Friday, August 22, 2008

Western Vacation - Day 2: from Denver to Abiquiu

Sunday morning brought some sunny skies to Denver and breakfast at a wonderful vegetarian/vegan bakery (Watercourse) with Joe. I was too busy enjoying myself to take any photos of Joe, Andrea, or Putza the black kitty. But you should definitely check out the Watercourse menu and considering visiting there if you are in the Denver area. I recommend the Amsterdam Hash - awesome vegetarian gravy! Joe let us ride some of their spare bikes to breakfast, which was an experience all in itself. (I really wish I had a photo of Steve in the Dale Earnhardt bike helmet! ha ha ha ha)

Once our bellies were filled we were on the road. New Mexico welcomed us with not one, but two full strength hail storms - another aspect of the strange weather, I guess. We went off the main highway for a more scenic route along 64. At first the landscape was very woody with lots of evergreens. Not much different from places I've seen in Colorado. We passed through Cimarron near the Philmont National Boy Scout Ranch that my dad has often spoke of. He spent two weeks there as a kid with his boy scout troop, and there he celebrated his 14th birthday. In Cimarron we stopped for lunch in a leaky rural diner. I can't even remember the name of it but there was only one waiter, resembling the truck driver type. And when the rain started coming down again, he quickly began arranging buckets under holes where water was coming through the ceiling and dripping off the chandeliers. ha ha - adventure dining, eXtreme dining... I gues that's what you could call it. I think Anthony Bourdain would have been proud of us. Not because the food was good, because it wasn't - but because we took a chance.

We saw lots of elk crossing the road, and there were several places to pull over the Yaris and take photographs.

After passing through the Sangre de Christo Mountains, we found the landscape I had always imagined when I thought of New Mexico - dry, scrubby, rocky, and red. As the sun began setting we found our way to Abiquiu in Chama Valley near the San Juan Mountain Range. The Abiquiu Inn was a great place for us to stay. There is a wonderful gift shop and a little gallery inside. You can also book tours of Georgia O'Keeffe's home and studio nearby. This is what originally drew us to the area, but we decided to explore the landscape Georgia fell in love with instead of the studio tour. We took one of the economy rooms at the inn, which was very comfortable, except the tv did not work. Cafe Abiquiu turned out to be an excellent little restaurant, although we were initially disappointed in their lack of libations. It turned out that we were too exhausted for tv and alcohol. We were both asleep by 10pm in order to rest up for the hiking trip the next day.


Krista said...

Sarah - your trip sounds like so much fun. I don't know if you know this or not but my brother Matt has worked at Philmont for the past five summers or so. He actually just got back from there. Anyway, love the New Mexico pics!

Mindy said...

It sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing.. the pics are wonderful!