A suggestion to Taos-ians and you too!

I like your town. I like the friendly locals. But come on now, bombarding the entire town with music (music?) that invades the entire business district with a noise level similar to that used by the U.S. military to dislodge Manuel Noriega (see footnote)  is in my not-so-humble opinion is not the way to enhance the town’s image.

I fully realize that this is a generational based opinion. But would it be unreasonable for the town fathers (and mothers)  to consider moving the commotion slightly out of the downtown area. Serenade only those that want to be serenaded.

Some Progressive Democrats (note the caps) probably would relate my opinion to my being ultra conservative. But this is only a symptom of the current political climate. Every opinion that one utters today must be classified into a political stance. Opinions are not allowed. Heaven forbid, if you like your private peace and quiet, you are a gun-toting, church hugging bad-ass conservative. If you like kickass hard-rock metal in every corner of the county, you are a ban-everything and control-all-that-is-left ultra liberal.

Listen up, America. Let people have a personal opinion about individual issues without being assigned any label! People, be brave enough to have your own opinions without joining a political cult! Progressives, Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, if conscripted to without thinking, are cults! People, if you avoid cults, and think, you will probably be, dare I say it, a moderate! And you will be exactly what this country needs now. Avoid the convenient titles and think for yourself. Have you forgotten how to think for yourself?

In the meantime I will be sure to check the Taos town’s event calender to be sure that I am not passing through during an ‘event’.  No doubt the loss of my megabucks of spending willingness will sway the town into heading my recommendation.

Footnote: (1989) – Down in Panama, outside the Vatican embassy, the U.S. Southern Command — armed to the teeth and encircling the whole compound — is licking its chops. Manuel Noriega is inside. United States forces have heard that he is superstitious, that he wears red underpants to ward off evil demons. And so, to irritate and intimidate him (and to enjoy themselves in the process), the Americans set up their “ghetto blasters” or some Latin American equivalent, and blast the Vatican embassy with some good ol’ kickass American rock ‘n’ roll — Guns ‘n’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” is the first song to come roaring through the speakers.

Tags: Taos NM

Mountain pass scooting – Enchanted Circle

Despite clouds, I went scooting today. Part of the Enchanted Circle. Despite clouds, I did not take complete gear. Decision #1 was questionable, decision #2 was unfortunate.

Taos to Eagles Nest over Palo Flechado Pass. Dry and cloudy on the near side, sprinkles and sleet, thunderstorms on far side. Lunch of deep fried chicken was enjoyed by all, including me. tourists (some of them bikers) and the locals at Eagles Nest D&D restaurant. Want to keep it always good? Keep it simple.  Main menu is hamburger in six barely distinguishable variations (“never frozen”), and on some days a daily special, which today was deep fried chicken, potatoes, salad, home baked sweet bread, drink. Seeing lightning strike the mountains all around, and reports of rain by the arrive-ers, the decision was made to eat and kill time, a lot of time.

The decision was finally made to go to Red River. I thought I had never been there, but alas I recognized it. But it has grown into a more mature town now. I don’t think I have ever snow skied there, though. The ski area Angle Fire on a mountain in the valley that hosts Eagles nest was bypassed, as locals, including one that lives there, told me that there is nothing much there, and that what is there is closed in the summer (you could have convinced me it was not summer there today!).

The trip to Red River was interesting, to say the least. Going through the mountain pass (hard Pock Pass, I think) presented a surprise. A small amount of snow/sleet slush was on the road for about 2 miles. Now, I am not a racer in curves on scoot anyways, But the icy stuff scared the… well, you get the picture.

Fortunately I survived the slush, except for the face and body full that I got from the tires of a car I met. Thank goodness for the face mask even if the clarity of vision was drastically reduced.

No camera. No pictures. But I am thinking about getting a helmet cam as the pics from scoot’s adventures could be interesting, and obtainable, as I would not have to stop. And that is a good thing as I don’t like to stop to take pictures.

Tags: Taos NM

Awaking in Taos

It was about 6 am. Noises. Noises still at 6:30 am. Time to check this out, am I about to be towed?

You see, Barth is parked at a paved pullout in front of the the Taos Municipality building and library. A quiet place. Very little traffic. No permission, so I awaited the tap of the police on the door all night. But fortunately it never cam. But this morning… noises!

A peak outside revealed that Barth was surrounded by cars, constantly coming and going. Yikes, the cars go far beyond the lens of my camera.

How nice! My hip/leg has been curtailing my walking ability, so Taos was nice to deliver the entertainment to my door step, literally! A Farmer’s Market!

So, after the first cuppa’ I ventured out. A ‘fried pie’ was bought from this lady. She was reluctant to have her pic on the web, whatever that is, but finally relented. I avoided her Prune Pie as I expected that it was not detoxed!

There was entertainment, a banjo-ist from VA passing through on vacation , and a local Mexican duet.

For breakfast I had a locally made burrito, the lil o’  ladies apple pie, topped off by local honey from a bee keeper. He gave me an eloquent explanation of the honeys offered. But long-story-short the difference is due to the blossoms made available by the placement of the hives.

Ok, as I type this, the Market visitors as well as some of the merchants have turned over a few times. Since the market will be here 5 hours today and 5 hours tomorrow. I will watch the movie out my window. And maybe go back to visit the lady selling potted basil.

Tags: Taos NM

On top of the mountain

Sitting here at Hopewell Camp Ground on a mountain top, I realize that I know not the name of the mountain. Oh well…

My endeavor to finish organizing and cleaning Barth was spoiled by missing sink strainer/stoppers. Yikes, only so many dirty dishes can be stacked around a motorhome. I can stack a weeks worth at home, and make it all go away with one dishwasher load. Not here.

The town of Chama NM, located on the west side of the mountain, had only one strainer at the combination grocery and hardware store, called ‘Lowes’, but definitely not the chain type of Lowes. That one miraculously fit. These stoppers are absolutely necessary. A home-style of washing under the faucet would deplete my water supply quickly. Before going down the mountain a pan for oil draining was located that could have been used to wash dishes. But I needed gas anyways. A few groceries were also collected, along with engine oil for scoot.

It may be a surprise, but a scooter without gasoline doesn’t scoot very well. There was enough gas to get down the mountain, but not back. Scoot carried 3x 2-gallon cans back up the mountain safely strapped on and around. If I had crashed on the mountain road (US 64) the explosion could have been quite the sight!

US 64 is a beautiful drive from the east at Tres Piedras across the mountain to the west portal at Tierra Amarilla. Tierra Amarilla is near a couple of great NM State Parks, if they have not been closed. Of course the camera was lost somewhere on Barth, but now that there is gas, there will be pics later, maybe a movie.

Many, many motorcyclists obviously like the curves and grades on the mountain. Many were met and a few passed from behind. I am still not a daredevil scoot driver.

Tags: Hopewell Lake NM

Hopewell Lake, NM

The Days End list indicated that there is a 15-acre fishing lake on top of the mountain in the Carson National Forest. Altitude 10,000 feet, cool, breezy. Just the type of place that boondockers like. But information was scant on Google, which is not encouraging. But, but… gotta go and check it out.

Hopewell Lake dispersed camping

Hopewell was located on maps; it really does exist. A view with Google Earth suggested that it might be ok for Barth, but still…

A stop at the NM Welcome center on I25 south of Santa Fe yielded free coffee, just as the sign promised. While the sleepiness lifted, an awareness of the two fellows behind the ‘may I hep you’ desk took over. Those guys were good. Knowledgeable. Humorous. “Never let anyone leave without telling them where to go,” so they said! But Gary in the rest stop actually knew where Hopewell lake is located. Knew that the CG could actually accommodate a few large RVs.

After determining my preferences, Joe Guthrie went out on a limb. He told me of a great spot, ahem… over the border into Colorado, that I would like. So that will probably be my next stop. If you are in that Rest Area on I25, say hello to Joe if he is there. He is hard to miss. A ‘mature’  black guy with a crown of cotton white hair. Tell him that his knowledge is appreciated.

Another view

A Forest Ranger at the foot of the mountain at Tres Piedras was not encouraging. He could not even assure me that I wouldn’t dead-end, a navigational nightmare for a 38′ motorhome pulling a trailer. He did tell me that US 64, safely emerges on the other side of the mountain at Tierra Amarillo.

Finally, after all this obsession with Hopewell, arrival! The Hopewell Campground does have a few places possibly level and long enough for a big rig motorhome. Sara, the CG hostess, another gem of an employee for the state of NM, eyeballed my rig, and made a suggestion. Leave the CG and go further down the road into the forest. “Lots of open flat places to park a self contained rig,” she said. “And save $12 a day.”

Having dead-ended Barth before, I was still wary. What if I go to far and cannot turn around was the obvious question. Not to worry, said she. Just go left at the fork in the road and one will come out on US 64. Perfect.

So here I am, peachy happy, wishing for peachy pie. A beautiful, cool and level place to park for a week or so. The only possible drawback: I don’t know if I can sleep when the aspen quake into the late night!

Tags: Hopewell Lake NM