"Casa Paloma" is centrally located in Abiquiu (w/ good roads in! - a Prius can get to our house). Pete & I have just spent the fall & winter & into early spring in our new New Mexican home, thoroughly enjoying our time there. We stayed with an eye to updates & making it a comfortable stay for our summer/early fall guests. We've added additional seating to the lovely portal & viewing patio, as well as a glass table for outdoor dining on the portal. Pete has even built a solid picnic table for the back patio, outside the kitchen, for breakfast dining, or shady meals in the afternoon or evening. He also built a fine, new 'convertible' bench/table for the upper balcony, for meals there or creative endeavors. NEW in 2018 is a 2 bay carport, to shade your car from the most intense summer sun. We have many artists who enjoy the breathtaking views that Paloma offers (myself included) & we have made it possible to work from several locations.
We have also added new 'SmartSheers' in both bedrooms, to block the hot afternoon SW sun. Our kitchen is roomy & we love to cook many a gourmet meal there - so bring your groceries in & enjoy! (We supply spices & herbs, condiments, usually coffee & a small selection of teas. We also offer dish & laundry detergents, a washer/dryer - & even a clothesline, which I use regularly...) We left Casa Paloma in mid-April, kicking & screaming as we have loved our stay there in NM so much - but we leave a beautiful, comfy home for you to use as headquarters for your own northern NM adventuring... We ask that you be respectful of our home & hope that you also thoroughly enjoy the beauty & majesty of place that it offers, there above the El Rito creek bosque. (We listened to it happily gurgling below us during our entire stay. Oh, & did I mention the incredible quiet nights & those unstoppable stars?... If you're looking for a private, natural getaway, Casa Paloma is IT...)
We are in the middle of many historic & recreational sites: Carson Nat'l Forrest is 4 miles north on 554; El Rito village is 8 miles north; the old Abiquiu village is about 7 miles away, along w/ the Abiquiu PO & Rising Moon Gallery - where many local artists display their talent. Bode's General Store, where locals & visitors gather for food & cheer, groceries & gifts, is across the road. Just up Hwy. 84 is Abiquiu Lake - w/ summer recreational activities & beautiful views. Ghost Ranch, where Georgia O'Keeffe painted, is just beyond about 25 minutes from Casa Paloma). Ghost Ranch now offers many workshops, plus hiking & horseback riding... Close by is Christ in the Desert Monastery, where one can drive 14 scenic & bumpy miles to secluded peace & check out what the Monks are doing (when not making the fine ale they sell at Bode's...). Echo Amphitheater is nearby & a bit further up the road is Chama & Tierra Amarilla, two charming northern New Mexico communities. These are on the doorstep of Pagosa Springs - in Colorado. Durango - a lively little western town - is just 3 1/2 - 4 hours from Casa Paloma. The ancient Anasazi ruins of Mesa Verde are just west of Durango - and the Four Corners of UT/AZ/CO & NM are just beyond that - so all this adventure is just one days drive away!
Los Alamos glows directly south of us, with a fine library, a swimming pool, a large & modern Smith's grocery store - and all the scientific history of atoms & bombs one could imagine.
Jemez (hot) Springs; Bandelier Nat'l Monument; the ancient & verdant volcanic caldera of Valle Grande & Puye Indian Ruins are all right in this area. Any one of these (or a combination) make for a fine day's exploratory of culture & natural beauty within a 45 minute drive. Any of these offer wonderful hiking opportunities.
Golf?... Well, there are two terrific desert courses! Black Mesa Golf, just south of Espanola, is a half an hour away & offers very nice greens. Buffalo Thunder Casino, about 15 minutes further south, towards Santa Fe, has a terrific (Hilton Resort caliber 27-hole) course, with food, drink & gambling waiting in the wings.
Hiking is everywhere you turn, out in these huge, vast-skied lands, starting with walking out the driveway & down the arroyo, just below us on Fort Defina Drive. We've hiked through the 'neighborhood' and have thoroughly enjoyed the climb & the trails that meander right here at home (a terrific area to walk your dogs). Photos & views abound.
Plaza Blanca - famous in Abiquiu for its geology & beauty - is about 5 miles away, down off of County Road 155. If you're a hiker, you cannot miss a stay here without a least one mind-boggling trek in to these awe-inspiring white cathedral rocks. (An interesting tidbit is that the closing scene of "Cowboys & Aliens" was filmed in Plaza Blanca.)
And, of course, no visit to Abiquiu - O'Keeffe country - is complete until one has explored Santa Fe, only an hour's drive southeast. The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum awaits you, in the historic Plaza, as well as an untold amount of galleries, boutiques, fine shopping, fine dining, an abundance of grocery stores & antique shops... the list is endless.
The Rail Runner train can take you on down to Albuquerque, even, to explore Olde Town!... So MUCH to do; so little time...
If you want to explore the ancient church with the famous 'healing dirt' the 200-year-old El Santuario de Chimayo' sits outside the old village of Chimayo'. This is one of my personal favorites in the area, with a blend of Catholic history & mysticism that moves my spirit to tears. This is known as the "Lourdes of the Southwest"; thousands pilgrimage here annually for the "tierra bendita" at Easter and at Christmas. Be sure to allow time to explore el santuario & its adjacent chapels & gift shop. Afterwards, I suggest you take in a meal at the Rancho de Chimayo' Restaurante, a local favorite, full of old Mexican atmosphere, great food, & both indoor & lush outdoor dining.
A trip to Taos is an hour, or so, further north, either along the "River Road" (paralleling the Rio Grande) or explore the "High Road", through tiny & creative ancient villages. One of them is Truchas (where "The Milagro Beanfield War" was filmed in the 1970s. Robert Redford directed this timeless movie. It became the village of Milagro - where miracles still do occur.) Other villages along the High Road are Cordova, Ojo Sarco, Las Trampas & Penasco - all creative centers - winding into Rancho de Taos. Here you will find one of the most photographed churches in America: Santuario San Francisco de Asis. Taos, itself, offers up its own Plaza & culture, as well as the historic Taos Pueblo, where Tewa Indians still make drums.
The Abiquiu area is a magnet to history, creativity, culture & natural beauty. Please enjoy your outings, then return to our portal or patio & relax into a quiet night of brilliant stars in a vast open sky. Casa Paloma awaits.