Do you experience that feeling of exhilaration, that adrenalin rush each time you climb onto your bike? Then come along with the Robson Ranch Motorcycle Club as we relive our recent journey to the Enchanted Circle in Northern New Mexico, the picturesque 83-mile loop through mountains, valleys, mesas, and national forest land.
En route, we overnighted in Amarillo, located in the Texas panhandle. A late afternoon rainstorm pushed down the temperatures, creating cooler weather and beautiful night skies, the perfect backdrop for the musical drama “Texas” performed deep in the Palo Duro Canyon.
Continuing west along New Mexico’s scenic highways that seemed to go nowhere, we were rewarded with spectacular views of the region’s mesas and canyons as well as traffic so light it might as well be non-existent. Desert and grasslands ever so slowly merged into scrappy shrubs and trees. Then reaching higher elevations, the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range and pine-covered plateau captured the area’s dramatic natural setting. We traveled through Eagle Nest, the gateway to the Enchanted Circle; then arrived in Angel Fire, our home base for the next several days.
The Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway centers around Wheeler Peak, the highest point in the state, towering at greater than 13,000 feet. The stunning loop snaked and turned, taking us through rugged valleys and across towering mountains. As we maneuvered switchbacks and the ever-twisting narrow roads into Red River, Questa, Taos, Las Vegas, Moro, Sipapu Lodge, and Taos Ski Lodge, we also passed hard-scrabbled villages scattered randomly on the rocky hillsides. At times a stream flowed beside the road, swift-running and sun-speckled through the elms, oaks, cottonwoods, and aspens. Traffic was so sparse we could truly enjoy the solitude.
We took time off the bikes to climb wooden ladders to squeeze inside 10,000-year-old cave dwellings at Bandelier National Monument. Passed through a community of Earthship homes—freeform, off-the-grid structures crafted out of adobe and a smorgasbord of recyclable materials. We walked across the 1,280-foot-long Rio Grande Gorge Bridge which spanned the gorge 600 feet above the river. We treated ourselves to homemade ice cream at the Taos Cow, and relaxed nightly before a flickering campfire snacking on gooey s’mores.
The RR Motorcycle Club was enchanted by every bend in the road of northern New Mexico. The cultural, architectural, and environmental palate from which this region was painted was as multi-hued and vibrant as you will find anywhere in the world. There was something magical about this state that stemmed from its wide-ranging diversity. We were placed under its spell—New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment.” A definite addition to everyone’s motorcycle ride bucket list.
If you ride, have ridden, or are thinking of riding, join the Robson Ranch Motorcycle Club for our breakfast, lunch, and dinner rides, day rides, overnight rides, and long-distance rides. For more information, contact any one of the club officers: Mike Conley, Scott Baker, Stan Brein, Reggie Rother, or Steve Haugen.
See you down the road!