Images from our trip to Texas and New Mexico, April 13-24, 2016.
Click to enlarge, read captions and view slideshow.
The annual, four-day Downtown Fort Worth Arts Festival is one of the largest art festivals in the country.
Across Texas, Big Bend was our first National Park of the trip. Here are Lechuguilla plants post-bloom.
Our Big Bend lodging was in Chisos Basin. Not a bad porch for relaxing.
Big Bend hosts more species of birds (450) than any other National Park. Birdwatchers flock from all over to see species like this Scott’s Oriole.
The V-shaped “Window” frames views out to the Chihuahuan Desert below.
We hiked a 14-mile route from the basin to the South Rim. Here we look back toward our lodge during the 2,000 foot ascent.
View from the south rim over the southern Chisos Mountains. Mexico is in the distance.
The Boot rock formation lends its name to Boot Canyon.
The moon rises next to Casa Grande Peak.
We crossed the Rio Grande into Mexico at the Boquillas crossing at the southern edge of the park.
Burros wait to take guests to the town of Boquillas del Carmen.
We don’t always go to Mexico, but when we do, we ride in on burros.
We enjoyed a tour with our guide Esteban and lunch while in Boquillas del Carmen, Mexico
Mexico on the left, USA on the right. Chisos Mountains rise on the horizon.
Big Bend stables in Terlingua offers a great two-hour sunset ride. Mannie and Indio were our trusty horses.
Riding into the sunset with our guide, Kellie.
Santa Elena Canyon’s walls tower 1,500 feet over the Rio Grande. Neil is at lower right for scale.
Beautiful morning sun rays over the Castolon formation (center right).
Chisos Mountains in the clouds viewed from our picnic spot at Sam Nail Ranch.
We stopped overnight in Marfa, Texas to take in some art and small town charm.
Vintage car parked in Marfa. The artist Donald Judd’s arrival in the 1970s transformed this sleepy town into a minimalist art Mecca.
Prada Marfa is a quirky attraction along highway 90 outside of Marfa, Texas.
Approaching the imposing El Capitan peak of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Guadalupe Peak is shrouded in clouds at the moment.
Climbing the 4.25 mile, 3,000 ft elevation to the top of Guadalupe Peak.
Summit of Guadalupe Peak, elevation 8,749ft, the highest point in Texas.
View from Guadalupe Peak. The back of El Capitan is in the foreground.
We signed into the Guadalupe Peak trail register and left our calling card.
On the way back down we encountered several deer at close range.
The entrance to the big cave at Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
King’s Palace ranger-guided tour at Carlsbad. This is 850 feet below the surface.
The “eternal kiss” formation (left foreground) in King’s Palace.
Carlsbad Caverns is one of the most ornately decorated caves in the world. Here is a selection of stalactites.
The big room is one of the largest cavern spaces on Earth. These formations are six stories tall.
We arrived at White Sands National Monument in time to join the nightly ranger-led and educational “Sunset Stroll”.
Sunset over the San Andres Mountains at White Sands.
Along the five-mile Alkali Flat trail.
Beautiful picnic shelters at White Sands.
Neil’s dad and uncle in 1958. Neil and Nick 2016.
Valley of Fires National Recreation area protects one of the most recent lava flows in the continental United States. A short nature trail was a nice place to stretch our legs on the way to Santa Fe.
Bandelier National Monument protects the settlements of the Ancestral Puebloan people. This is Tyuonyi Pueblo.
Climbing 140 feet of ladders to reach Alcove House.
Alcove House. Many who settled in the area were believed to have come from settlements further north like Mesa Verde.
Santa Fe’s central square is great for people watching and taking in the Southwestern atmosphere.
We enjoyed a post-hike lunch at La Plazuela, in the historic La Fonda hotel, an original Harvey House property.
A ’59 Bel Air drove by for a perfect photo op.
The Palace of Governors (1610) is the oldest continuously used public building in the United States.
Loreto Chapel is home to the “miraculous staircase” which does two full spirals with no central support and no nails.
Santa Fe has many “first” and “oldest” claims. San Miguel Mission is the oldest church in the country.
High kick in front of New Mexico’s state capitol, which contains an extensive collection of New Mexican art.
The art collective Meow Wolf has a huge interactive installation in an old bowling alley called The House of Eternal Return. It’s not easily described but it’s a must-see.
Our journey home started at the Amtrak station in Lamy, New Mexico.
Enjoying the view through Glorieta Pass, New Mexico.
We loved dining with an ever-changing view.
Our small but functional “roomette” gave us a comfortable place to watch the scenery pass by. A car attendant converts the space to bunk beds at night.
Three new national parks, two national monuments and one national recreation area. We’ve now been to 41 of the 59 national parks.
This entry was posted in High Kick Photos
and tagged Amtrak Southwest Chief
, bandelier national monument
, Big bend national park
, Carlsbad caverns national park
, Guadalupe mountains national park
, Guadalupe Peak Trail
, Meow Wolf
, New Mexico Road Trip
, Santa Fe
, Texas road trip
, white sands national monument
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