sill Scenic Area.

 But we continued on up into the mountains.

Eagle Nest Lake is pretty, but we didn't stop. The state parks in New Mexico are still closed to camping, as are the official Forest Service campgrounds. But the BLM campgrounds are open.

Eagle Nest Lake.

Old homestead.

Heading higher.

We turned off at a forest service road and went for a walk at 9,500'.

We could have overnighted here... but no cell signal and it was still fairly early.

Into Taos, New Mexico.

We hadn't done grocery shopping since the end of April, so the fridge was pretty empty. Taos has a small Walmart, so we stopped in there but had to make a second stop at the Albertson's grocery store because the Walmart wasn't very well stocked. The Albertson's was busy. Ruth went in alone, and wore her mask.

By the time we finished all of that it was after 3:00pm. We didn't want to head back into the mountains because there was a storm coming and they were actually calling for some snow up there.

Just for an overnight, we headed to the Taos airport. There are some BLM campgrounds we want to go to, but they are about 35 miles north.

At the Taos airport with a storm moving in.

We never did get any rain, but they are calling for some showers today.

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  1. OM Gosh that Hawk was beautiful. Is Taos that tiny? It must be crazy there during ski season. How did you know you could hunker down at the airport? It always blows my mind how you find these places. Even the place you stopped on the FR road. I've always wanted to visit Taos.

    1. It was a beautiful hawk, I am glad that we spotted it and another one with it as we were leaving the wildlife management area.

      Taos certainly isn't a huge place but it did have three other grocery stores so maybe Walmart just doesn't see a need to expand this store. We would not want to be here during any busy season whether it be in the summer or during ski season but right now it is very quiet.

      We don't always know whether we can stay at an airport or not but if we do we only stay at the little municipal ones and if someone is around then we will always ask. Turns out that this particular airport doesn't want RV's overnighting there but they let us stay that one night and head out early the next morning.

  2. Oh and did you run into your friends as you thought?

    1. Yes, we got together again the following morning. :-)

  3. Cimarron has a cool shoot em up history. The hotel still has bullet holes in the ceiling.

    1. We like the little town of Cimarron and said it would have been nice to have been able to check the town out under normal circumstances. Maybe next time we pass through that area we will stop in at that hotel. :-)

  4. That was a great picture of the Hawk! And the figures on top of those buildings were quite entertaining. Hope the storm doesn’t get to you. Safe travels.

    1. Thank you Lynnette. We were lucky to have spotted it as we were leaving the wildlife management area.

      The storm missed us and we were glad that we didn't go up into the mountain that night, it would have been very cold!

  5. We've seen you camp overnight a couple times at airports. Do you find that airports don't bother RV's parked overnight? What part of the airport do you find works the best? I'm assuming this is not long-term parking or somewhere you have to pay?

    1. We have camped quite a few times at little municipal airports, never the big ones. Normally we have never had a problem overnighting at these small airports. We always ask if we can when there is someone around otherwise we just park up somewhere out of the way. No, at these little airports you are luckily if they even have a paved parking lot, let alone a long-term area! :-)

  6. The Taos people must be hurting, tourist-wise. I've NEVER seen it that quiet. You were lucky.

    Colorado right now has a "drive no more than 10 miles for pleasure" rule -- which is a huge shame, since it's so cool and lovely out.
    New Mexico may be under the same restrictions.

    1. We expect that Taos is definitely hurting, like many other places that rely on tourists. It is certainly very quite for the most part.

      Yes, we noticed that about Colorado and it is one of the reasons that we are skirting around it. The eastern part of the state seems fine but it is the popular tourist areas up in the mountains that is a problem. Some towns are even keeping people out other than their own residents.

      New Mexico does not seem to have something like that in place but a number of the reservations have roads closed going into them, and only access to the people living there. We will definitely have to make sure the road that we use to leave New Mexico and into Utah will be open.


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