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Life on California's beautiful Central Coast

The Enchanted Circle

After leaving Taos went spent much of the weekend driving what is called the Enchanted Circle. This route goes through the mountains in a loop from Taos to Questa, Questa to Red River, up the Bobcat Pass at nearly 10,000 feet, down into Eagle Nest, and back over the mountain back to Taos.

We had come in from Angel Fire so we’d seen the last part of the route, but there was much we explored on the rest of the loop.

Friday night we camped a mile above the Rio Grande at a deserted but beautiful spot called Cebolla Mesa. Free National Forest camping, only 2 other parties there.

Cebolla Mesa

Cebolla Mesa

 

The Rio Grande is a muddy ribbon wayyyy down there.

The Rio Grande is a muddy ribbon wayyyy down there.

 

Saturday we hiked down to the river. Almost directly below our campsite was a neat backpacking site on an island in the middle of a fork in the river. Very cool spot. You went out to it on a narrow little rickety bridge that shook when Erik and I stood on it at the same time.

The bridge from afar.

The bridge from afar.

 

And up close.

And up close.

Next we drove out to Questa and then turned up to Red River. On the way we passed a giant Chevron molybdeum mine that had complete decimated one of the mountains. Molybdeum, according to Wikipedia, is a chemical used in high-strength steel alloys. It’s apparently oxidized in the rocks found around Red River.

The town of Red River is a curious Western/Bavarian hybrid. Check out the supermarket.

Der Merkt

Der Markt

No camping nearby, so we headed out and up the Bobcat Pass, at the top of which is a private cross country ski area called the Enchanted Forest. On the descent, there were some beautiful views.

Backside of Bobcat Pass.

Backside of Bobcat Pass.

And further along towards Eagle Nest, some great big ranches.

Location, location, location.

Location, location, location.

We diverted from the circle to camp at a place called Tolby Creek, one of the campgrounds in Cimarron State Park. It was gorgeous.

No fish in Tolby Creek.

No fish in Tolby Creek.

It’s probably worth pointing out that that is the view out the van back window while parked at the campsite. And we rolled in on a late Saturday afternoon. There are simply no comparisons to be made between the California and New Mexico camping experiences.

On the way out Sunday we stopped to take photo of the burned out Eagle’s Nest lodge.

Eagle's Nest Lodge.

Eagle's Nest Lodge.

Then we headed back to Taos .. and kept going. New post coming soon.

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2 Comments»

  shermanset the waybackmachine wrote @

Tom and I camped in Red River, went to town, had some beers, heard a great bluegrass kind of band with a girl violinist play a ripping Orange Blossom Special.

  shermanset the waybackmachine wrote @

Next morning we drove east and had breakfast in Eagle’s Nest, I am pretty sure it was a restaurant in or next to that burned out lodge. It was on the lakeside.


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