As we entered northern New Mexico on our way to Albuquerque to visit friends, we received word that, sadly, our friends had to cancel our visit. We’re very sorry to miss them. Now, at this point in our trip we really are heading for Vermont, so rather than continuing south to Albuquerque, we looked around for a place where we could stop for the night and consider route options.
The nearest campground was called Angel Peak. It was a few miles up a dirt road, run by the Bureau of Land Management, and it was free. And it was… Wow!
Who knew there were badlands in northwest New Mexico? What appears to be endless flat terrain is actually a maze of invisible soft sandstone canyons of every color imaginable eroded into spires, ridges, pyramids, hoodoos and other cool formations sunken into the flat mesas. The campground was a tiny spot on a dirt road perched on the rim of the canyon making the canyon, and Angel Peak, completely visible. It was so beautiful, and such a nice place to chill, we stayed 2 days…
We rerouted our return through St Louis to visit my aunt and uncle. We set a course (Google Maps again…) which suggested a route along the northern edge of New Mexico which we’d not yet seen, and a tiny speck of Texas.
Northern New Mexico has many personalities. We wandered along the badlands, and the Rio Grande Gorge, through a mountain pass near Taos, down through the steep and narrow New England-like Cimarron Canyon and out into the flat plains of northeastern New Mexico.
Our route continued through the Rita Blanca National Grasslands which comprises corners of three states – New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma – and redefines the meaning of flat plains. We found another convenient, free campsite in the Texas portion of the park, about 10 miles from New Mexico and 9 miles from Oklahoma. And now we’ve been to Texas!