June 10, 2022 Questa, NM Day 4

We got up and did our usual morning routine. We had plans to do the rest of the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway Drive today. There is a string of villages along this part of the drive.

We left at 10:00 for our 12-mile drive to Red River on Highway 38. This is the eastern side of the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway.

Right away, we noticed a huge difference in scenery compared to the other half of the drive we took yesterday. This drive would take us through the canyon and along the Red River and up and over the mountains.

We were warned to watch out for Bighorn Sheep again.

We came upon this pretty lake in the National Forest Day Use Area just outside of Questa.

We started our climb through the canyon. It was beautiful!

This area is officially called the Red River Valley located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There are a lot of National Forest Campgrounds along this route.

That Bighorn Sheep Warning was for real this time. We actually came upon 3 different groups of Bighorn Sheep grazing along the road. How great is that?

Around the corner, we got our first glimpse of the Questa Mine up close. It is massive!

We saw more Bighorn Sheep along the road again and a young one playing in the rocks.

We arrived in Red River at an elevation of 8,650 ft.

Fire restrictions are in effect everywhere. It’s serious business. There is a ban on open burning, outdoor fires, smoking outdoors, use of outside stoves, chimineas, or charcoal barbeques, except for gas-propane stoves and barbeques. Chainsaws are prohibited. Many of the National Forest Campgrounds and Day Use areas are totally closed. You see signs everywhere. We drove slowly through Red River looking at everything.

The Red River Ski HIll was visible and the ski lift was running.

Shotgun Willies was a place our camping neighbors told us about. We could smell the Bar-B-Que as we drove by.

This cute little bench was made of old skis.

Red River Brewing Company looked interesting to stop at on the way back.

This place was another recommendation from our neighbors. It was Texas Red’s Steakhouse and Love Lost Saloon, but they didn’t open until 4:00.

Red River started out as a summer hot spot and once they introduced skiing it became a year-round destination. There was horseback riding and off-road vehicle rentals, among other things. Red River has an old west feel.

There was tons of lodging–from motel to hotel to cabins. There were lots of beaufiful A-frame log homes nestled in the hillsides.

We made plans on our return drive to stop in somewhere in town to quench our thirst. From Red River, we continued on a steady climb to Bobcat Pass. Bob was getting a liitle nervous about the drive, but there was little to no traffic, plenty of pull-offs, and high guard rails.

We entered the Carson National Forest again as we continued the climb.

We arrived at Bobcat Pass, with an elevation of 9,820 ft.

There were quite a few mountain lakes up there.

Baldy Mountain, elevation 12,441 ft., stood above us.

There was a huge, high meadow up there with farms and ranches scattered around. It was gorgeous.

Once we reached the top, we started our descent.

We came down into the town of Eagle’s Nest. What a cool name for a town! From above, we could see Eagle’s Nest Lake which was located in Eagle’s Nest State Park.

There were lots of things to do in the park.

We drove in to get a closer look at the lake.

It was a perfect day for boating and playing in the lake. There were a few people on the lake fishing and kayaking.

We sat for a bit and enjoyed the view.

We drove on towards the town of Angel Fire (I like that name, too.) Wheeler Peak, the tallest peak in New Mexico at 13,167 ft., was the only one with snow still on it.

As we came into Angel Fire, we saw a man standing near the Veterans Memorial Park waving at people and there was smoke coming from the grassy area where he stood. That was a very curious!

We drove on and could see the Angel Fire Ski HIll.

One of our goals was to find the Angel Fire RV Resort that we read about.

Someone spent a lot of money here. It was definitely deluxe with huge, paved sites and nice landscaping.

We went in and drove around. They have an indoor pool and outdoor hot tub.

We couldn’t find what function this building had, but it was big. Maybe it was a conference facility.

We googled this RV park and found the nightly fees ranging from $95-$113 a night depending on what kind of a view you have in the campground. This is as far as we were planning to go on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway today because the next stop was Taos and we had been there yesterday. So, we headed back the way we came. As we got nearer to the Veterans Memorial Park in the town of Angel Fire, we saw more smoke and lots of flashing lights.

As we got closer, we saw the fire department and other people there helping to put out the fire.

This was a community effort.

Quite a bit of the brush had burned and was blackened, but at least they caught it in time before it got out of control.

That was pretty scary and a harsh reality for the people who live in the dry climate here. We have come to appreciate what these people have to deal with on a regular basis. We had a nice drive back through the mountains to Red River. We could see it in the valley as we descended into the town.

We got back to Red River and stopped at the Bull of the Woods Saloon for a cold drink. It was a very cool place with a ton of seating inside and outside.

After we enjoyed our cold beer, we finished up our Enchanted Circle Scenic Drive.

We returned to Questa around 2:00 and sat outside at our campsite listening to the robins and the river with Auggie. Auggie truly enjoyed his time outside and sat perched, listening to the sounds in the woods.

We had dinner and took our walk around the trout pond. We watched some TV and took it easy after a great day on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway.

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