New Mexico, 13th - 18th October 2013

Having made it successfully over three steep and winding mountain pass roads from Colorado into New Mexico, we were alarmed when a loud bang emanated from Harvey's engine and something small and dark shot out from under the bonnet and hurtled down the road. Slamming the brakes on, we made an emergency stop at the side of the fortunately deserted country road we were on and Christine jogged back up the road to see if the missile could be located.

Moments later she returned, the now slightly battered oil filler cap in hand. Apparently after checking the engine oil, Phil had omitted to put the cap back on the engine and by some miracle the errant cap had managed too cling onto whatever it was lying on over the three mountains and around all the hairpin bends before finally, after about 150 miles, transforming itself into the airborne missile. Even more miraculously, a look under the bonnet revealed that all was well beneath and the cap was hurriedly replaced with only a few battle scars to show for its adventure!

San Juan River, New Mexico.

We were headed for the San Juan River, located in a remote spot of northern New Mexico. We'd never heard of the river but Phil's fishing app listed the fly-fishing as currently “hot”, so it was time to track it down. After an informative stop at the local fly shop to find out which flies were working, we set up camp beside the river in the state park, where we were glad to be supplied with electricity, with the nights being decidedly chilly.

We spent three delightful days on the river, Phil fishing whilst Christine hiked and enjoyed the wildlife.

Curious “ET Rock” in the San Juan River

Resident Osprey

During one hike, Christine had the strangest sensation that, out of the corner of her eye she may have spotted a mountain lion, also known as a cougar. Nervous hiking alone, she hurried back to the safety of Harvey-the RV, hoping that if she hadn't imagined it, the predator would be out of the area by the time the fisherman returned.

Several hours later Phil returned and happened to comment, “You know, I had the strangest feeling that there was a cougar somewhere nearby when I was walking.” Yikes!


Fishing the San Juan River

One of many caught on a tiny fly.

The trail where we “imagined” a cougar


Full moon midday.

By way of a contrast our next destination was to be the city of Santa Fe, popular with tourists and the arty set alike. Unkeen on driving Harvey into the city centre, we set up camp at Walmart on the outskirts of the city and hopped on the local bus to reach downtown.

Christine was eager to visit the Georgia O'Keefe museum where she hoped to view many of O'Keefe's famous desert landscapes. The museum was impressive but we were disappointed to find that the desert landscapes were out on loan in Phoenix and not on display. The works on display were from periods of her life when she lived elsewhere.

After our culture fix, we spent a few delightful hours strolling around the picturesque city, enjoying the New Mexico style adobe architecture. We visited the State Capitol building, which boasted an impressive art collection on several floors.

Scenes from Santa Fe

The impressive State Capitol Building

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