Archive for the ‘Things To Do’ category

Travel Guide Rides the Rail Runner

April 16th, 2010

I’m hooked!  There just isn’t any other way to say it.  I am absolutely hooked on the New Mexico Rail Runner … a fabulous train ride from Belen, Los Lunas, Albuquerque and Bernalillo to Santa Fe … and back.

Once upon a time in my past I lived in Milwaukee and traveled almost weekly the 90 miles from downtown Milwaukee to downtown Chicago.  It took 90 minutes and certainly beat fighting the traffic.  I’d read a book, listen to music and just watch the scenery.

I’d forgotten all of that until I hopped on the New Mexico Rail Runner for a ride to Santa Fe.  It all came back to me.  Why drive when it is a whole lot cheaper to ride the rails?  Why drive and watch the road when you can ride and watch the scenery?  Why not just ride and read a book?  Talk about stress relief … the Rail Runner did all of that for me and a whole lot more!

When you get off the train in Santa Fe you are just a couple minutes walk to the Plaza.  Or you can hop one of the shuttles that will drop you off just about anywhere you want to go downtown and the surrounding area.  Off to Buffalo Thunder or Taos?  The Rail Runner connects in Santa Fe with shuttles to those place and a few more as well.  (Check with your final destination for a timetable.)

On this trip you’ll pass through Reservation land that you can’t see from I-25, which means you’ll see part of New Mexico that you wouldn’t see otherwise.  And all of this takes just about 90 minutes from Albuquerque to Santa Fe …and the same time back.  Yes, that’s a little more time than it takes to drive. But the ride is oh so relaxing!

Take the Rail Runner up to Santa Fe …or down to Albuquerque … for dinner and more.  It might be just the ticket for you.  It was for me and, now that I’m hooked, the Rail Runner will be my first choice for transportation to Santa Fe … and back.

If you’re heading to Santa Fe from the Southern part of the state … or coming down to Albuquerque from the North, think about parking and riding the Rail Runner.  In Albuquerque the train stops in two locations downtown … the primary stop is at the main train station at Central and 2nd.  Just a quick walk to anywhere down town.  I think even Wylie Coyote and the Road Runner would approve.  It’s clear that I do!

Rio Rancho Pork and Brew

March 19th, 2010
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Rio Ranchos sixth annual Pork ‘N Brew BBQ State Championship complete with continuous live entertainment, fun jumps, pig races, kids corral, and, of course, food galore – at the Santa Ana Star Center in the new Rio Rancho City Center.

The Pork ‘N Brew is sponsored by the Rio Rancho Convention and Visitors Bureau, and is a fully sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Society event – one of the top 10 events on the Society calendar. With more than 30,000 in attendance last year, Pork ‘N Brew has become one of the largest two-day events in New Mexico. Winners go on to participate in Kansas City, KS at the Nationals.

The Pork & Brew has quickly become one of New Mexicos favorite annual events, said Michael Cerletti, Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department, entertaining both family and friends year after year. The folks in Rio Rancho are to be commended for their efforts in creating such a popular attraction.

J and R Vintage Auto Museum in Rio Rancho

March 19th, 2010
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Gab & Evonna Joiner, native New Mexicans, have called Rio Rancho home for the past 18 years. After Gab bought his first antique car in 1959, a 1926 Model T Ford coupe, which he later traded for a ’28 Chevrolet, he also bought a 1918 Model T Ford that had been made into a pickup from a touring car the same year in Raton. Gab’s passion for vintage and antique automobiles has grow ever since and has resulted in a collection of more than 70 cars and trucks. These vehicles range in age from circa 1907-1966. Some are fully restored, while others retain their original paint, upholstery and motor grease. Step through the entrance to the main showroom and you will be swept away to a time when cars came with tool kits and people on cross-country drives wore goggles and brought along their mechanics. The museum also serves as a way station for the Great Race, a coast-to-coast event exclusively for vintage autos.

Gone Fishing in Elephant Butte

March 1st, 2010

I have to admit … I’ve lived here permanently eight years and had never gone to Elephant Butte.  Fishing has never been at the top of my priority list but that all changed with the introduction to Frank Vilorio, ace fishing guide and someone you would want to share a brew with after a great day on the water.

Frank has been a guide on Elephant Butte Lake for years and he knows every nook and cranny of the lake.  I found this out right away when he put down the anchor in a little cove and said it was time to catch the bait we would use that day.  Catch bait?  Now there’s something I hadn’t heard of before … I thought you bought the bait in a store!  Nope, Frank says you have to use live fish to catch fish.  He was right!

Off we went and before long we were hauling in White Bass and looking for the elusive big Striper Bass.  Jordan and Heather from Wyoming were along with us and Jordan showed us the “biggest” fish in the lake … about three inches long.  But the second bite was one much bigger and the kind that would fit nicely into a campfire cook stove.  We, of course, caught and released.

We were all enjoying the pristine New Mexico day – lots of sunshine and beautiful surroundings – when Heather snagged a Striper!  This one was at least 15 pounds and gave Heather a nice fight before landing this “baby” in the boat.  After everyone got to take a look this great fish was also returned to its native habitat.

Frank had us on the lake for about six hours and we could have stayed longer had we not had more filming to do for Travel Guide New Mexico.  But he was quick to invite us back and we’ll take him up on that offer.

If you want to see some of the trophy fish that Frank has engineered for his charter participants check out his website and www.stripersnewmexico.com.  Now these are some fish!

Thanks, Frank, for a great day at Elephant Butte.  To see more click on our Elephant Butte video.  And remember … Elephant Butte is New Mexico’s largest lake.  In addition to fishing the boating and camping are terrific!  Enjoy …

Pick your adventure in Taos

February 27th, 2010
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Pick your adventure in and around Taos, a small town that offers a respected artistic community, many treasures of history and access to worlds of sporting thrills. Get a real taste of frontier history at the Kit Carson Home and Museum, the notorious Governor Bent Home, or the Blumenschein Home & Museum. Take in the artistic side of the area at the Fechin Institute or the Harwood Museum of Art. Taos also puts you within reach of spectacular skiing at Taos Ski Valley or Wheeler Peak, or whitewater rafting at Taos Box on the Rio Grande. Visit Rancho de Taos for historic churches, or Taos Pueblo to see an ancient American Indian community.

Taos Pueblo

February 27th, 2010
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Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. We welcome you to visit our village when you travel to northern New Mexico.

Taos Pueblo is open daily Monday – Saturday 8:00am-4:30pm and Sunday 8:30am-4:30pm. Guided tours are available.

El Monte Sagrado Living Resort & Spa

February 27th, 2010

Amidst the mystical beauty of Taos, New Mexico, El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa™ offers a secluded sanctuary in harmony with the Earth. Visit this Taos, New Mexico resort adorned with exquisite accommodations inspired by Native American and global culture and a dramatic art collection graced by world-famous artists.

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El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa™ is a well-known as a leader in alternative energy among other New Mexico resorts and hotels. Experience the extraordinary treatments of the Living Spa™ designed to heal mind, body and spirit, or simply meditate in the Sacred Circle among towering trees and waterfalls, and breathe in the tranquility.

Hot Air Ballooning with the Pueblo Balloon Company in Taos

February 27th, 2010
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The Rio Grande Gorge cuts through the high desert mesa around Taos, like a 650 ft. deep miniature Grand Canyon. The famous Rio Grande River flows through the Gorge on it’s way to the Gulf of Mexico. Gently gliding on the soft desert winds into the Gorge in the basket of a colorful hot air balloon, with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as a backdrop, this is the premier hot air balloon flight of the state of New Mexico. From snow covered mountains in the Winter, baby coyotes and deer in the Spring, blossoming flowers, bushes and cacti in Summer to colorful Fall foliage — there is ALWAYS majestic beauty everywhere!

Your Pueblo Balloon Company adventure begins bright and early on the day of your flight when someone from Pueblo Balloon Company picks you up at your Taos area Hotel / B & B. Our crew and FAA certified pilots are personable and entertaining, making even the drive to the Gorge fun.

After the flight we do the the 226-year-old traditional Champagne toast and we also fill out “Flight Certificates” for you as proof to the world that you are now Lighter-than-air-heads.

Come join the FUN!  Read more about the Pueblo Balloon Company here.

Taylor Streit Fly Fishing

February 27th, 2010
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Taylor Streit has been guiding fly fishers in Northern New Mexico for 30 years and is a “Legendary Guide” in the Freshwater Fishing Hall Fame. He has written three acclaimed fly fishing books. His son Nick runs Taos Fly Shop and was on the U.S. Junior Fly fishing team that placed second in the world competition of 1998.

The Taos, New Mexico area has many fine streams, including the famous Rio Grande, Red River, and Conejos. For the non-fisher, Taos, Chama, Santa Fe and Angel Fire offer galleries, shops, skiing, and rafting.

Hot Air Ballooning in the Rio Grande Gorge

February 27th, 2010
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The cuts through the high desert mesa around Taos, like a 650 ft. deep miniature Grand Canyon. The famous Rio Grande River flows through the Gorge on it’s way to the Gulf of Mexico. Gently gliding on the soft desert winds into the Gorge in the basket of a colorful hot air balloon, with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as a backdrop, this is the premier hot air balloon flight of the state of New Mexico. From snow covered mountains in the Winter, baby coyotes and deer in the Spring, blossoming flowers, bushes and cacti in Summer to colorful Fall foliage — there is ALWAYS majestic beauty everywhere!

Your adventure begins bright and early on the day of your flight when someone from Pueblo Balloon Company picks you up at your Taos area Hotel / B & B. Our crew and FAA certified pilots are personable and entertaining, making even the drive to the Gorge fun.

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