John and Sandy's Adventure Journal

New Mexico

Albuquerque NM

      We were up and on the road by 745am. We have a really short day of only 60 miles to Albuquerque NM. We got checked into the KOA and met Kathy Baughman, her husband is Bob. They worked in Maine with our friends from the Sugarloaf KOA, Gloria, Jeff, Rachel and Steveo.
We were set up by 10am and now we are heading to Albuquerque Downs for some horse racing and casino time. We got there early and had a seat at the bar and bet on races from Arlington. We headed outside after Arlington was done. There were still a few races at Albuquerque. The casino is right next door so we headed there for a while then stopped for Chinese dinner.

Paraje NM

       Today is another drive day. We explored the East side of El Malpais Natl Monument. We stopped at the Sandstone overlook and then at the Arch. There was a 1 mile hike inland toward the arch we took. This area is just so open and beautiful with the sandstone cliffs and lava rocks all around. We stopped at the Rim trail and John did about 1 mile round trip. I stayed back because the beginning of the hike was a steep climb up uneven rocks.
       Now we headed back but stopped at Sky City Casino for a while. We got home and finished our pre-departure day stuff. I walked next door to our casino Dancing Eagle for a while.

Paraje NM

        We were out by 9am to explore. The area here is so vast there is a lot of mileage between things to see. So we headed first for the El Malpais Natl Monument Visitors Center. We talked to a ranger for a while and she gave us a lot of good info on the park and also El Morrow NM. We watched a couple movies on the area and then started our drive. It was a 20 mile drive to the visitors center and now about 45 miles from here to El Morrow.
      On the way we drive through El Malpais. At El Morrow there is a 1 mile hike along the bottom and we got to see hundreds of petroglyths. John took the additional 2 mile hike up to the top of the rock to see the native dwellings. I hung out at the visitors center and listened to a ranger talk on the history of the area and why it is a Natl Monument.
      When John got back we had a picnic and started our drive back. It was later in the afternoon with overcast skies and some rain showers. Along the way we saw a big herd of female Elks with their babies.