I got up early and went for a run, followed by a soak in the hot springs. Very nice! Then we checked out of our first hotel here and hurried up to the Chimney Rock ruins, where we caught the 10:30 tour. I wasn’t too crazy about taking a guided tour, but there was no option for a self-tour, so we paid our $5 apiece and put up with the lectures about corn and kivas.
The ruins and the scenery were great, though.
View from the visitor center.
The Great Kiva.
A row of pit houses.
Nice views from up here!
Rocky outcrops near the ridge line.
Amazing what will grow here.
Far below is a modern farm.
And above, a kiva and other ruins.
Above, we can see Chimney Rock and Companion Rock in the distance.
A closer view of Chimney Rock and Companion Rock.
View from the ruins at the summit.
The kiva at the summit.
Another view of the kiva.
After the tour, we headed back into town where we picked up some lunch at a deli and ate it at a local park. We saw a really cool squirrel while we were there—it had big ears that made it look like a cross between a squirrel and a rabbit. Unfortunately, rabbit-squirrels are very shy and I couldn’t get a picture.
I had no trouble getting a picture of this old cart, though.
After lunch we got checked into the spa and then went for a drive to where there is still a lot of snow near Wolf Creek.
For folks like us from the Gulf Coast, this is a lot of snow!
It was twenty degrees cooler up here!
There was snow at the higher elevations in New Mexico, but not like this!
Looks like Christmas!
Scenic overlook on the way back toward town.
A lone tree at the overlook.
One of the scarier things we saw at this particular overlook was a flower shrine on a fence and a cross in the woods. There was nothing to indicate what particular tragedy occurred, but the location of the items suggested something other than car accidents.
Upon our return to the hotel, we went for a walk in town.
I took several pictures of this cute little church.
The view from the church toward town and our spa.
After our walk I had a two hour spa treatment consisting of an herbal wrap followed by a massage. After that I no longer knew my own name, let alone what I wanted for dinner, so we went to a Mexican place within walking distance and I had some shrimp. I’ve had better, but the price and location were acceptable, so I’m not complaining.
Tonight we’re unsure just what to do with the rest of the week. We need to be back in Texas no later than Wednesday night in order to be home by Friday night. That means we need to start heading south tomorrow, but we’re having trouble coming up with a plan that we like. The roads that go where we want to go are too small and slow, and the places we want to camp are too hot. We'd rather not retrace our steps, but it's beginning to look like an option. It's either that or spend the next couple days in eastern New Mexico and West Texas, which are two different versions of a similar hell.
We’re both tired, so I guess we’ll sleep on it and see if we have an idea in the morning.