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February 2016 Tom Ford Quote

New Mexico
The last edition of the Sunshine State of Mind had my riding pals and I trekking up and down the Turquoise Trail. After Wolf and I met up with Chazz, we headed to Madrid, New Mexico for pix and chow. After a sumptuous meal, Wolf led us on a spectacular ride. One of our destinations was an area along the Rito de los Frijoles.

As many of you know, the Rio Grande is a natural boundary between the United States of America and Mexico. What may be new to some is the Rio Grande begins as a clear spring and snow-fed mountain stream. The Rio Bravo, as the Mexicans call it, originates in the Rio Grande National Forest, San Juan County, Colorado. At the Continental Divide, some 12,000 feet above sea level, The Rio Grande begins its almost 1,900 miles journey to the Gulf of Mexico, near Brownsville, Texas. It is at El Paso that the river begins as an international boundary.

From US-285 at Pojoaque, New Mexico, NM-502 West will take you across the Rio Grande. Turn onto NM-4 and get ready for a windy, picturesque ride that has a very high wow factor. If the sun is not out you may have a difficult time knowing if you’re going east, west, north or south. Not to worry. Soon you will see the turn-off for the Entrance Road. Along this road you encounter the Camera Overlook. As its name suggests, it is a great time to park and snap a few photos. Then proceed until you cannot ride any more and you’ll find yourself at the Bandelier National Monument. We have arrived. Park your bike and prepare yourself for a little stroll.

Palo Duro Canyon

The Rito de los Frijoles River – which feeds into the Rio Grande River – runs along this last section of NM-4 through the Rito de los Frijoles Canyon.

There are more things to do for the adventurous, nature lover than I can fit into several articles. The Bandelier National Monument is one of the many jewels in New Mexico. There are some of the most unusual and interesting ancient ruins in the Southwest. It is possible to discover petroglyphs and pictographs in pueblos carved into steep cliffs through narrow canyons.

Conveniently located Frijoles Canyon Lodge, a historic, Spanish pueblo-style residence constructed in the 1930s, can be a tranquil spot to rest your weary bones after a long ride. Facilities include a visitor center, museum, bookstore, gift shop and snack bar. The main ruins are but a short walk upstream, the Frijoles Falls a short distance downstream and wandering west will take you to an unspoiled wilderness. If you’re looking for a little more luxury, there are hotels in Los Alamos (12 miles), Espanola (26 miles) and Santa Fe (40 miles).

Well Buckaroos, once again, out of room. Next month I’ll take you to a caldera that is a temporary home for migrating animals passing through New Mexico.

Until then;
ride often, ride hard and ride safe, but mostly ... Ride em if ya go em 2016!

Greetings from Wolf & Chazz
Wolf and Chazz

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