Today we had a short hop, skip, and a jump drive from from Amarillo to Santa Fe, NM. We left under cloudy, cool and sprinkly rain skies and continued west through the rest the Texas panhandle. After about 75 miles we passed into New Mexico and the landscape quickly changed from flatlands to mesas and valleys. The temperatures stayed in the low 70s and so we drove with the top up most of the way.
After 3 hours we turned off the interstate and headed north on smaller roads. There is something fabulous about seeing America–especially the West at ground level. The interstate is great, but the smaller roads are somehow even more enjoyable. I took this photo while Sue was driving. What I think is cool about it is the reflection of the clouds in the back window as seen from the rear view mirror.
Sue suggested we drive directly to Bandelier National Monument which has great hiking and was the home of a group of Native American peoples who carved homes into the rock cliffs. We did a short couple of mile hike and Sue climbed up to the highest cave dwelling. It required climbing a number of wooden ladders and since I am “uncomfortable” with heights I chose to stay at the base. (He missed out, but we all have our weak points. Except me, of course.)
After a couple of hours of hiking we hopped back in the car and headed to our AirBnB in Santa Fe.