Only a few centimeters in on the map of New Mexico is the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which gaps an impressive drop in the middle of a vast valley. We didn’t spend much time here but it’s certainly photogenic.
Pretty good brand identity, so far.
As this was just a bridge for driving on, we did our due diligence and drove downward. Next up was Bandelier National Monument, which is a preservation of Puebloan ruins. As it wasn’t dog friendly we didn’t spend much time learning things, we just looked and climbed the authentic Native American ladders that were bolted together with 304 stainless hardware and galvanized pipes.
We used freecampsites.net to locate a service road in the Santa Fe National Forest and hunkered down for the night. Dead trees from recent fires made for an eerie orange sunset.
Our unexpected jewel for this part of the trip was the Valles caldera national preserve. A stunning high-altitude valley with a very small visitor center hosted us for a good hike and run with the pup.
One last stop before Albuquerque we paid $12 to sleep, refill our water, and get yelled at for not leaving the dog on a leash by Cochiti Lake. Also we discovered we forgot our guy-lines for our awning, and that guy-lines are necessary when erecting what is effectively a sail 6 feet in the sky.