Taos, New Mexico

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On Tuesday, we woke up, packed, and drove to Taos to experience the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains in north-central New Mexico. About two hours driving from Albuquerque and one from Santa Fe, it’s a perfect weekend escape from the urban life. Although we visited during the off season (the snow on the slopes was beginning to melt and the wildflowers had not yet appeared), the landscape was no less stunning. Sharp, snow covered peaks rose above dry, barren desert in a dramatic contrast.

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After spending the afternoon browsing the shops, cafes, and restaurants in Taos, we drove another twenty minutes to our hostel near the Taos Ski Valley. The Abominable Snowmansion was located in the village of Arroyo Secco just outside the Carson National Forest. Perfect for travelers with a budget, especially youth, the Abominable Snowmansion is a great base for skiing, hiking, or simply enjoying the outdoors. With reasonable priced dorms, private rooms, cabins, and tipis and friendly staff, it provided splendid mountain accommodations. While there are not very many restaurants in Arroyo Secco, AQEC Restaurant provided a wonderful atmosphere, delicious (slightly over-priced) food, and a friendly staff. However, the staff at the Abominable Snowmansion serves an inexpensive dinner in the evening and there are many dining options nearby in Taos.

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We explored the Taos Ski Valley before returning to our hostel for an evening of pool, wine, and new friends. Although my pool skills are lacking, I had enjoyable time laughing with old and new friends. After pool, we retired to the summer room and continued to drink. A new friend from New Orleans played some music and we had a little party. It was a close to a perfect day in the mountains.

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Five States

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After being snowed in Kansas City, Missouri on Sunday, I finally hit the road to New Mexico. Most of the day, I followed the Historic Route 66 from Kansas City to Albuquerque. Although driving through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico may not sound pleasant, I found the drive rather enjoyable. With the tunes blaring, coffee in hand, and wonderful thoughts of Spring Break, I managed to pass the time alone in the car.

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Of the states I passed through, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico were new ones for the listing, making the count thirty-one out of fifty. Soon enough, I will have visited all fifty. In this vast country, I am excited to meet the locals who carry the traditions, stories, and lore that make this country so unique. From thirty-one to fifty, the lessons I will learn along the way excite me.

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