Friday, July 16, 2010


We have spent the past several weeks in The Land of Enchantment, enjoying the high desert, mountains and crisp, cool air!

Our first stop was in Raton, NM, where we lived when we were first married. This flag is at the top of Goat Hill and the sign is lighted at night so travelers might find their way there.

Raton Pass which is located just north of the town center had been used by Spanish explorers and Indians for centuries to cut through the rugged Rocky Mountains, but the trail was too rough for wagons on the Santa Fe Trail.
Raton was founded at the site of Willow Springs, a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. The original 320 acres for the Raton townsite were purchased from the Maxwell Land Grant in 1880. In 1879, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway bought a local toll road and established a busy rail line. Raton quickly developed as a railroad, mining and ranching center for the northeast part of the New Mexico territory, as well as the county seat and principal trading center of the area. This is where Frank and I lived when he got out of dental school and here you see out first apartment.

It was very cold in the winter, so in order to save money, we would turn the heat off at 6:00 p.m. right after dinner, go to bed and snuggle under an electric blanket to keep warm. Those are the kind of things that make good memories!
We arrived just after lunch at our favorite Raton "hangout", Bearadise, and started on our vacation. We always leave home no later than 3 a.m. in order to avoid the heavy traffic in the Metroplex (Frank's idea ... NOT mine!)

We spent a great deal of our time in Raton doing absolutely nothing but sitting on the couch, watching movies on the TV and relaxing. A good way to start a vacation.

Our good friends who own this guest house, Beverly and Larry, were in town only one day and then they left for Las Cruces as their daughter, Lisa, was graduating from medical school.
Bev and I have been friends for nearly 1/2 century and it's always good to get together with her.

Her husband, Larry, is not only Frank's fishing buddy, but also runs in very lofty circles. He's a scientist and spends a lot of time in D.C. as well as Europe and Russia. It's good to have friends who have friends in high places :-)

That first evening we went to Trinidad, Colorado which is just over the pass to Cougar Canyon Resort for dinner.

We had crab legs and made a complete mess of ourselves and the table, but they were delicious. There's nothing better than too much butter!

We reminisced about all the times we had driven over Raton Pass to go to different restaurants and clubs when we were young. We had so much fun back then and still do!
That night after we had gone to bed, we heard a noise and discovered that there was a bear outside (they didn't name our place Bearadise for nothing!) The bears love to visit the "big house" at the top of the hill where Bev and Larry live, but now they have decided to come and visit us.
A couple of years ago when we were there I photographed one of the uninvited "visitors". When Frank found out that I had done this he was furious. He said, "And just exactly what would you have done if the bear decided to run after you?", and I told him that I had a plan. I was going to go into the garage with my trusty Nikon and pull down the door. I had no idea that bears could be so fast. He said that the bear would have probably been inside the garage waiting for me and we would have been closed in there together! So much for my plan. At any rate, here are a couple of the shots that I took. I guess that it was worth the risk.

You can see where Frank had been cooking the night before! I've never been very comfortable in their wonderful yard since that experience. I'm always waiting for that uninvited guest!

Several days later, a bear tried to get into the big house. Here are some photos that they took right after we had left for Santa Fe. Their dog, McKenzie, is having a fit and I would have been having one as well if I'd been there. Talk about the Wild West!

Stay tuned ... more adventures and much more excitement to come!
XOXO, Pcasso


Nancy Standlee said...

Enjoyed the post about your travels so much. I think I ate at Bear restaurant in Raton on your recommendation.

Pcasso said...

No Bear Restaurant there. Must have been somewhere else. We could have barbecued the one at our door, however! More travels tomorrow and then on the Santa Fe for new adventures! Glad you're enjoying it.

Anonymous said... look great!

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