Anniversary Weekend

On our way to Red River New Mexico for our anniversary, we decided to take in some other scenic spots. Like the Mighty Rio Grande.


Anniversary Weekend

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by MITrujillo on August 7, 2007

If you have never been to the Great Southwest, this is an excellent place to start. Northern New Mexico is vastly different from the picture most people have in their heads. The high desert and mountains are not your typical arid desert clime and are more than worth the trip.

As we made our way north from Santa Fe to Espanola, we passed the "Camel Rock" which is a natural stone formation shaped like the head and body of a camel. You can see it quite clearly from the highway and there is an area to get out of your car and take a closer look. Our trip took us by the Santa Fe Opera house and Flea Market. (A worthwhile weekend stop.)

In Espanola, we elected the scenic route and headed northwest on highway 84. We passed the town of Abiquiu and the famous "Ghost Ranch" where Georgia O'Keeffe painted some of her most beautiful works. It is easy to see how this icon of the art world was enchanted so quickly by the "Land of Enchantment." Not far up the road from Ghost Ranch is the awe inspiring Echo Amphitheater. A natural bandshell carved by the elements inside a rock face. Get out and stand in front of this awesome structure, it's easy to see how it got its name. We kept going north all the way to Tierra Amarilla, close to El Vado and Heron Lakes, and then head east on 64 toward Taos.

The Earthship community springing up along the highway is fascinating. These homes are built in fanciful form, half underground, and running on solar, wind, and other green energies. They have a visitor center so you can learn more about these homes are made. You can even rent them for a night or two, even the one still under construction, and get a real feel for what it takes to build something so unusual. And just beyond this, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

${QuickSuggestions} If you've got the time, don't be afraid to go the "long way around." We did and happened upon some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. Make sure you have snacks and water in your car. And be prepared for the weather to fluctuate as you head into higher elevation. Our final destination of Red River is 8750 feet above sea level. The summer average temperatures fluctuate from a low of 38 to a high of 78. As you go up some of the jeep trails to Greenie and Wheeler peaks, it gets even cooler. Be prepared for rain, (yes in the desert) as the mountains see a lot of it during the monsoon season. Wear comfortable shoes with a good sole so that you can be confident walking over uneven ground. There are lots of places you will want to get out and walk around. And be sure to bring an extra memory card or film for your camera. The landscape cries out for photography. ${BestWay} The drive in is pretty easy, and once you hit Red River, park somewhere central along Main Street and walk. The entire town is one and a half miles long and a quarter mile wide. If you don't want to walk, rent a surrey covered bicycle, a moped, or a scoot car. Mike's Fun place has wheels for your rental convenience and they charge by the hour.

Mountain Shadows Lodge

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by MITrujillo on August 8, 2007

At the very edge of Main Street in Red River is the Mountain Shadows Lodge. Close enough to the hub of town for a short bike ride or moderate stroll, this quaint rustic guesthouse is an absolute treasure. With a variety of room sizes and styles, any type of refuge you require can be yours. We stayed in the Calamity Jane Room (also known as Room number 1) and it was the perfect size for two people. A queen size bed on a wooden cabin-style bed frame and antique washstand gave the room the feel of a family house with generations of treasures. The staff were friendly and helpful and gave us a sheet of helpful reminders about the lodge when we checked in. Other rooms offer several beds and kitchen/dining areas if want to do some of the cooking yourself. The rates were reasonable for the area and season and being away from the very center of Red River kept noise to a minimum. This was a beautiful mountain retreat and we are definitely going back soon.
Mountain Shadows Lodge
P.O. BOX 586
Red River, New Mexico, 87558
(800) 416-5187

Texas Red's

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by MITrujillo on August 8, 2007

They open at 4:30pm for dinner and if I were you, I would already be in line. Texas Reds is the most happening place in Red River at dinner time. This local landmark has been serving the best steaks west of the Mississippi for 30 years. From the complimentary peanuts (shells on the floor please) to the mouthwatering steaks, this is a taste of the Old West flavor in a fast food world. And speaking of fast food, this is not it. Your dinner is prepared for you with love and care. It will be worth the wait, but you will wait. They cut no corners in this restaurant.

Your menu is a newspaper and aside from detailing the delicious fare, you will also learn a little about the history of the town and Texas Red's. Who was Texas Red? How did the original two story restaurant burn down? The answers to these questions and more can be found while you wait for your table. My husband (the Carnivore) and I have voted Texas Reds in Red River NM one of the top two Steakhouses of all our travels. (Try the Rib eye, mmmmmmm......)

Texas Red's
111 E. Main Street
Red River, New Mexico, 87558
(505) 754-2964

Timbers Restaurant

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by MITrujillo on August 8, 2007

Timbers was a great place to eat. Our first night in town, we were caught by the obligatory mountain "monsoon" and jumped into a shop looking for jackets to keep us dry. The girl at the counter cheerfully suggested Timbers when we asked for a good place to eat. We arrived at about 7:30pm on a Friday night and managed to just beat the rush to the door. We were seated in a booth by the main street window, where we could see the ebb and flow of traffic. Timbers has two levels for dining, a small bar area with low tables and TV's and hosts live music and Karaoke on different nights of the week. Friendly staff and rustic decor keep with the consistant theme in this mountain town. The pace is laid back and encourages you to simply enjoy.
Timbers Steakhouse
402 W. Main St.
Red River, New Mexico, 87558
(505) 754-3156

Summer Ski Lift

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by MITrujillo on August 8, 2007

The Red Chair Ski lifts run year round in Red River. The Base of the lift is located behind the go-kart track. At $11 per person, it's not a bad deal for a one hour trip. The peak is 10,750 ft above sea level and it takes half an hour to get there. You can only see 20% of the lift from the starting point. I am not in love with heights in general, but the views were amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Red River Ski Area
400 Pioneer Road
Red River, New Mexico, 87558
(505) 754-2223

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