Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On the Road to Abiquiu

same day -- Tuesday 9/29/2015 -- to Georgia O'Keefe country

I chose to ride in the van for the first part of the day. I shouldn't have. We were told the big bad stinking hill had returned and this time it was 5.5 miles long and just as steep (the last one was 3.5 miles and was hard!). The hill would start 5 miles from our hotel and there was no place that the van could stop to pick us up at the base of the hill. So we could not ride the first five miles and then take the bump up the hill.

I was very disappointed when we got to the first five mile mark, the base of the bad hill, and there was a HUGE parking area that the van could, and did, pull into to supply water to those who were riding those first miles. Our driver apparently did not know there was a place for the van to pull into, so I (and Ina) missed our desire to ride at least the beginning of today's route. As we drove up the big hill, it turned out to be not as bad as the one we did a couple of days ago. It was a climb, and not an easy one, but the huge grade lasted about half a mile or so and then had some down and up and flat and up (unlike the last one I had ridden). So I was also disappointed to not give this one a try.

But the ride from the top to our destination was not only all downhill, it was a gorgeous ride. As we know,, pictures will not do it justice, but..


We passed through the little village of El Rito



There was not much on this road -- including traffic -- except beautiful countryside. We had two lanes to ourselves for much of the time. Once in a great while a vehicle would pass us. No towns except for El Rito.






Judy glides down the hill into the mountains


Ina's happy


Allison too

We stopped to visit the ruins of an old church.






Mud and adobe brick walls still standing after hundreds of years.

We arrived at our hotel in time for the picnic lunch that our guides had prepared. After a brief rest and a shower we were off to visit artist Georgie O'Keefe's home. We had a tour guide walk us through and tell us the history. Photos were not allowed inside the grounds. We could take them only after exiting the home.


Designated as an Historic Landmark in 1998



Walkway to the garden in the rear, and the side entrance to the house


Main entrance to the house. Large door for horse entry to the courtyard; small door is the "pedestrian door"


This is our last night together. We had a fun time at dinner in the warm outdoors with a fine light breeze. We shared lots of laughs and stories and will now prepare four out final half day.


Morning at Ojo Caliente

Tuesday 9/29/2015 -- Heading out of town.

Before breakfast I took a little walk around the grounds to get a few more photos.



Entrance to lobby, gift shop and spa


Getting ready to go into breakfast, Bette-Ann and Cynthia have a morning laugh together


Judy and Jeanie on the way to breakfast


A blurry shot of out guides - Cy and Denise joining us for breakfast



One of the mineral pools

After breakfast we packed up our daily snacks and gathered for group photo. When one goes to the spa, to the pools, or for some, to breakfast or simply to walk the grounds, one wears a robe with a pin on it that indicates you are a ligitimate "member". Each of us have a robe hanging in our room for such use. Our guides had a great idea of taking the group photo with everyone wearing their robe. The preparation for the gorup photo was more fun than the actual photo.


Judy and Jeanie wear there robes to collect their snacks


Ina wears her robe to bring her bike to the van


Showing off their frocks


These robes are hideous. Leslie dresses hers up with blue gloves.


Maybe we should sing a song -- Ina lead the choir


The finished product


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

To The Rio Grand and Ojo Caliente


Monday 9/28/2015 Spa treatment and all!

We were so busy when we got here and there was so much to do that I did not get even one photo of thie resort. I will take a couple in the morning before we take off again. But I will tell some about the Resort and Spa.

These are ancient springs (which burst out of the foot of the mountains) that have been a gathering place and source of healing for thousads of years. Opened in 1868, Ojo is one of the oldest natrual health spas in the US. The literal translation is "warm eye", but more commonly it is known as "hot springs". Ancestors of today's Native Americn Tewa tribes built pueblos and gardens overlooking the springs. There is a lot of history about this place and that happened here from peaceful laying down weapons and differences to gather in peace to reap the benefits of the waters, to the Spaniards attempts ot colonize the area.

There are four different sulfur-free (thus not "smelly") mineral waters: Lithia, Iron, Soda, Arsenic and each has its own unique healing power for mind, body and spirit. We each at one point today took a soak in the pool behind our group of cottages -- soda and arsenic I think.

A few of us (including Bette-Ann and I) had pre-scheduled a spa experience that included an 80 minute massage. The results rejuvenated some pretty tired and spent muscles. I took a few early morning shots and will include them now to be edited or added to later.

Early morning sunrise



Along the front doors of our rooms


Early morning moon


Hammocks in our back "yard"


But now a little about the earlier part of our day...


I finally got a photo of Julie

Julie is one of our four front runners. If you are keeping track, they are: Julie (MD), Allison (BC), Beth (NH), and Jeanie (CO). Julie lives in Maryland (my home state) and had a few O2 canisters to help her breathe in this altitude. We tease her about that -- like "is that cheating?" -- because many of us are envious!


Cy, one of our two guides

Cy lives in Kentucky and has designed a tour there for Woman Tours. The first time for it is this October. At least two of our group tried to sign up for it but it filled quickly and they could not get in. A few of us here are planning to sign up the Kentucky tour next year in October.

We were soon saddled up and ready for another wonderful day of cycling. The first several miles took us on quiet back roads with nearly no traffic. But first we had to get out of town. At the first traffic light we were confused (didn't take long) do we go right here? No I thing we go left.. Maybe we're supposed to continue straight... I'll try going a little ways to the left... nope, we must turn right because look how the name of the street changes. All this time there was a car behind us and when we looked around to apologize for being right in the middle of the traffic light, she was laughing and giving us a thumbs up.


Has seen its day


A working ranch

We had a few more miles before the hill would hit us and some riders would have the option to take a bump over it. But before the hill came the bridge over the Rio Grand. And tarantulas crossing the road...


Beth is the only one who stopped to take a photo of the spider!! You go Beth!!!
The Rio Grand is waaaaay down there




Bonnie, me, Bette-Ann, Cynthia at the Rio Grand

I didn't take the bump because Denise said the hill was long but only about 4% grade. Bonnie and I rode it together and ... it is long! Once to the top though, the ride down was glorious. There were rolling hills that were the kind you could speed down and then coast up most if not all the way up the next one. The kind of hills one loves!

Once we landed there was a fine picnic lunch set out for us before we each and all scrambled around to do our thing(s) -- unloading, going for a spa experience, soaking in a mineral pool, and feeling glamorous as we rubbed shoulders with the "upper crust".