Monday, July 20, 2015

Choosing our own adventure in New Mexico.

Our first task in New Mexico was to plan our camp stays. We found a really helpful map that showed locations of all the state parks and listed activities (camping, fishing, boating, etc) that each offered.

it even folded into a small pocket-sized rectangle -
our handy road atlas definitely did not do that

The cover of the map had a logo proclaiming New Mexico as the "Official Sponsor of Adventure" (it's trademarked and everything). This was a bit surprising - the words "adventure tourism" raise images of canyon swinging in Queenstown or mountain biking around Moab, right? New Mexico isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind, at least not during the summer months.

We may not have gone white water rafting or ATVing, but after hiking about 18 miles which included crossing about 18 "natural bridges" over fairly rapid and deep creeks, we're now in agreement... Adventure abounds in New Mexico!

the first of many

slightly less stable

real bridges once existed in some areas...

... before they got washed out

balance helps...

... balance sticks help more ...

... walking sticks help most

ummmm... now what?


hoping all those tree poses pay off





Somehow we managed to keep our feet dry the whole time, too. (Hush, you Kiwis who would've just stomped through the creek, boots and all. My boots never smelled the same after that adventure! I didn't want the same fate for my new Keens.)

In fact the only normal bridges we ran across during our northern New Mexico hikes were the ones on the Oeste Vista trail near Angel Fire. The creek is absolutely tiny but there's a giant golf resort across the street from the trailhead... which probably explains the well-maintained water crossings.

note: no golf carts allowed

New Mexico: not just for powderhounds. Now you know!


  1. Looks like a great time - The river crossing would intimidate me a bit though!

    1. Haha - yes, what you don't see from the pictures is me sighing heavily and crossing my fingers every time I stepped off the trail... The views were worth it though!

  2. As a kid, my dad used to take me hiking in the backwoods all the time, and crossing water on wet, wiggly deadfalls was one of my least favorite things to do. Looks like had a ton of fun though!

    1. Patrick had a ton of fun! I tolerated the river crossings but I did love the views. :)

  3. I'd say crossing 18 of those natural bridges counts as adventure for sure!

  4. I've never been to New Mexico so I probably shouldn't be surprised that your pictures look nothing like what I would have imagined NM to look like (in my mind, it looks like Arizona....). But those hikes look like great fun!

    1. I know, Melinda! I had no idea about Taos and that whole mountain range in the northern part of the state. I expected it all to be flat and brown. Such a lovely surprise!

  5. What an adventure of crossings, very dramatic obstacles for a hike!

  6. woah... woah... slow down there, maestro. there's a NEW mexico?!

    1. Hahaha... Mr Burns would not like it there.