“enchanted” my ass, it was beautiful and enchanted!

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“enchanted” my ass, it was beautiful and enchanted!

PipesTraveler Rating:

Several weeks back we had made the trip up to Taos, NM to reconnect with old HS friend Andy Byrd and we loved seeing him and getting to know his wife Catherine. They were gracious hosts and their home/land on the outskirts of Taos were utterly amazing! Views for miles and quite spectacular.

Basic map showing the general area

While out that way, we just HAD to take the drive and check out The Enchanted Circle and Scenic Byway. The few pics that I’m including here are a pitiful excuse of trying to capture the scenery but heres a link to give you more cool pics.

The Enchanted Circle is an 84 mile loop all located within New Mexico – “The Land of Enchantment”, thusly the origins of the naming. If you started the drive in Taos you’d drive through towns and places like: Kit Carson National Forest, Eagle Nest State Park, Elizabethtown, Red River, Questa, Arroyo Honda, and El Prado.

Our first stop along the route was at the Elliot Barker Trailhead located within the Kit Carson National Forest. Our pup/friend/mascot was delighted for the stop so he could do his business but also take a nice short hike with us! The trail is super easy to follow. All of the trail was a very gradual incline through some beautiful spruce and pine forested wilderness. We slow walked and enjoyed the beauty, fresh mountain air about .3 or .4 mile to the top of the rise where it opens up into big mountain pasture areas. A short n sweet side venture on a side trip to the side of the road on the side of the Kit Carson National Forest on the side of a slight rise with the little lady and pup at my side…

Entrance to a nice short hike
The trail boss leading the way..

Now, I’ll make a purposeful digression in my attempt to always put a smile on your puss and educate you our loyal and dedicated audience.

Kit Carson was a name I’ve always known of from a young boy. He kinda rang in with other colorful boyhood characters like Daniel Boone, Bat Masterson, the Lone Ranger and the like. I never knew anything about him just thought of him as a bad ass mountain man, injun/bear killing wild west rifle and knife toting super hero. In my now mid sixth decade of life – I still relish the idea of meeting and hanging out with such men.

Kit Carson – Badass killer and folk hero

Here’s the educational component for you. Christoper Houston Carson aka Kit was born on Christmas eve 1809 in Richmond, KY. Richmond, KY (never heard of it before) was named after Richmond, VA for some crazy reason and currently has a population of 35K and is the 6th largest city in ole Kentuck.

Kit was indeed a mountain man, wilderness guide, Indian agent, and U.S. Army Officer. He was made into hero by the dime novels that were written at the time. In reality, his understated nature belied the reports of his fearlessness, combat skills, tenacity, and profound effect on the Westward expansion of the United States. Besides all of this Pipes thinks he kilt injuns, bears and likely wore a coonskin hat at times. He died at the age of 77 in 1868.

Gorgeous views in all directions

The Kit Carson National Forest is comprised if over 1.5 million acres and is slightly larger than the Pipes Peak Ranch near Cripple Creek, CO.

A “Do Flop In” along the route
Another Do Flop In that looked cool

Main drag in Red River

On the drive around the Enchanted Circle, you’ll see some incredible landscapes including vast mountain valleys, lakes, streams, rock faces along with lots of flora and fauna…you know, birds, bees, flowers, and all manner of critters. Pickle loved this trip and gives it his FULL Five-Pickle Rating!

White stuff still on some of the peaks

If ever out in Northwestern New Mexico this drive is a must do. We’d suggest an early start, pack a nice lunch maybe a couple of beers (it’s dry out here) and take your time. We did and suggest you follow our lead.

Beautiful and Enchanted.

Chris Pipes
chris@pipestraveler.com
8 Comments
  • Willam Wheeler
    Posted at 17:02h, 07 August Reply

    Enjoy posts ole Kit also a childhood hero of mine

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 17:39h, 13 August Reply

      HaHa thanks Bill. So glad to have you following our exploits!

  • Clark Waters
    Posted at 17:36h, 07 August Reply

    Say, you hang out with tough guys huh ? That must be why you always tag along with this ole hombre !!
    I love the West and the folklore that goes along with it, nice pictures and Mrs. Red is a mighty fine looking hiker( I hope you are rubbing her feet every night) and the perfect trailblazer.
    Regards
    ECW

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 17:38h, 13 August Reply

      She’s a dang Trooper and can out hike me most of the time! She’s so much fun to travel with and keeps me soo energized. I’m STILL referring to her as The Current Mrs. Pipes cause I know one day she’ll wise up and find herself a better man! See you soon buddy…

  • Downtown Brown
    Posted at 20:58h, 07 August Reply

    Beautiful pics CP and excellent historical on Kit Carson! I know those 5 Pickle ratings are given with great thought and only if well deserved! Travel safe.

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 17:35h, 13 August Reply

      Thanks Gary – Did you see the earlier post on Creede…think I gave you an honorable mention…. so glad to have you following along with us! Miss you my brother.

  • Jessie wasmuth
    Posted at 12:48h, 09 August Reply

    Loved these pics
    However, could not see the other pics
    The box identifying the location stayed on top of the pic and the pic grayed out and would not open
    You ate doing some fabulous traveling! Gorgeous scenery

    • PipesTraveler
      Posted at 17:33h, 13 August Reply

      Hi Jesse – I’ll report this problem to my VP of System Services to look into….I’ve not heard of any issues from others. Glad you’re enjoying following along with us!

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