A Thankful Desert-Giving

” Enjoy the little things for one day you may look back and realize they were big things”

~Robert Brault

Well helloooooo friends!! We haven’t forgotten about you and hopefully you haven’t forgotten about us! With back injuries, knee surgeries, career changes, the holidays, and the overall hustle and bustle of life…we have just been so swamped and definitely have been slacking on our adventure blogging. Buuuuuut, WE ARE BACK! And we are welcoming you with our first Thanksgiving camping excursion to the beautiful state of New Mexico!

Since we are both from Ohio, we always return home for Christmas. But for Thanksgiving we have started our own tradition and usually hit the slopes during the day. Then we spend our evening with friends for a Friendsgiving celebration. This year we got the idea to spend our holiday exploring and camping. We recently purchased a heater for our Vagabond and were ready to tackle the single digit temperatures with a full turkey feast in the desert. If you have never been to New Mexico…you need to add this hidden gem to your list of road trips of 2019. We only spent 4 days traveling the state, but it was one for the books! Talk about gorgeous! Cactus after cactus, huge white and red rock formations, slot canyons, and enough trails to tickle your adventure fancy!

We can’t share all of our secrets of this trip but here was our route:

Day #1: Mills Canyon- Wagon Mound, NM

Our first night was in the eerie canyon of Melvin Mills. The campground is situated within the Canadian river and among the structures of his old mansion that was established in the early 1880’s. He was a businessman and lawyer who abandoned his kingdom in the early 1900’s after a flood swept through his homestead leaving him at financial ruins. Old irrigation ditches and brick buildings still remain to this day. This 200 mile stretch of canyon contains red sandstone, winding switchbacks, vast grasslands, and plenty of wildlife for any nature lover.

Day #2: HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

A day to be thankful amongst many others! We traveled 4 hours to Socorro and set up camp inside a breathtaking slot canyon. Here comes our secret camp spot! Although we would love to share this incredible spot with all of you, some things should remain between friends. We call this a “follow me spot” so maybe some day you can join us and we can bring you to this epic place! I would say this is probably one of the most amazing places I have ever camped. The moonlight and campfire bounced off the rock faces, illuminating our Thanksgiving dinner and creating a memory that we could never forget. We enjoyed all the goodness of the holiday, doing exactly what we love the most. And we even had pumpkin pie with whipped cream! It was hands down the best Thanksgiving we have ever experienced. We were thankful to be in such a beautiful place with some pretty amazing people.

Day #3: Visit Tent Rocks National Monument outside of Santa Fe, NM.

Well that was the plan… We arrived at the Tent Rocks National Monument to enjoy a long wait in our vehicle. Frustrated by our situation, we called the Forest Service to see what was the hold up. The ranger informed us that it was a 90 minute wait just to park. We decided to tread on. I was pretty disappointed because the pictures looked glorious but our friend totally redeemed our day with a hike at Plaza Blanca. In Spanish it is named the “White Place” for its awe inspiring white rock landscapes. The hike isn’t too strenuous, just scenic and beautiful. Huge white rock formations surrounded the trail. The trail continues through slot canyons with peach colored rocks as high as the sky. The ground beneath you is shimmering from all the different colored rocks. We adventured on to our last camp spot, along the river outside of Ghost Ranch. The views along the way were jaw-dropping and picture-worthy to say the least!

Day #4: Travel to Chama, NM to visit family. Explore on to the Sand Dunes National Park, CO.

We spent our last day visiting with family in Chama, NM. My husband’s god mother is building a house in the area so we enjoyed our last night in snowy New Mexico, reminiscing about old times. We decided to hit up ┬áSand Dunes National Park on our way home since Chama is only 2 and a half hours away. The Dunes are always a gorgeous sight to see. We hiked this windy paradise and then set home from our trip.

Additional pictures from our trip:

Don’t forget to plan your adventure today and ELEVATE YOUR HAPPINESS!!