14. Land of Enchantment
Exploring The Jemez (adventures closer to home)
Right now we live in the Jemez National Recreation Area, forty minutes west of Los Alamos, up in the Jemez Mountains. While we love the quiet and the ease of access to the outdoors, our goal is to buy a home in Los Alamos (gasp! I know, that does not sound like us at all, does it? Moving INTO not AWAY FROM town AND buying a house? That means settling down, right? Maybe…? Just goes to show you how much Hugo has changed our perspectives and lives!).
Stéphane taking Hugo out for a spin in “the chariot” at Fenton Lake State Park.
Hike up in the Jemez.
Guess who came to see us and meet his nephew for the first time?!?!?!
We had so much fun with Dan! He tried out rock climbing for the first time and surpassed all expectations! Led his very first climb on his second day of climbing!! What!?!?!
Dan figuring out the moves.
Hanging with Uncle Dan.
A soak at the San Antonio Hot Springs post-climbing does a body good.
Hugo loves the hot springs.
Exploring some new routes at Comales Canyon, a great little climbing area near Taos.
He has all the toys in the world but the best “toys” of all are grubby climbing gear: belay devices, cams, and beaners.
Messing around with the camera, waiting for my turn to climb. It was really nice climbing with an extra person – much easier to herd Hugo and everyone enjoyed more time on the wall.
After sending Dan on his way home, we check out our local forest road 376 for some possible new climbs.
This crag is of particular interest because it has some nice lines AND great camping spots right across the road. Now that Hugo is in the picture, it’s all about easily-accessible climbs and close-by camping. This spot would be ideal.
Seventeen miles in on FR 376, The Gilman Tunnels. During the 1920s, the Santa Fe North Western Railroad decided to build a line through this area to provide access for logging and mining companies. But the Guadalupe Box Canyon stood in the way. The rock here was extremely hard and the gushing river complicated the project. Still, this was not a sufficient deterrent. Workers forged ahead with the plan, using dynamite to create the two railway tunnels. They were dubbed the Gilman Tunnels after William H. Gilman, the company’s vice president of operations. This railroad was primarily used for hauling timber down from the mountains.
There is excellent camping along our FR 376! We tried out a couple different spots, spending a few nights out in the Escape Pod.
The Escape Pod is slowly coming together! Each time we go out, we make note of how to make things better and keep tweaking. So far, the layout of the Escape Pod is great for our needs. Hugo sleeps below in his Pack n Play and we are above in the bed. The toy hauler setup is perfect for our current camping needs.
No bottle warmer in The Escape Pod, we do it old school when we camp 😉
Even though it is a small area, Hugo loves exploring in the Escape Pod. So many different things to touch and discover! On this particular day, the fire extinguisher was the bee’s knees.
Fun with daddy! On a side note: baby food pouches are a life saver; total no-brainer easy button when we are out hiking or climbing.
Me working my way up a climb @ Los Conchas (our local climbing area, 15 minutes away).
Another no-brainer easy button: The Pea Pod. This little baby tent has allowed us to keep climbing with Hugo. Set him up safely away from the wall with blanket and toys, and he is a happy camper (most of the time) and we are able to get in a couple of climbs. Win-win!
Smiling faces all around! Enjoying our local outdoors in norther New Mexico!