Today we drove the Enchanted Circle from Questa to Red River to Eagle Nest to Taos & back to Questa. It was a beautiful drive with the fall colors but it would be beautiful in any season. We can see the tailings from the Chevron Mining molybdenum mine/mill from our rv park in Questa but we saw it up close on our drive. They closed the mine/mill in 2014 & it's now a Superfund cleanup site. The mine/mill employed a lot of people who lived in Questa & it really hurt the town when it closed.
We stopped in Red River to check out a few shops. They were putting up tents in the park for a Music Fest this weekend. The drive between Red River & Eagle Nest was beautiful. We drove thru the small shops area of Eagle Nest but didn't stop. Then we passed Eagle Nest Lake State Park as we headed on to Angel Fire.
Friends at Riverbend Resort recommended that we stop at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial outside Angel Fire. We thought it would just be a monument - boy were we wrong. Doc Westphall, his son & volunteers built the Peace & Brotherhood Chapel as a memorial to Doc's son, David Westphall, who was killed in Vietnam. In 1982 the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) assumed ownership. In 1985 the DAV broke ground on the visitor center & in 2009-10 it was completely renovated. In 1998 the DAV withdrew support & returned ownership to the David Westphall Veterans Foundation & in 2004 it became the Vietnam Veterans Memorial - the only state park in New Mexico that doesn't charge a fee. A condition of the transfer to the State of NM requires the chapel to remain open 24 hours a day. The chapel is an austere space with seating in front of a cross where people leave memorial gifts. The visitor center is very informative &, while neither of us served in Vietnam, seemed to give us the feeling of what our troops experienced during their time there. It would surely be very moving for someone who served there.
Since we've been to Taos several times, we didn't stop there today. We had never driven out to the Taos Ski Valley so we decided to check that out. It's quite a drive out of Taos - but it was a beautiful drive. We were disappointed when we got to the ski area because we weren't able to drive into the village - it was blocked off. Evidently it closes during the summer & isn't open yet for the season. So, back down to Taos & then on to our home in Questa. It was a beautiful drive around the Enchanted Circle.
Still a couple of days here so, more later...