new mexico & colorado

The United States of America

July 22 - august 19, 2007


Driving further west also meant changing altitudes -- climbing over mountain passes, or plummeting into deep caverns. The transition from Texas to New Mexico took Henry and me beneath the earth ... 750 feet/228 meters into the depths of Carlsbad Caverns located just north of the Texas border. New Mexico offered us miles and miles of desert, then high plains plateaus and mountains as we reached Lincoln, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos. Farther north, in Colorado, we crossed the Great Divide twice: the first, over Wolf Creek Pass between Durango and Colorado Springs; then, a second crossing over Independence Pass on our route westward between Colorado Springs and Aspen. Each hairpin turn on these treacherous passes brought exhilarating views that topped out at approximately 12,500 feet in both cases.  The landscape in the west is sensational. Boundless blue skies, tall mountains, wide plateaus, thick forests, and fast running rivers spilling over waterfalls into beautiful lakes all punctuate this extraordinary land. Henry and I had great fun with friends and family here, in both New Mexico and Colorado. The sporting life was at its best, with bicycling and hiking our best sports at hand. As we crossed the “Rockies”, our thoughts drifted to the early days of the west. From this modern perspective, it’s difficult to imagine the challenges faced by the early pioneers as they lumbered across these peaks in covered wagons or on horseback. I am grateful we could conquer these heights in the comfort of our automobile!

PHOTOS: Left Column: 1. A “character” in Albuquerque. His three wheeled bicycle transported him, two dogs, two parrots, and a cockatoo! 2. Durango-Silverton train in Durango, Colorado. 3. Rocky Mountains from the Aspen side of Independence Pass. 4. View from the summit of Independence Pass. Center, Top: St. Francis Church, Santa Fe. Center, Bottom: Taos Inn neon sign. Right Column: 1. Henry, preparing our bicycles for a ride in the mountains around Santa Fe. 2. Henry and Jourdan with Linda and Richard Hunter, friends from Paris and New York, now living in Albuquerque. They met us for dinner in Santa Fe where we dined at the famous Pink Adobe restaurant in the heart of Santa Fe.  3. The plains of Colorado. 4. The mesas of Mesa Verde, Colorado.

JOURDAN ARPELLE-ZIEGLER                                             BACK TO MAP PAGE

The Sangria de Christo & The Rocky Mountains