|We were unable to find a place to park and take the shuttle down to see the Bandolier ruins today, so we just got on the road early and headed out. Our destination today was the town of Farmington, New Mexico, and our route was through the Jemez Mountains, and then northwest another 100 miles. The drive was scenic and interesting.
The first hour we were driving through the Bandolier National Monument grounds, but we emerged onto the Valles Caldera National Preserve - and were soon at a turnout which overlooked the immense and awe inspiring caldera. As we took pictures and read the signs we realized that the huge valley we were seeing was only a fraction of the whole caldera, and that it extended far beyond the mountain tops we were seeing in the distance. Now we were really in awe!
While we were there we engaged in two interesting conversations, one with a man from Alaska who was visiting his son who lived in Los Alamos, and the other with a man who stopped to see the elk and who we learned had retired from the Los Alamos Lab a few years ago. New Mexico is like Newfoundland, Canada in the respect that you don’t want to say ‘hello’ to anyone unless you are ready and willing to be engaged in at least a half an hour of conversation. Everyone is that friendly, and the conversations are ones that once you get into them, you find yourself wishing they could just go on and on.
We finally tore ourselves away, and continued on to our destination, arriving in Farmington by late afternoon and stopping for the night at a quaint place called the Mom and Pop RV Park. This will be our last night in New Mexico and we are surely going to miss it!