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Monday, April 14, 2014

24 States in 27 Days - Day 24:

November 2nd, 2012, Friday: Taos in the morning was sunny, but very cold - we woke to ice on the inside of our canopy windows. I was glad I’d worn my pants and long sleeves to bed that night, so the chill of my cold sweater and jacket wasn’t too painful.

Choosing another restaurant our new friend LIndsey recommended, we drove to Rickey’s for breakfast where we enjoyed bottomless coffee, terrific pancakes, bacon and eggs for me, while Brad had an omelet with toast. It was fun to watch the locals bantering with the chef and waitress. We tried to go to the library next for internet access but it didn’t open for another hour, so we parked in the same lot as yesterday and went photo hunting and window shopping, exploring a few shops as they opened. 

We really liked the small town, friendly feel of Taos. 

It warmed up by the time we were finished wandering downtown, so we peeled off our layers at the truck and drove to the library where we spent a few hours charging batteries and checking email. After the library we stopped in a couple of thrift shops and explored a few neighborhoods before heading out of town, north on 522, planning to turn onto hwy. 62. Somehow we missed that turn and again had to backtrack to the correct highway. 

Not too far down hwy. 62 we crossed a incredibly high canyon bridge! Of course we had to stop. It was the Rio Grande river way down at the bottom of this deep canyon. 

We walked out to the middle of the bridge, which was a bit freaky, considering how high we were! Back in the truck we continued north where we discovered a fantastic biotecture community we had to investigate. 

We felt like we’d landed on an alien planet! Oddly we also kept seeing yellow traffic signs with cows - and each sported a space ship sticker! The clouds were otherworldly too. 

As we climbed over the San Juan Mountains we stopped for some sunset photos. 

We knew it was time to start looking for a campsite, but not wanting to freeze up in the mountains we kept going until we dropped down the other side onto hwy. 84/64. On our road map I spotted El Vado campground off to the west, and thinking it wasn’t too far off the highway we headed that way and drove, and drove, dropping in elevation until we said “It’s going to be positively balmy by the time we hit the campground” and right then we saw a sign that said “ICY”! Ha! We were almost ready to turn back when we finally saw a sign to the campground. As we turned onto that road, we both exclaimed at the same time “4 miles?!” Yep, it was another 4 miles further. I’d been counting deer and rabbits the whole way, and by the time we pulled into the actual campsite we’d seen 19 deer and 6 rabbits! It was very dark and quiet at the campground which seemed pretty open and treeless---the little we could see with our truck headlights. We passed a sign that warned not to drive into the lake - whoa, ok! then chose a site near one of the few street lights, paid our fee, and settled in for the night. It was the quietest place we’d slept this whole trip! We were glad to have both down duvets that night. 

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