Hot Springs, Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Taos & the Rio Grande
About two years ago I had seen (on one of my many internet searches for campgrounds) a natural hot springs resort in the north central area of New Mexico called Ojo Caliente that appeared to be an oasis in the wilderness. I was intrigued with what I saw and vowed that if we were ever in the area we would stay there. We both enjoy a good soak in natural springs and so, after our week in Colorado Springs, we decided a week at Ojo would be well deserved. The resort boasts being the first health spa of it's kind, founded in 1868, although for hundreds of years the local Indians had been bathing in the legendary healing springs. It was so peaceful (quiet zones throughout the spa) and very reasonably priced at just around $20 a day per person to take in the waters (several non-sulfuric mineral baths and mud pool). I highly recommend a stay at this beautiful location, the campground was also only $120 for the week ($20/day, with the 7th day free).
Ojo is surrounded by low hills with hiking trails overlooking the spa. We hiked to the top of the nearest hill in the evening a couple of times during our stay (with chairs, a jug of wine and our pipes) to gaze at the night sky and the Milky Way above us. We also took a couple of day trips around Sante Fe and Taos on the scenic 'Enchanted Circle' drive.
Outside Taos we found this local brewery that had mountain views on our way to see the Rio Grande river gorge.
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
A couple of days into our stay we discovered that Albuquerque was putting on it's annual National Balloon Fiesta and since we were only 2 hours away we decided to do a quick overnight stay (in a hotel) to see the spectacle. We planned to get there for the 'Evening Glow' and stay for the fireworks and then return the next morning 'Dawn Patrol' and 'Mass Ascension'.
Dawn Patrol & Mass Ascension
We thought the night before was pretty cool but nothing prepared us for the spectacular event of Mass Ascension...We thought we'd be a field away from the balloonists but as you can see, we were right in the mix. Truly awesome!
Brad took a hike around Ojo one day to see the abandoned mines.