(Elena Writing) This morning we attended the Rodeo Road Baptist Church in Santa Fe. It’s a fairly young church but growing rapidly and now already adding on to their present building. The congregation was very friendly. The pastor and his family were away to Colorado. The message was delivered by a lay person who did a good job.
We left Santa Fe early this afternoon toward Bandelier National Monument via north on US-85, west on SR-502, then south on SR-4. When we reached the entrance, we were disappointed to learn that the campground was closed for renovation. So we continued driving south on S-4 through the Santa Fe National Forest enjoying the beauty of the land. We decided to checkout the campground at Jemez Falls (about 8000’ elevation) for the next time we’re in the area. The only loop that was still open had a few campers. It was a nice campground.
Leaving Bandelier NM at about 6,600’ elevation the highway climbs and winds very quickly to a little over 9,000’ – that was a good workout for Hercules (our Avalanche).
Still driving on S-4 we drove through the Valles Caldera National Preserve and the quaint town of Jemez Springs on the Jemez Indian Reservation. It’s located in a valley surrounded by very beautiful rich red mountain cliffs. There were several Native Americans selling food at roadside stands. We stopped and shared a very delicious Indian Fry Bread.
We continued south on SR-4 to San Ysidro, NM and then northwest on US-550. SR-4 is not marked as a “scenic route on the AAA map but it should be – it was a very beautiful drive. US-550 between San Ysidro and Cuba, NM is marked as a scenic route and it, too, is very scenic. This is a very sparsely populated area. Nearly all the land seems to be part of one of the several Indian Reservations we crossed or is federally owned land. We seldom saw any homes and there are almost no paved roads leading off the highways we traveled.
A few miles west of Cuba, NM we reached the Continental Divide and noticed a large turnout where trucks can park. It was getting quite late in the afternoon so we decided to spend the night here – right on top of the Continental Divide at 7,379’.