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On the road again ... NM and AZ

Discussion in 'Wanderlust and Travel' started by Minuteman3, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. One of the main reasons we took the route we did was to spend some extra time in New Mexico and Arizona. We still had a lot of ground to cover, but we did make a couple of longer stops.

    The first was a brief stop in Las Vegas, New Mexico. My wife and I are both super fans of the Netflix series "Longmire." Although set in Wyoming, all six seasons were filmed in and around Santa Fe. The main character is sheriff Walt Longmire of Absaroka County, Wyoming, and the sheriff's "office" is in a historic building in Las Vegas, NM, and the door remains. (By the way, there's an excellent series of novels by Craig Johnson that was the basis for the TV show. Great reads if you are interested.)

    Sheriff's Office.jpg
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    The series has finished up, and sure enough, no one was home.

    Another locale from the series is the home of the Sheriff Walt Longmire. It's located in Valles Caldera National Preserve and that whole area is simply stunning and well worth the drive!!

    The cabin used for the exteriors of "Walt's home" ...

    Walt's House.jpg
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    And what he "saw" from his front porch ...

    Walt's House (1).jpg
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    Valles Caldera.jpg
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    Every time I saw his "home" in the show, I always thought to myself ... what would it be like to live in such a place and see this every day? The preserve is a beautiful and peaceful spot far enough off the main tourist routes that it remains virtually untouched. Well worth the drive.

    Next, my wife had requested a stop at Four Corners, the only place in the USA where 4 states touch (AZ, NM, CO, UT.)

    Four Corners.jpg
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    Interestingly, this is now a Navajo tribal Park and there's a $5 a head entrance fee. Also a bunch of vendors selling native crafts. My wife got a very nice bangle here.

    Finally, we spent the night in Monument Valley at the View Hotel, which is a wonderful place to enjoy the valley. My wife calls Monument Valley my "happy place" and she may be right. This is my second visit and we hope to return again.

    Since we had our truck, we decided to venture out on our own and we were not disappointed.

    Forrest Gump Point (actually about 25 miles from the main park area)
    Monument Valley (1).jpg
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    The main overlook near the hotel. Also the locale of a 1958 Ansel Adams shot that I tried to emulate.
    Monument Valley_128-Edit.jpg
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    My wife caught me at "work" ...
    Monument Valley (2).jpg
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    Nightime, around midnight. Also my first attempt at catching stars. I was only partially successful as the images are all a bit fuzzy. It was windy that night and although I tried to keep the tripod steady, I must have not been very good at it. Also, my angles were restricted by the presence of a full moon just to camera right. I could have come back around 3am, but we had an additional 400 miles to cover that day so I choose sleep instead!!

    Monument Valley_394_DxO.jpg
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    Our wake up call on the morning we left ...

    Monument Valley_438 - Version 2.jpg
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    Monument Valley (3).jpg
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    This image is currently my desktop on my iMac retina and it's really stunning!!

    I have many more images to work on, but these will give you a flavor of what we saw.

    One final group coming up for the last leg of our trip.

  2. JusPlainCrayzee

    JusPlainCrayzee Administrator Administrator

    Wowww - these are wonderful, Ken! What a trip! Seriously - after seeing these, I just want to jump in my car and just drive... Well done!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Thanks, Lyndee

    We do love to travel by car, but my wife and I agreed on the way home that this is the last time for a coast-to-coast trip. A couple of days is our new limit!!

    Although I do hope to get back to Monument Valley at least one more time. I'd like to stay two or three nights as there's a escorted trip to one of the mesa's where you get a terrific overview of the entire valley that I want to experience.

  4. Very nice, Ken, and it brings back memories. During my 1.5 years in Los Alamos in the early 90s we passed Valles Caldera many times, but it was private land then. I much envied the rich Texas ranchers who brought their cattle up there to graze in the summer and lived in that nice ranch house set back in the Ponderosa Pines.

    Now it's public land and I had an interesting adventure there a few years ago fishing for trout in one of the tiny streams that run through the caldera.

    I've also visited Las Vegas a couple of times. It's an interesting old town and my brother's former wife grew up there. I'd never heard of the Netflix series, however.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ken, had no idea that show was filmed down that way. Beautiful photos from your trip. Those. Shots of monument valley are stunning. That’s a lot of driving. Haven’t been down that direction in about 20 years, I had work going on Sandia and Los Alamos and was spending quite a bit of time there. Loved the area, we considered retiring in Santa Fe.
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  6. A trip well worth it, and one to remember. Keep those pictures coming.
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  7. kilofoxtrott

    kilofoxtrott European Ambassador Moderator

    Dec 29, 2011
    Tettnang, Germany
    Ken, I was there in 1998, travelling Rt.66.
    I remember standing at the parking lot of the Monument Valley, seeing the three famous rocks.
    I was desperately searching that two "big" rocks in the front... :confused: :) :wideyed: .

    But I got nearly the same picture after a while.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. John Ossmann

    John Ossmann

    Jul 10, 2018
    Very nice. Places I hope to visit some day.
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  9. Very nice set Ken. Thanks for sharing.
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