I got up at six and went to use the hotel fitness room. The treadmill’s incline control was stuck higher than what I’m used to, so it was a slow run for me. Afterwards, Dan and I had breakfast and coffee, and got loaded up and on the road. The scenery started out dry…
…but quickly went up into forest.
Our first stop was the Bandera volcano and ice cave. Their advertising was a little hokey so we weren’t sure what to expect, but it was pretty cool. The dormant volcano was a short hike from the information center and trading post, and wound through ancient lava fields.
The route to the ice cave passed by a smaller ice cave once used as a natural refrigerator by the property owners.
And the bigger ice cave had ice measured at twenty feet deep. According to the literature, the temperature in the ice cave never goes above 31 degrees.
We finished the ice cave tour with just enough time to get to the Wild Spirit Wolf Sanctuary in time for their 11 o’clock tour. By then the skies were darkening and the temperature was dropping, and as we went inside, a few drops of rain began to fall.
The rain came and went throughout the hour-long tour, and by the time we finished seeing the wolves, learning about their behavior and hearing their stories, the temperatures had dropped into the forties and I was freezing. The tour was so worth a little rain and shivering, though. The sanctuary primarily takes wolves and wolf-dogs that have been raised in captivity and can't be returned to the wild...
...but they also have a coy-dog (part coyote) and a fox.
Our next stop was Zuni Pueblo. When we got there, though, we found they only gave guided tours and the next wasn’t until 3:00. It was 1:30, and not much to do in the area on a cold, rainy day, so we decided to go to the Zuni Bakery instead and head out. The bakery was actually someone’s private home. We had to follow signs down a little alleyway, into a lot in front of a small house with a sign in the window. We went in and found ourselves in a living room, where a Zuni woman sold us our bread.
Then we headed south through changing country and gathering clouds.
We hit rain near Quemado, where we turned east. The rain had let up by the time we reached Pie Town, though, so we stopped in for pie. We had wanted to come here for years, but it’s so far off the beaten path that it hadn’t been possible before now.
We were very happy with our lunch and pie, and bought a whole pie, still bubbling fresh from the oven, to take with us.
The rest of the trip to my dad’s house was pretty uneventful. We drove through plains and mountains, and a rainstorm near the VLA (Very Large Array). Does anyone but me think Very Large Array is a funny name?
We got to my father’s house in Bosque around five and it was nice to be able to settle in for a couple days. We don’t have any particular plans for tomorrow, but since it’s supposed to rain again tomorrow, we might just make it a rest day and keep things low-key. Unless we come up with a better idea, of course.
There's no high-speed internet out here in this little rural town, so I might not be online much for the next couple days. Doing anything is slow.