For many years I have wanted to explore more of New Mexico, but various obligations, until now, have prevented me from doing so. There are mountains, plains, deserts, ghost towns, lakes and almost everthing associated with New Mexico all within hours of the cabin. When we first arrived this year, it was still at the tail end of monsoon season and thunderstorms can make traveling off the beaten-path difficult. Even though the truck is built to tackle most anything, it is far too easy to get into the back-country of New Mexico during inclement weather and find yourself really stuck! So, we tried to pick a day when the thunderstorms were more spotty than widespread to embark on a day trip to the Slaughter Mesa. Slaughter Mesa has a mountain peak that is 8763 feet and despite the fact it is less than two hours from our cabin, we had never been there.
First stop off the pavement was Quemado Lake. It is definitely on the “return to list” with kayaks or paddle boards.
Although there was a very large forest fire in this area several years ago, it still has some of the biggest Ponderosa Pines I have seen in a while. They absolutely dwarfed Pamala! Unfortunately, this one was blocking our path up the canyon. Note to self: pack chain saw for next trip into the wilderness!
Making our way up to higher ground, beautiful grasslands surrounded us.
The thunderstorms laughed at our efforts at planning around them and seemed to stalk us all day but we remained dry except for a little sprinkle here and there and fortunately, although we heard alot of distant thunder we didn’see any lightening.
As we worked our way up over a rocky ridge, we were treated to this view of the valley that we would descend into.
On our last stretch of dirt road before reaching pavement, we came upon a few of the last remaining buildings of Mangas ghost town.