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Old 09-27-2006, 04:18 PM   #1
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Santa Fe/Albuquerque

We are making a brief stop (1-2 nights) in either Santa Fe or Albuquerqee on our journey heading back east towards the end of November. Any recommendations for camping or "must see" sights appreciated, thanks! We have never been - no idea about the area other than we've heard it is beautiful and interesting.

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Old 09-27-2006, 04:42 PM   #2
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Personally, I prefer Santa Fe over Albuquerque, but don't try to take your trailer to the Plaza or in Santa Fe proper, the streets are VERRRY narrow and there is no parking I know of suitable for RVs or MHs - especially a 34-footer!

There are lots of great shops, museums, restaurants & galleries to visit in Santa Fe. I have only stayed in hotels, B & B's or at the KOA right outside of town. It was clean and well kept...check to see how late in the season they will be open this year w/full-hookups, usually through mid-October - they may be open later w/o water hook-ups. In November it could be chilly - the elevation is about 7200 ft.

Be sure to check out the galleries on Canyon Blvd, the Plaza and eat at Pasqual's across from the St. Francis Hotel. If you have time go for a class at the Sante Fe School of Cooking or drive up to Taos or Rancho Chimayo, do it!


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Old 09-27-2006, 04:53 PM   #3
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Ok, you asked for it, so you get it: Things to see and do in northern New Mexico!

Things to see and do in northern New Mexico (with a few longer descriptions):
Albuquerque is a city with a long history. There is evidence that as long as 25,000 years ago, people inhabited this area. Some scientists have estimated the date to be 10,000 years ago. In any case, the area has an old heritage. The Anasazi Indians lived here from 1100 to 1300 A.D. In 1540, the Spanish explorer, Francisco Vasques do Coronado arrived from Mexico. After Coronado left, more Spanish settlers moved here. By the 1600's, the area was called: "Bosque Grande de San Francisco Xavier" (A bosque is a forest on the banks of a river or body of water or possibly an area of thick vegetation). In 1706, Don Francisco Cuervo y Valdez asked the Spanish government for permission to establish a villa here. There must be 30 families to do so. There were only 18 at this time, but Cuervo, who was at the time the provisional governor of the territory, knew the plan would help his future. Cuervo planned to name the villa, Alburquerque, after the viceroy Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva, the Duke of Alburquerque. His application was accepted and the city of Alburquerque was formed. The first "r" was dropped from the name supposedly when a sign painter omitted it because he couldn't spell it or just didn't have enough room. There is another theory about the latin spelling of Albuquerque, which means white oak.
Albuquerque: Old Town
Albuquerque area: Tramway
Albuquerque: Balloon Festival (early Oct)
Albuquerque area: Petroglyph National Monument
Albuquerque area: Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway
Albuquerque: Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Santa Fe & area
Indians have lived here for over 1,000 years! Santa Fe is the second oldest city in the United States. Don Pedro de Paralta was appointed Governor and Capitan General of New Mexico by the Viceroy of New Spain on 30 March 1609. He was to go to New Mexico with other soldiers and priests and to found the Villa of Santa Fe.
New Mexico was brought into the United States in 1846. At that time, the Catholic Church sent Archbishop John Lamy to reorganize the religious practices of the territory. Religion continues to play a large part in the Santa Fe area. The original name for the city was "La Villa de la Santa Fe San Francisco de Assisi," or in english, "The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi."
Santa Fe has been the capital under four different flags since 1610: Spain, Mexico, the U.S. Confederacy and the United States. The influence of many different cultures can especially be seen in the architecture. The adobe is from the Moors. The eastern styles and materials from the Anglos. There are many old, historic buildings in Santa Fe, such as the Miraculous Winding Staircase at the Loretto Chapel or the San Miguel Mission - the oldest church in the United States. Santa Fe has also become a cultural center for the region. The Santa Fe Fiesta has been celebrated
since 1769. It remains a center for craftsmen and artisans to this day.
Santa Fe: La Fonda (historic Harvey hotel)
Santa Fe: Loretto Chapel
Santa Fe area: Pecos National Historical Park
Battle of Glorieta Pass, Civil War
Los Alamos: Atomic Lab Science Museum
Los Alamos: Bandelier National Monument
Los Alamos area: Valle Grande (caldera)
Jemes Springs: hot springs, pueblo
Jemez Springs: Grotto, Soda Falls, camping
Chimayo: Sanctuario de Chimayo
Abiquiu: arts and photography
Abiquiu: Ghost Ranch
Abiquiu area: Echo Amphitheater
Ojo Caliente
Ojo Caliente: Spa
Chama: Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Las Vegas: 900 historical buildings!
Las Vegas: Montezuma Castle
Fort Union & Santa Fe Trail
There is evidence that man has lived in the Taos area as far back as 3,000 B.C. Prehistoric ruins dating from 900 A.D. can be seen throughout the Taos Valley. The Pueblo of Taos remains the link from these early inhabitants of the valley to the still-living native culture.
The first Europeans to appear in Taos valley were led by Captain Alvarado, who was exploring the area for the Coronado expedition of 1540. Don Juan de Onate, official colonizer of the province of Nuevo Mexico, came to Taos in July 1598. In September of that year he assigned Fray Francisco de Zamora to serve the Taos and Picuris Pueblos.
Long established trading networks at Taos Pueblo, plus its mission and the abundant water and timber of the valley, attracted early Spanish settlers.
Life was not easy for the newcomers, and there were several conflicts with Taos Pueblo before the Pueblo revolt of 1680 in which all Spaniards and their priests were either killed or driven from the province. In 1692 Don Diego de Vargas made a successful military reconquest of New Mexico and in 1693 he returned to recolonize the province. In 1694 he raided Taos Pueblo when it refused to provide corn for his starving settlers in Santa Fe.
Taos Pueblo revolted again in 1696, and De Vargas came for the third time to put down the rebellion. Thereafter, Taos and most of the other Rio Grande Pueblos remained allies of Spain and later of Mexico when it won its independence in 1821. During this long period the famous Taos Trade Fairs grew in importance so that even the annual caravan to Chihuahua delayed its departure until after the Taos Fair, which was held in July or August. The first French traders, led by the Mallette brothers, attended the Taos Fair in 1739.
By 1760, the population of Taos valley had decreased because of the fierce attacks by Plains Indians. Many times the Spanish settlers had to move into houses at Taos Pueblo for protection from these raiders. In 1779, Colonel de Anza returned through Taos from Colorado, where he had decisively defeated the Comanches led by Cuerno Verde. De Anza named the Sangre de Cristo Pass, northeast of present Fort Garland, and also named the road south from Taos to Santa Fe through Miranda Canyon as part of "El Camino Real". In 1796 - 97, the Don Fernando de Taos grant was given to 63 Spanish families.
By the early 1800's, Taos had become the headquarters for many of the famous mountain men who trapped beaver in the neighboring mountains. Among them was Kit Carson, who made his home in Taos from 1826 to 1868. In July 1826 Padre Antonio Jose Martinez began serving the Taos parish. He opened his school in Taos in 1833 and published textbooks for it in 1834. He printed "El Crepusculo", a weekly newspaper in 1835, and was prominent in territorial matters during the Mexican and early United States periods in New Mexico.
After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, the Santa Fe Trail became the important route for trade between the United States and Mexico. A branch of the trail came to Taos to supply its trading needs.From 1821 to 1846, the Mexican government made numerous land grants to help settle new sections of New Mexico. During the war with Mexico in 1846, General Stephen Kearney and his U.S. troops occupied the province of New Mexico. Taos rebelled against the new wave of invaders and in 1847 killed the newly appointed Governor Charles Bent, in his Taos home. In 1850 the province, which then included Arizona, officially became the territory of New Mexico of the United States.
During the civil war, the confederate army flew its flag for six weeks over Santa Fe. It was just prior to this time that Kit Carson, Smith Simpson, Ceran St. Vrain and others put up the American flag over Taos Plaza and guarded it. Since then, Taos has had the honor of flying the flag day and night.The discovery of gold in the Moreno valley in 1866 and later in the mountains near Taos brought many new people to the area. Twining and Red River, once mining towns, are now prominent ski resorts. The Carson National Forest contains forested lands in the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez Mountain Ranges. It was created from the Pecos River Forest Reserve of 1892, the Taos Forest Reserve of 1906, and part of the Jemez National Forest of 1905.
A narrow gauge railroad, the Denver and Rio Grande Western, was built from Alamosa, Colorado, to within 25 miles southwest of Taos in 1880. In later years it was nicknamed the Chili Line. It eventually connected with Santa Fe. A surrey and four horses joggled passengers from the station to Taos. During World War II, the train was discontinued; Embudo Station on the Rio Grande is all that is left of it today.
The next invasion began in 1898, when two eastern artists came to Taos and depicted on canvas the dramatic mountains and unique peoples. By 1912, the Taos Society of Artists was formed by these and other artists who had been attracted to the area. New Mexico became a state in 1912 as well. World Wars I and II came and went, and members of the three cultures of Taos -- Indian, Spanish and Anglo -- fought and died
together for their country.
Taos: Galleries & museums
Taos area: Ranchos de Taos church
Taos area: Taos pueblo
Taos area: Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Taos area: Wild Rivers Rec Area (BLM site)
Taos area: White Water rafting
Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway: Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, Red River, Questa, Taos
Vietnam Veterans National Memorial, Angel Fire
Elizabethtown (Ghost Town)
Acoma pueblo (Sky City)
El Morro (Inscription Rock) National Monument
El Malpais National Monument
Ice Caves and Bandera Volcano
Gallup, Center for Native American history, art, culture, tradition, and GREAT shopping
Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial at Gallup
Shiprock. More just to see than to visit; you'll be able to see it from all over the northwest corner of the state. (In earlier times, prior to air pollution, you could see it from the top of Sandia Peak and from some places at Mesa Verde, that is, from much further away. Now that happens only on particularly clear days.)
Navajo Nation: Fair at Shiprock and much more
Bisti Badlands Wilderness
National Monuments/Parks/Rec Areas, State Parks and Scenic Byways(North and South)
New Mexico's Scenic Byways:
Albuquerque area: Petroglyph National Monument
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Bandelier National Monument
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
Petroglyph National Monument
Fort Union National Monument
Capulin Volcano National Monument
Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument (BLM)
National Natural Landmarks in New Mexico:
Conchas Lake
Ute Lake State Park
Bluewater Lake State Park
Hyde Memorial State Park
Rio Grande Nature Center
Red Rock State Park (operated by the City of Gallup)
El Vado Lake State Park
Fenton Lake State Park
Navajo Lake State Park
Heron Lake State Park
Cimarron Canyon State Park
Clayton Lake State Park
Coyote Creek State Park
Morphy Lake State Park
Storrie Lake State Park
Sugarite Canyon State Park
Eagle Nest Lake State Park
Camping and Other Info Links
NM Assn of RV Parks & Campgrounds, listing every park and campground in thd state!
RVers with Special Interests, including 55+ Parks; Where to escape the heat; where to fish; where to golf; where to hold RV rallies; where to ski; where to snowbird; and much more
Click here for printable listings of New Mexico's public and private parks and campgrounds to take with you on your trip!
Click here to order a free copy of the big visitor's guide
Click here for links to the local chambers of commerce
Click here for Tourism's other brochures
New Mexico Tourist Welcome Centers
New Mexico Hot Springs Assn
And finally!
New Mexico's Historic Markers
WBCCI 21043
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:02 PM   #4
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Try Its our favourite place to stay when in Santa Fe. A15 minute drive and you are in the center of town.
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:07 PM   #5
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Yay, I knew others would chime in...

I also want to add 10,000 Waves for a wonderful treat!

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Old 09-27-2006, 05:11 PM   #6
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What can we add after Eubank's marvelous information bank?! However, let me plead for a 2 day stop at least. One will leave you crying for all you could not do. Near Alamos, you'll find Bandelier Park, focused around a small cliff dwelling preservation--how often can we stand in a place and trace back a thousand years? Don't you think you need several days in Santa Fe?? Of all the things we have done while there, my best memory is of walking the Plaza through softly falling sifting powder snow, yet it felt as fresh as Spring. ~G
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:43 PM   #7
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cut to the chase

By pass both. Buy you tourist junk and eat some Mexican food. Then go to Chama. Visit Ghost ranch on the way. Next day head thru the back country, Great road, to Taos. Spend a night. Then over the pass to Angel Fire. Spend the Night....visit Las Vagas (New Mexico) eat some more Mexican food. Then thru the most beautiful plains...with hugh herds of Antelope....almost like the savannahs of Africa to Clayton and on to Amarillo....then pick a route back East.

I'm worn out just thinking about it.

Tres Rios in Texas this week!!!
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Old 09-27-2006, 05:53 PM   #8
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The Comet ll restaurant has the best Mexican food in the state of NM!!
I've had Mexican food from El Paso to Questa and Farmington to Carlsbad and every town in between.
If you haven't tried it you are missing a treat.
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Old 09-27-2006, 06:25 PM   #9
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Turquoise Trail...

Consider Albuquerque as well.

Just east of ABQ is North Rt14 with a cute little camp ground in Cedar Crest - Turquoise Trail CG. Nothing whiz bang but a GREAT location right on the National Forest and a hop skip and a jump from Sandia Crest. The views are really something - 50 mile visibility on a average day!

If you continue up Rt14 about 1.5 miles there is a great local place that does great mexican - Chilipenos. Another 20 or so up the road is Madrid NM. A terriffic little artists community that has EVERYTHING from rugs to rings to turquoise to ...... And it is about 1/2 way along a beautiful stretch that goes directly into Santa Fe.

The advice about NOT going anywhere into Santa Fe with your 34 is sound!!!! Believe it. I have a 34 also and living in Cedar Crest, have a bit of experience in that regard (don't ask!). This area here is really picturesque, I also would say that 2 days will be really cutting it short, as there is SO much you will miss out on - but then it is YOUR trip.

When you get closer and if you decide on the ABQ/ Cedar Crest route - striaght shot on I40, then I'd be glad to meet you. If you would like more ideas on specific things in the area, feel free to contact me directly.

All the best, and SAFE travels!

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Old 09-27-2006, 07:30 PM   #10
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I have just passed thru Alb, but spent 3 days in Santa Fe a couple years back, and a week in Taos this past summer. Stayed at KOA in Sante Fe, and Taos Valley RV Park & Campground in Taos. I would go back to both, although I'm sure there's lots of other good choices. Myself, I skipped the glitzy art galleries and spent my time on the plaza, in the older parts of town, and in the old neighborhoods. Places that I feel depict the true character of the region. I have to admit though, the glitzy galleries kept my wife entertained while I was ramblin. Hope you have a great trip.
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Old 09-28-2006, 03:45 PM   #11
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We've stayed several times at the Las Vegas NM KOA. Its a nice campground and very nice people run it. Its a fairly short drive frim Santa Fe
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Old 09-28-2006, 06:26 PM   #12
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Over the past 30+ years I’ve spend a bit a time traveling all over New Mexico. I want to point out that although it is true that you can get great Mexican food there, what I think the state is noted for is its “New Mexican food.” There is a difference.
The great historical and culinary legacy of the foods of New Mexico should not to be confused with the others. The special character and tastes of the regions’ cooking, the spices and chilies and the meals in general distinguishes it as different from anywhere else. I never had a so-so mean in Santa Fe or any of the small towns with regional New Mexican restaurants.
You’ll find many good cookbooks there on the subject. And the supermarkets have great stuff to buy and take back home.
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Old 09-28-2006, 08:58 PM   #13
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Thank you!

I love this forum and the contributions of all of you. The great news is you have provided GREAT insight. The bad news is we have limited time, since we will be heading back from Death Valley to Atlanta - and need to get the kids back to school. We'll try and triage out the best ideas, and clearly we will add this area for a longer stay at a later time. Thanks again!
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Old 09-29-2006, 12:39 AM   #14
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Offer stands!

Brad -

The offer stands!

If you happen this way on your way thru then give me an email shout! I'll do what I can to assist you in discovering this area!

Yours in AS'in!


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