Wednesday, March 7, 2007

New Mexico

I am finally recovering from my time out of town and had a few minutes to post a few highlights of our trip to New Mexico. My husband and I love to go camping and at least once a year we plan a big trip usually in May but this year we could only go the last week in February (his spring break) so we decided to head south. Little did we know that much of New Mexico was in the mountains and at a high elevation so even though it is south, it is still cold! But we had a blast anyway and the sun shone everyday which warmed us up a bit :)
We decided to take the train since we had never done that before and it seemed like a relaxing way to travel across country.

So the story starts at Union Station in Chicago.

We arrive in Albuquerque, NM a day later...

and make our way to Bandelier National Monument which is north of Sante Fe. This park was founded because of the Pueblo Ruins that were discovered there. It was very exciting to walk around and feel the energy of that place knowing it has been thousands of years since anyone lived here, yet their ceremonial sites were well preserved.

Brian concentrating on the road while I enjoy the mountain views :)

We stumbled upon a ranch whose name speaks for itself! ;)

We stopped at some more ruins at the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument which are some of the oldest church sites in the country.

Then off to the White Sands National Monument. I was most excited to come here having heard some friends talk about it a couple of years was a beautiful and simple place. Mountains on the outsides, white sand everywhere, and a few plants able to withstand the harsh conditions. The Soaptree yucca is mostly bent over from the strong winds that shape and constantly change this environment.

Our last night camping in the Valley of Fire State Park, we had a little shelter and I noticed it broke the sky between last bit of dusk to the night sky above with the first star of the night shining bright.

Our last night before getting back on the train, we decided to spend the day in Sante Fe and then stay at the Ten Thousand Waves Spa which I wish I had pictures of but just before I went to shoot we realized that our train was leaving in 1.5 hours and we were an hour away from the station so needless to say, I didn't have time :( We BARELY made it to the train on time, 5 minutes before departure...and we were running! Train travel is not like a plane, our next train didn't leave until Tuesday! Anyway, that spa was incredible, very open and natural environment and I will definitly be going back.

Back on the train and waking up in Kansas City where my new friends and excellent photographers Tyler Wirken and Becca Spears live...

The train did prove to be a fun and laid back way to travel. You can sit and enjoy the country while you read a book or talk to new people. We met many interesting and fun people on the train and we will definitly do it again.

It was fun to get lost in the outdoors for a bit but it is good to be home again too...



Mark Adams | LaCour said...

Your photos make we want to drop what I'm doing and go venture out West. Thanks for sharing!

emilie said...

Fun! Looks like you had a great week. Love your b&w sand pics. I crave a book-reading train experience... looked so relaxing!

Ray said...


Glad you took the trip. NM is special to me as I explored almost the entire state a couple of years ago. Awesome stuff. See you in Vegas!