Monday, April 26, 2010

Scenic Drive

We took a beautiful drive on one of the 26 Scenic Byways in New Mexico, the Santa Fe National Forest Scenic Byway.  We traveled from the city of Santa Fe at 7,000 feet elevation past Hyde Memorial State Park to the Santa Fe Ski Basin at 10,360 feet elevation.  The ski lifts take skiers another 2,000 feet higher to the multiple ski runs.

We had not risen very far in elevation, probably around 8,000 feet when we began to see snow patches in the shade like this one.

We passed alongside & through Hyde Memorial State Park which is not yet open.  Beautiful campsites but really remote.  We continued up the mountains seeing mainly pines then began to see aspens.  This area has the most aspens in all of New Mexico so it will be something to behold in the fall.  We have read that the ski lifts operate in the fall so you can look down at the golden leaves.

We stopped at an overlook with a sign naming the view points.  I put a red arrow on one to show the peak that we can see from our campground.  This campground is named for Tetilla Peak.

Our camera didn't cooperate at the ski basin so no photos from there.  We could identify several ski runs with snow on them still.  They had stopped operation though since lots of snow had melted.

When we arrived back in Santa Fe we drove past a building with very large sculptures.  I couldn't resist snapping a couple of photos from the Jeep window as we drove past.  One day we'll go back and see just what they are all about.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Up the Rio Grande

While we were enjoying the warmer temperatures of the Rio Grande Valley in January and February we visited the Riverside Diner on the banks of the Rio Grande River.  The elevation was about 50' above sea level and there was a low dam downriver for power generation so the water level made a nice wide river there.  Here are a couple of photos taken at the diner.

Now we have a different view of the river.  We are at Cochiti Lake in New Mexico.  It is one of three flood control dams on the Rio Grande River in northern New Mexico.  The normal lake elevation is 5,300+ feet above sea level.  That makes us more than a mile high!  As Park Attendants for Tetilla Peak Park we have a great site with a beautiful view of the lake, dessert and mountains.
Home Sweet Home

Yep, our site looks bare but we love the wide-open feel and can see for 20+ miles on a clear day.  Here are some photos of our views.

From our patio - looking southwest over the lake and dam

From our site - looking northeast

From our patio - looking south

From our patio - view south across part of the main campground

We are looking forward to exploring new sites in the area and revisiting ones we have enjoyed before.