On Wednesday, January 13th, 2016, my sister, niece, and brother-in-law loaded up two vehicles and headed out West. Trinidad, Colorado was our final destination. My brother-in-law’s mother owns a ranch on a mountain that touches the New Mexico border in Colorado, they plan on living there until further notice. They asked me to accompany them out, to aid with the move and the child during their first week of being settled into their new home and I said ‘yes’, of course. You know I love adventure.
It took us two days to get out there. It’s almost 1000 miles from where I live now. I’m oh so sad to not have them living close, they used to live 4 minutes away, it was a wonderful trip and I got to see and do some super cool things.
Highlights…..This is the Southern Colorado Coal Mining Monument which is on Main Street in Trinidad. There are a lot of towns out West that have been built around the coal mining industry, though many of them have died out due to our country’s decreasing reliance on the element.
This was the case with all of the ghost towns that I got the privilege of hiking through. Raised towns that as last as the 1950’s have died due to the change of the industry. Eerie.
One of the coolest things I did on my journey is visit St. James Hotel. Located in Cimmaron, New Mexico, it is a bad ass, haunted old cowboy hang out where you can still rent rooms. All sorts of old timey folk stayed there, Jesse James, Buffalo Bill (who supposedly met Annie Oakley there), Wyatt Erp….it’s located on the Santa Fe Trail and grew into a regular stop for travelers moving the North/South route through New Mexico up to Colorado.
This place is no joke. The first floor of rooms are but for show…and one of the rooms is just left locked permanently because it’s haunted. Supposedly 26 people have died in gunfights at the establishment. There’s 26 bullet holes in the ceiling of the bar!
The volcano erupted into existence 60,000 years but is now extinct. It is 8182 feet above sea level and I got to hike up to the top, walk the rim, and see some of the most breathtaking landscape I’ve ever experienced.
It was also one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. The drive half way up the volcano was scary enough, serious vertigo action. It was at this point of the hike that I considered turning around. But instead I took my gloves off, calmed my breathing and looked straight at what frightened me, and it was beautiful.
The area that we were in was where the plains met the mountains, literally. It was so fantastic. The light was unlike any I had ever experienced. I took a million pictures but honestly none of them do the experience justice. It was about 3/4 through my hike I just stopped taking pictures, a, because I knew it was futile. And b, because it got icy, narrow, and therefore terrifying on the descent.
Trinidad is on the Highway of Legends, a beautiful mountain drive through the Spanish Peaks. We took it one afternoon, hoping to catch a few local spots that were all closed, unfortunately, for the winter season. “Winter Season”? What is that?
This just means I’ll have to return when its warmer out, which is true. I want to take a train ride through the mountains. Trinidad has a trolley and there so much more hiking to be done. I can’t wait to return again.
All said in done, over 9 days I traveled 1500 miles in the car, took 2 plane rides, visited a new state, and got to see and do some amazing things, most of which were outside. Out there is so different from in here and I feel blessed that I go to be able to experience it.
See you soon, Trinidad, this isn’t the last of me….