Colorado is the home of the “work hard, play hard” crowd. A place where you work 50+ or even 60+ hour weeks and then crush a 14er, run an ultra or do multiple yo-yos on a ski run. And then race back Sunday night to start the process all over again. A tale I know too well from my recent past.
Utah? Mixed within the outdoor experiences are gravel pits, construction sites, and ongoing mining claims. Wild spaces perhaps secondary to what purpose they serve to people who chose an industrious beehive as their emblem.
Then there’s New Mexico.
The outdoors are just there. They are part of the cultural landscape and everyday life. Not something to crush or conquer. But to experience in a lowkey and laidback fashion.
A broad brush to describe the different places, but it is how I feel overall.
Walking through northern New Mexico means I often experience these places in near or even complete solitude.
The Latir Peaks are just as quiet as when I last visited in 2011.
And new to me are the lands of the Valle Vidal Preserve. Often called the “Yellowstone of the Southwest” due to all the wildlife and vast grasslands, this pristine area of over 100,000 acres is a place I need to visit again.
Quiet. Serene. Vast. Remote feeling.
All words to describe what I found to be a remarkable place.
After a bit of winding in and out this general area, my route turns south again to Santa Fe.
The Pecos Wilderness is near the end of the Rockies. And my 500-mile long journey through this unique land.
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