Tuesday, August 31, 2021

DESTINATION: Angel Fire, New Mexico

It has become a tradition with us to take our RV out to celebrate Gman's birthday.  For this year's birthday we chose to visit Angel Fire, New Mexico, and the surrounding area.

Angel Fire is a village in the Rocky Mountains of New Mexico. It’s home to Angel Fire Resort, with ski slopes and terrain parks, plus a summer mountain-bike park and zip line. The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway passes the Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, which is home to the Vietnam Veterans Peace and Brotherhood Chapel. Farther north, Eagle Nest Lake is ringed by mountains and is stocked with salmon and trout. The village of Angel Fire is not new to us.  We have visited this location several times, however, this was the first time we stayed at the Angel Fire RV Resort.

Nestled among the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Northern New Mexico, Angel Fire RV Resort offers spectacular views of Moreno Valley and its peaks year-round. Within the resort their are 102 level, paved sites with full hook-ups.  A few of the amenities this resort offers are bath houses, laundry, club house, walking trails, dog park, pickle ball courts and horseshoes. The staff will pick up your trash every morning from your RV site and also provide you with home cooked waffles brought to your RV door on the weekends.  The park is clean, quiet and beautifully landscaped.  Each night there are activities planned at the club house which include smores, live music and wagon rides.  We enjoyed this resort so much that we are already planning on returning next year!

A few times during our stay we ventured outside of the village of Angel Fire for a little off-road adventure! In this area a 4-wheel drive vehicle is necessary to get up some of the steep and rocky trails so we borrowed a family member's jeep and took off to the small town of Red River, New Mexico, which is located about 30 miles north/northeast of Angel Fire.

The first trail of our off road adventure took us to Pioneer Creek Trail which starts on the outskirts of Red River. This 3.4 mile trail crosses Pioneer Creek and passes by several old mines.  Gman tried his hand at gold panning in the creek bed.

After our first 4-wheeling adventure we headed back into Red River, New Mexico and enjoyed a lunch of loaded cheese fries with green chili stew and brisket at Bull O' The Woods Saloon.  We chose this restaurant/bar because they have a dog friendly patio and we had our little rat terrier, Remi, with us the whole time!

With our bellies full we headed up to Greenie Peak!  Greenie Peak is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 3.432m (11,259ft) above the sea level. Tucked away in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico, the road to the summit is one of the highest roads in New Mexico and is totally unpaved. The trail is rocky and extremely rough so just ride with caution. The trail is narrow with few places for passing so meeting someone can be a challenge. During the summer, the road is very rough and has loose rock in some places. In the winter, the road is not plowed. The switchbacks are very tight. Keep an eye on the weather for thunderstorms and lightning. The road goes all the way to the summit. In order to drive this road up, you need a 4x4 vehicle. It’s pretty narrow in parts.

Top of Greenie Peak - this road was so scary that we didn't take photos until we stopped at the top!

After climbing back down Greenie Peak we were exhausted so we headed back to our RV in Angel Fire to cook dinner and rest for the night.

The next day we continued our off-road adventure by going back into the town of Red River and up Old Red River Pass.  Old Red River Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.021m (9,911ft) above the sea level, located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of New Mexico.
The road to the summit, located in Carson National Forest, is gravel and bumpy. It’s called Forest Access Road 488 (Old Red River Pass Road). Adverse weather conditions can prompt closure of the road. The top of this road offers great views of the Red River Upper Valley, Wheeler Peak and Gold Hill.

After leaving Red River and heading back to Angel Fire we stopped at the ghost town of Elizabethtown located along Highway 38.  At the height of this town's prosperity in 1870 there were 7000 residents.  Now, what is left of this mining town are about five building ruins.

From Elizabethtown we stopped at one of the state parks located around Eagle Nest LakeLocated on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, Eagle Nest Lake is surrounded by the stunning scenery of the high mountains of the Moreno Valley.  This lake is regularly stocked with trout and salmon. Anglers can fish from the banks or by boat and ice fish in the winter. At 8,300 feet in elevation, the park offers a cool retreat from the summer heat for fisherman, boaters, campers, hikers, and wildlife enthusiasts. An abundance of animals makes Eagle Nest Lake an ideal location for wildlife viewing.

Sadly, our time visiting Angel Fire came to an end and we had to head back home.  We will definitely miss the beautiful mountain views, colorful wildflowers but most importantly the cool, clean, September mountain air!  Until next time, Angel Fire!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

DESTINATION: Heritage Homestead, Waco, Texas

Longing for another adventure we hopped in the truck and took off south of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to the Central Texas town of Waco, Texas, with our final destination being that of Homestead Heritage.

If you'd like to see our video on Homestead Heritage you can find it here on our YouTube Channel.  Like and subscribe so you don't miss any of our newest adventures!

Homestead Heritage is an agrarian and craft-based, intentional Christian community. The lifestyle of the community stresses simplicity, sustainability, self-sufficiency, cooperation, service and quality craftsmanship. It also strives to live in peaceful coexistence with the land, other people and other faiths.

The community is made up of a 550 acre farm and numerous, small family homesteads.  At the farm they grow wheat, oats, barley, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet sorghum, pinto beans and a cornucopia of fruits and vegetables. 

It mills its own grains in the community’s water-wheel-run gristmill, which is housed in a historic 250-year-old, hand-hewn, timber-framed mill. It holds an annual sorghum festival, harvesting cane and processing it into sweet syrup through its mule-driven sorghum mill. Whatever farm or ranch-raised produce the community itself doesn’t use is sold through the gristmill, through the community’s restaurant, through its market or else is given away.

Homestead is internationally known for its quality craftsmanship. In its Craft Village, the community has a pottery house, a blacksmith shop, a cheese-making house, a woodworking and fine furniture-making shop, and a fiber-crafts cottage that features spinning, knitting and weaving. These shops are run by award-winning craftsmen and are open year-round to the public.

Homestead furniture makers have won top awards across the country and, by Presidential request, contributed fine pieces to the permanent White House Collection. Their work has been featured in numerous national publications.

The highest quality crafts, which either journeymen or master craftsmen create, are sold year-round in the eighteenth-century barn that the community restored and erected in their Craft Village. Numerous other restored eighteenth and nineteenth century historic structures also serve the community’s own needs as seminar rooms, a weaving and spinning workshop, a gristmill as well as cheese making, bread making and food preservation classrooms.

We were very impressed with this little community and enjoyed roaming around their beautiful buildings and visiting with the crafts people.  We hope to visit again when they hold one of their yearly events!