New Mexico Outdoor
Roughing It In Luxury-Abiquiu, New Mexico 505.901.7321
From here at NMO, the drive around and back thru the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to Las Vegas, NM is well in excess of 200 miles. Best to take a whole day for this Scenic Drive!
In New Mexico, it is very normal to name 2 different geographic place..the same thing. So as you head out on NM233 and make a left onto NM 84 S, toward Espanola ..you'll see Black Mesa on your left for the next 7-8 miles.
<Black Mesa in Backround
Continue thru Espanola on 84 (Onate) ..and veer Right on Rt30 toward Los Alamos. You're now on Santa Clara Pueblo (watch your speed). In about 5 miles, and past Puye Cliffs, you'll see on your left the more famous Black Mesa. It's a spiritual place for the Pueblos and the masthead on our local newspaper:
A mile or so past Black Mesa, take the sign to Santa Fe on St502. You're now on the San Ildefonso Pueblo, famous for it's Black on Black Pottery ..and it's "perfector" Maria Martinez. The proper incorporation of horse poop into the clay the key to firing it and achieving the gloss and color. Stop by the Pueblo on weekends in Summer for their crafts bazaar!
Continuing on 502 ..soon you'll come upon the Pojoaque Pueblo and Rt 84/285. At the stop light, if you'll take a left and drive 1/2 mile, you may luck out and see the combined pueblos buffalo herd!
But ..we have to admit that rarely are they out on the bluffs in view of the road. Come back South and on the Pojoaque Pueblo. Here, there are 2 major Casino Resorts, Cities of Gold and Buffalo Thunder. There is also an Art Museum:<The Tower Gallery
Continue South on 84/285 until it ends and follow the signs to The Plaza, if you'd want to have some lunch in Santa Fe. We recommend the Plaza Cafe and their Red Chili con Carne:
While digesting, be sure to walk along the Portal of the Palace of the Governors and the Indian Market there!
After a nice lunch on the Plaza, make your way out to Cerrillos Road headed South toward US25. It's about 6-7 miles. This is the commercial strip in Santa Fe, out of the historic & government section.
Go North toward Las Vegas and toward the Glorietta Pass. Check out the Glorietta Battlefield, often called The Gettysburg of the West, and the Village of Pecos ..gateway to Pecos Wilderness from this side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Next stop, Las Vegas, New Mexico ..visited by many a bad man ..many a sherriff in the Old West! <The Plaza Hotel (1881)
Las Vegas was established in 1835 after a group of settlers received a land grant from the Mexican government. The town was laid out in the traditional Spanish Colonial style, with a central plaza surrounded by buildings which could serve as fortifications in case of attack. Las Vegas soon prospered as a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. During the Mexican-American War in 1846, Stephen W. Kearny delivered an address at the Plaza of Las Vegas claiming New Mexico for the United States. In 1877, the precursor to Regis University was founded by a group of exiled Italian Jesuits, known as Las Vegas College. In 1887, Las Vegas College moved to Denver.
When the railroad arrived in 1880, it set up shop one mile (1.6 km) east of the Plaza, creating a separate, rival New Town (as in Albuquerque). During the railroad era Las Vegas boomed, quickly becoming one of the largest cities in the American southwest. Turn-of-the-century Las Vegas featured all the modern amenities, including an electric street railway, the "Duncan Opera House" at the northeast corner of 6th Street and Douglas Avenue, a Carnegie library, a major Harvey House hotel, and the New Mexico Normal School (now NMHU). Since the decline of the railroad began in the 1950s, the city's population has remained relatively constant. Although the two towns have been combined, separate school districts remain (West and East).
The arrival of the railroad on July 4, 1879 brought with it businesses and people, both respectable and dubious. Murderers, robbers, thieves, gamblers, gunmen, swindlers, vagrants, and tramps poured in, transforming the eastern side of the settlement into a virtually lawless brawl. Among the notorious characters were such legends of the Old West as: dentist Doc Holliday and his girlfriend Big Nose Kate, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Wyatt Earp, Mysterious Dave Mather, Hoodoo Brown, Durango Kid and Handsome Harry the Dancehall Rustler.
Historian Ralph Emerson Twitchell once claimed, "Without exception there was no town which harbored a more disreputable gang of desperadoes and outlaws than did Las Vegas."
Text & Picture WikiPedia
A small stream adds to the scenery outside of Penasco, one of the colorful small towns on the “High Road” between Santa Fe and Taos in northern New Mexico. On The High Road to Taos. By Dan Monaghan for the New Mexico Departmet of Tourism
Chimayo: El Santuario de Chimayo was built by devout northern New Mexico Catholics in 1816. The adobe church has since become an international spiritual draw, known for the healing powers many visitors claim to find at the small chapel. During Holy Week each year thousands of pilgrims will make their way to the tiny village, and await their opportunity to enter the church in prayer. On The High Road to Taos. By Dan Monaghan for New Mexico Dept of Tourism