Magical Riding in Northern New Mexico
en · chant (verb): To place under a spell as if by magic.
Yep. That’s exactly what the mountains of northern New Mexico have done to me. There is something magical about this state, and I believe it stems from its wide-ranging diversity. The cultural, architectural and environmental palate from which this region is painted is as multi-hued and vibrant as you will find anywhere in the world. And no, that’s not hyperbole.
Ascending to Enchantment on the 64
As I pull out of the village of Chama in extreme northern New Mexico, my knowledge of U.S. Route 64 is limited to the attractive curves on my folded map. When the three dimensional version of the ribbon of tarmac comes to life under the wheels of my BMW R 1200 GS, the magic begins. The 64 will be my path from near Chama all the way to Taos, and the first leg of the route spells the climb into the mountains of north central New Mexico. It has always been my preference to climb rather than descend great curvy roads. However, as wonderful as this ascent is, I am constantly compelled to slow or stop to imbibe the panoramic views to my rear.
After a remarkable series of both hairpins and sweepers, I crest U.S. 64 and begin the eastern descent into the Carson National Forest. The views, while slightly less panoramic than those I just witnessed, are still awe-inspiring. On this mountain leg of the ride, I am intrigued by the numerous remnants of a bygone era. Log cabins and other historic structures dot the landscape in various states of succumbing to the mountain elements. Read more...