Monday, August 9, 2010

6 days in New Mexico

From the 22nd to the 28th of July, I took a trip out to New Mexico, my first visit to the Southwest.

The trip began in Santa Fe, with a walk around the city's historic plaza. It's hard to tell new architecture from old, as most of the buildings are done using the traditional adobe construction.

After working up quite an appetite on the trip from DC to Albuquerque, our first order of business was getting some authentic New Mexican food. Roque, the gentleman pictured below, provided the carnitas, which we soon found out have been featured in the Washington Post and will be highlighted on the Food Network later this month.

After an evening of live music and a few too many margaritas, the next morning brought us to Ghost Ranch -- the setting for much of "City Slickers" -- and a hike up Kitchen Mesa. Below are two shots taken during our walk up...

... and the view from the top.

Later that afternoon, we made a quick stop in a small town called Cebolla before heading about 10 miles west to a real live ranch. The drive in...

... and a hummingbird feasting on the cabin's front porch.

(The rains came pretty heavy while we camped out, hence the lack of pictures. There are a few more in the Flickr link above, however.)

After two days of camping and a night of dining with an old family friend back in Santa Fe, on Day 5 we took a short drive up to Taos, a small town about 2 hours northeast of Santa Fe. A slight detour on the way took us across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (L) and winding through the always-picturesque mountain roads (R).

New Mexico is known for its artists and artisans, and the colors found in some of the local markets are pretty incredible.

Food played a big role in our travels, and it seemed like everyone I spoke to before our trip had a place to recommend. The dish on the left (and the one below) was at a place called Gabriel's, and on the right is a world famous green chile cheeseburger -- with bacon, for good measure -- at Bobcat Bite, voted one of the best burger joints in the US.

The final day of our travels took us back towards Albuquerque and on a trip on the Sandia Peak Tramway, the longest aerial tram in the world. On the left is a shot taken on our way up, and on the right is another car making its way up while we hung out on top of the mountain.

And finally, a picture looking northeast from Sandia Peak, a rather impressive view of New Mexico's beautiful landscape.