Well actually we are headed NW, passing Villanueva, El Pueblo, San Miguel, crossing the Pecos River a couple of times.
The landscape is once again changing, with hidden ranch’s amongst a very green landscape and red rock cliffs.
With Clancy in tow, we are headed for Manitou Springs. Others have headed for Deadwood, the Turquoise Trail or back to Australia today.
Our first stop would take us into Las Vegas, NM where a brief trip into the Rough Riders Antiques store saw Clancy buy a gorgeous silver barrette and my score was a nickel silver Mexican hat pin that simply was just too unique to pass up.
We found that the Castenada Hotel is now open with 7 rooms and the bar for afternoon drinks. The ceiling, floors, windows are still original and yet there is still a lot of work to be done in getting the rest of the Hotel open. I look forward to a future visit to see her in all her glory!
Oh, and my fascination with the Castenada? She was the first Fred Harvey track-side hotel built in East Las Vegas that fed and watered passengers who journeyed the Santa Fe railway routes. When it opened in 1899 Teddy Roosevelt held a reunion of his Rough Riders here. The Rough Riders Museum just up the street is closed Monday’s but we did get to visit it last year.
As per the brochure (and having read the Harvey Girls book) Fred Harvey civilised the west. He developed and ran all the hotels and restaurants of the Santa Fe Railway, eventually controlling a hospitality empire that spanned the continent. He introduced linen, silverware, China, crystal and impeccable service to railroad travel.
We made a stop at Charlie’s Spic n Span Bakery – not for cream puff’s! – but a donut or key lime selection and coffee. We got a view of the mural whilst there. The mural is a documentary of South West and American History. Spanning the decades of time, it was created by some 300 students and additional community members.
We took a short trip past gorgeous Victorian houses and out to Montezuma Castle. Now and International school for students you can not visit the castle as its student use only now. It is truly magnificent in its size and presence set atop the hill in a secluded section of Montezuma.
We left New Mexico over the Raton Pass at a mere 7834ft and into Colorado. We are now in Manitou Springs.
As evening sets on this tiny town of Victorian charm, pubs, and shops, we enjoyed a couple of margarita’s and some dinner before retiring for an early night.
Some sight seeing tomorrow before getting into Cheyenne for the duration of the week!