Life at Highway 4 Cafe

Been awhile since my last update and I must apologize. When I entered New Mexico yesterday morning I suddenly lost all cell service. I just got it back this morning when I restarted my phone. Today I come to you from the observation deck (front porch) of Highway 4 Cafe in Jemez Springs, NM. Jemez is a small mountain town just south of one of the country’s best kept secrets: the Valles Caldera National Preserve (there’s a movement to make it a national park). A supervolcano that lies dormant, the Valles has been called the “Yellowstone of the Southwest” because of it’s beauty, wildlife, and potential for, like, exploding or something. I’m serious. This morning I woke up to see a sea of fog roll down the great valley (Valle Grande) like icy water. It was spectacular. I camped at a forest service campground last night and had a peaceful experience. The winds were calm and, for the first time this trip, it didn’t rain on me. Every afternoon it has rained and even some nights. It rained at Valles, too, yesterday but I was about five minutes behind the water.

Thursday I visited Silverton, toured a gold mill, visited a shrine to lost miners, and made my way to Navajo Lake State Park. Yesterday I revisited Aztec Ruins National Monument and took some fun video at the ruins. I also toured a pioneer/heritage museum in Aztec and made my way across a muddy mountain pass to get to the Caldera.

Today my plan is to start the journey towards home and, hopefully, revisit the Estancia Valley, where the ruins of Quarai are, and stay at a marvelous state park there. Assuming it didn’t also burn to the ground.

Here are a few iPhone pics. With no electricity at the campgrounds, I can’t use my laptop and Vimeo for videos.

Peace and blessings!

— John

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