I got up at 7:00 and went for a run around the area. This time instead of staying by the river, I went back into one of the neighborhoods. I encountered a couple of monster hills, but since I was going to be in the car all day, I told myself it didn’t matter. This might be the only exercise I get all day!
When I got back to the hotel, I took a soak in the mineral waters and spent some time in the steam room. Then it was time to shower, pack, and after some coffee at a coffee shop by the river, we headed south. Our plan was to get into the Black Range by evening. I had wanted to stay at the Black Range Lodge in Kingston for years, so we figured we’d start in that direction and see how things worked out.
We stopped in Chromo to get a picture of an old school that had caught my eye on the drive up.
Ridiculously pretty skies! Too bad I got a part of the car window in this one.
And we stopped for a picnic lunch at Echo Amphitheater—a natural stone formation that is part of the New Mexico state parks system.
The cliff overlooking the amphitheater.
Nice spot for a picnic.
Looking up from inside the stone amphitheater. Speak or clap and you'll get a perfect echo!
Trees can grow anywhere!
It was quite a contrast to get back to the desert after a couple days where everything was so green. We hit temps as high as 100, but I far prefer 100 here in the desert to 85 or 90 back home where it’s so humid your clothes stick to your body.
A key to long car trips is to pack appropriate road food!
A mural on a desert water tower.
We got within sight of the Black Range by 5:00, which was perfect. I had been concerned that we might have to drive through the mountains, which can be pretty scary and dangerous. But all was well, I called and got us a room at The Black Range Lodge, and as I had hoped, we had our pick of rooms in this big old rambling place. It's busier on weekends and in high season, but Monday night is perfect if you want to have the place to yourself.
A building in Kingston, Black Range.
One of our hosts.
So we’re settled in for the night in a cool old B&B in the mountains, and tomorrow we’ll knock around the area a bit and perhaps camp at City of the Rocks, if it’s not too windy.