Friends, rock teepees and a singing road – Bernalillo, NM
We were excited to move 157 miles south from Farmington to Bernalillo, where the “two B’s” would be neighbors – the two B’s were our coach Betsy and our good friends’ home on wheels named Beluga. Yes, we were very happy that Dave and Sue could arrange their schedule so we could meet up as we intersected briefly in New Mexico.
We had planned our stop so we could also visit with friends Hector and Brenda, who now reside in the area. These are the folks who graciously cared for Betsy for almost a month last year when we took our European cruise.
It was great that we could all enjoy some time together at a local brewery. As usual, the time flew by as we all got caught up with stories of our recent adventures.
The weather after our arrival was less than perfect, but Sue was not deterred as she put together some activities that included exploring the Jemez Mountains, some wine tasting (we learned there are some good wines in New Mexico), driving the “musical road”, and a side trip to the foothills of the Sandia Mountains.
Sue’s post about our explorations is here, and below are some photos and comments I gathered from our fun day together:
The Singing Road
A highlight of our excursion was driving over the rumble strip on a stretch of Route 66. To get the road to play “America the Beautiful”, Dave had to drive over the strip at exactly 45mph. He patiently drove it three times (and was probably considering committing hari-kari) as we tried to capture the sound on our phones. Here’s the recording I captured, turn it up and listen carefully to hear it:
The Singing Road was created using metal plates placed under the pavement. The plates were covered with asphalt, then the rumble strips were installed. You must drive the correct speed to hear the road “sing”; too slow or too fast and it doesn’t work.
We’re glad Sue knew about this interesting nearby attraction, we’d never heard of it and it was quite cool!
Before we went our separate ways, Dave lent Steve a hand with a simple repair on one of Betsy’s window awnings that required two ladders and two humans to get the job done. Thanks, Dave!
After parting ways with our friends, we made a visit to Kasha Katuwe National Monument. Several of our RVing friends had already explored and hiked at this interesting place, and we decided to give it a go on our last dreary and overcast day in Bernalillo. In my previous post, I included photos of many interesting mini-hoodoos scattered around Bisti Wilderness. At Kasha Katuwe the hoodoos were fairly uniform in shape and varied mostly in their size. Called “tent rock formations”, they are yet another fascinating landscape to explore while also getting in a decent hike.
We followed both segments of the National Recreation Trail within the monument to get an up-close view of the geologic processes that created this spectacular scenery. Our 4+ mile trek wound through a narrow slot canyon and climbed to the top of a mesa where we were rewarded with excellent views of the surrounding mountains. We quickly discovered that this place is very popular, and even more so after several days of inclement weather.
Geologic history fascinates us, and the story behind what happened here to create and shape these formations definitely did. Unlike the Bisti Wilderness, this landscape didn’t result from ancient seas but rather from two different processes.
The first process was many volcanic eruptions, which dumped layer after layer of pumice ash and tuff deposits to over 1,000′ deep.
The second process was uplifting and exposure to the power of water and wind, which performed their magic to sculpt the volcanic layers. Voilà! A fairy tale landscape emerged that we are fortunate to explore and enjoy today.
This was a wonderful stopover. Meeting up with friends AND enjoying interesting and lesser-known activities in New Mexico – works for us!
Next up: Exploring a slice of Route 66