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Today we set out exploring the Enchanted Circle.

Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway Driving Map

Online they say it takes about 2 hours. We took about 4 with stops and grabbing lunch. Since we hit Taos ski valley yesterday we headed up towards Questa. This is where we saw our first sighting of wildlife.

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We drove through Questa towards Red River where we saw a wild turkey climbing up a cliff. He moved to fast for us to get a picture. Then made a stop at a popular ghost town Elizabethtown which was home to several thousand miners during New Mexico’s “gold rush” in 1866. Ummm well I don’t recommend stopping there isn’t much to see except this…

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We drove up there and there’s nothing there besides a few private properties. There’s an old fire truck, a super rusted out car and an old church with new windows and doors.

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So back on the road and we stopped at Eagle Nest Lake for a potty break and to walk down by the water. It was so windy i felt like it was a beach with the snow topped mountains in the back ground.

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We even saw some prairie dogs running around. They run pretty quick so I couldn’t get too close to them.

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Our next stop was the Vietnam Memorial located just out of Angel Fire. This is a fantastic memorial and really brings tears to your eyes. There’s also a chapel on site. This all started as a memorial from a father (Doc) to his son (David Westphall) who was killed in an ambush in Vietnam. Angel Fire holds special meaning to this family as it was the last place David visited prior to deploying to Vietnam even donating books to the local library.

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In 1994 Doc visited Vietnam with his son to the site where the ambush happened, spreading dirt from the memorial site and gathering dirt to bring back home to the memorial.

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Inside the memorial you can find all sorts of history, stories, medals, items used in combat and pay your respect to the sons lost to war.

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Our next stop was Angel Fire for lunch. Like Taos Ski Valley everything here was shut down as well except for a bakery, a family style restaurant and a Chinese restaurant. We picked Yu Garden to eat.

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Normally they have a buffet ($7.95 adults, $6.95 kids), but with less and less people around they just have their menu items. We ordered Hunan Chicken and General Tso’s Chicken both $7.50 which came with soup, fried wonton, spring roll, rice, and tea. Overall it was filling and tasted just like back home.

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Full from lunch we circled back through Taos, stopping at a little shop that made the hanging pepper decorations. If you have time stop in this shop she also sells them online. We got a quick lesson of how she makes them all herself and grows the peppers as well. She also sells chile powders and bags of chile pods.

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We headed back home to rest up then ventured back out for a light dinner. About a block away from the Chile shop is the Adobe Bar in the Taos Inn. The hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also known for legendary margaritas so we had to try one.

The Historic Taos Inn is made up of several adobe houses, which date from the 1800’s, and which surrounded a small plaza—now the Inn’s spectacular lobby. Read more of it’s history HERE.

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On Monday’s they do a beer tasting for those of you who enjoy tasting new beers. Since it was Sunday we stuck to the margaritas. We started off with a famous Cowboy Buddha  $9.50 (Herradura Silver, Cointreau, hand-squeezed lime juice) and a more traditional Perfect Margarita  $9.00 (Cuervo Gold, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, fresh lime juice, sweet & sour).

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We weren’t hungry enough for a full meal so we ordered an Adobe Bar Burrito off of the bar menu.  (Pinto Beans, Cheddar and jack cheeses, wrapped in a flour tortilla and served with salsa $5 add chicken $9 or add steak $9.50) We went with the steak which wasn’t bad, but totally not worth the $9.50.

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We ordered one last margarita before heading back home. Fire on the Mountain  $9.50 (Milagro Silver, triple sec, sweet & sour, topped with a float of Chichicapa Mezcal) Wow this has a smoky taste to it. I didn’t like it, but D did so that’s all his. We would have loved to try more, but at $9 a margarita it gets pricey.

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On our way back to the house we stopped to take a few pictures of the horses as the sun was setting. So pretty!

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We ended another day in the hot tub gazing at the stars and watching the full moon rise.

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