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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since moving from Florida we've loved almost every day here.

Took off this Saturday for a quick trip to see a Wolf Sanctuary, we ran into several really cool sites along the way.

The Ice Caves and Bandera Caldera. This is a privately owned attraction on Hwy 53 South of Grants NM. The signage for the place was kind of hokey and I wanted to bypass it, but my other half wanted to give it a try. I'm glad I listened to her.

The owners of the place still run it, their grandfather bought the 4000 acres that encompass the old volcano and surrounding area. They have created a walking path up to the rim of the collapsed crater, it was a heck of a climb for us two flatlanders. We topped out at about 8000 feet with a spectacular view of the 800 foot deep crater.



In one of the collapsed lava tubes there's a spring which has filled a pool with water. Due to the insulation properties of the lava, it maintains a temperature of 31 degrees. There's a frozen block of ice at the bottom year round. Rumor has it the loggers back in the 20's and 30's used it to keep their beer cold. :)



Our next stop was at the El Morro National Monument. WOW, what a place, if you're driving on I -40 head South at Grants NM, and make the drive down there. This sandstone monolith juts out of the ground and can be seen for miles. It's been a stopping point for travelers in the area for centuries including the early Spanish that made their way through the area to find the pool of water that collected at the base of the rock. They followed the ancient Indians tradition of writing on the surface of the sandstone. The earliest writing dates to 1605 and is still visible today(Although hard to capture with a camera in the harsh light)





The view from the top of El Morro is incredible. I guess the Native Pueblo people liked it too because they built a 800 plus room community up there about 1000 years ago. The ruins remain today.



Check the NP site out for more info.

https://www.nps.gov/elmo/index.htm
 

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Outstanding pics! Makes me want to jump in the PM and see all the great sights! Come to think of it, New Mexico is one those states that nobody really thinks/talks about when taking a vacation. Why? It's on my bucket list for sure now.
 

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Come on up!

My fiance' and I decided about a year ago that we were going to move from Florida. I had been there 24 years and really hated it.(No offense to anyone that still lives there) :)

We kinda threw a dart at the map and hit Santa Fe. After looking around there we decided we couldn't afford to live in Santa Fe, but we ended up in a small little village just North of ABQ and with so many places to see around here we'll never be bored.
 

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ABQ is great. My g/f's family is there, she grew up in Santa Fe. We drove down for a long Thanksgiving holiday last year. I could see ending up there sometime.


If you liked the ruins at El Morro, take a weekend trip north and spend a day at Mesa Verde. Simply amazing. We wanted to get out to Chaco Canyon, but didn't have the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We tried to go to Chaco a few weeks ago and camp out, but it was full. Definitely going back for sure!
 

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I made that drive thru west central NM a couple of years ago; really enjoyed it. Keep going south you hit Pie Town (Mmm, pie ... love that name!) and Datil (radio telescope Very Large Array just to the east). Further south, just northeast of Glenwood, is The Catwalks of Whitewater Canyon - an unexpected surprise. Stay enchanted!
 
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Come on up!

My fiance' and I decided about a year ago that we were going to move from Florida. I had been there 24 years and really hated it.(No offense to anyone that still lives there) :)

We kinda threw a dart at the map and hit Santa Fe. After looking around there we decided we couldn't afford to live in Santa Fe, but we ended up in a small little village just North of ABQ and with so many places to see around here we'll never be bored.
My wife and I drove a big truck around the lower 48 for about 3 million miles, saw about every square inch of it and New Mexico is on the very short list of States I could live in. I would only live in Florida in my worst nightmare and I would probably need therapy to get over it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My wife and I drove a big truck around the lower 48 for about 3 million miles, saw about every square inch of it and New Mexico is on the very short list of States I could live in. I would only live in Florida in my worst nightmare and I would probably need therapy to get over it.
I don't miss Florida one bit!!!

Something I neglected to mention before; On Saturday night we stayed at the campground there at El Morro. Great little nine spot NP service campground, no fees, but great views and privacy. Heading West on I 40 earlier in the day I had passed a custom Land Rover camper that was doing about 40 Mph and belching black smoke. I saw they had a South African tag on the back and it was obviously setup for over-landing.

Sure enough, they were at the campsite too. I couldn't wait to go meet them. Ended up being a fascinating older couple that had done the round the world trip a few years back and after seeing almost the entire world said the place they liked the best and wanted to spend more time in was the American Southwest. :)

They come every year now and spend six months until their Visa runs out then head back home.

Here's their website, it's a great read.

http://www.overlandhb.co.za/
 
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I've been in 369 units of the U.S. Nat. Park system and it is in my top 10.

MM, truly incredible. Between your outstanding accomplishments as a wildlife/bird photographer and, now learning, that you've been to the vast majority of all National Park "units" . . . hope we get to meet sometime.

Winston
 

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MM, truly incredible. Between your outstanding accomplishments as a wildlife/bird photographer and, now learning, that you've been to the vast majority of all National Park "units" . . . hope we get to meet sometime.

Winston
We have had the honor of meeting MM and his Poof, and yes, it was quite a treat.
 

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I don't miss Florida one bit!!!

Something I neglected to mention before; On Saturday night we stayed at the campground there at El Morro. Great little nine spot NP service campground, no fees, but great views and privacy.
It is now plugged into our fall return trip as a stopover from Sedona to ABQ.

Thanks.
 

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I go to northern New Mexico 5-6 times per year if you're up around the Enchanted Circle (Taos, Angel Fire, Red River) and need info, free places to camp, etc just let me know.
 
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