Day 9: Chama to Española


There was no plan other than to drive South and look for a hotel when we got to a town we like.  That was the plan.  First though, breakfast.

We went to the Charma Grill which was functional and the potato and eggs were really pretty nice.  An odd feature was the separate knife, fork and spoon dispensers where you pull a little lever on the right to get one.  They'd put the dispenser too high on the wall that they'd had to put a fixed stool under this one for people that couldn't reach.  Someone actually did that.

We pushed the town of Abiquiu into the GPS.  The name rang a bell but I just couldn't think why.

The route was a single road from Chama through to Abiquiu but through lovely scenery.  The red rocks of Utah, into the pines of Colorado and now into more of a desert - though with the large hills continuing.


Jane spotted a sign to the Echo Amphitheatre.  Walking up the base you can shout and hear a pretty decent echo.  Also, for the first time and in pretty much every expanse of rock you hear the angry-wasp-buzzing of someone flying a drone over it.

According to legend the curved stone cliff wall now known as Echo Amphitheater was the site where a group of Navajo executed a family of settlers. As the story goes, the victims were brought to the top of the cliff and killed, their blood running down the cliff wall and permanently staining it. Possibly in response to this legend another story says that years later a number of Navajo were in turn murdered in the same spot, once again staining the cliff wall with their draining blood. Now the natural echoing caused by the sites geography is often ascribed to the voices of the unquiet dead.
Panorama Echo Ampitheater.jpg

Back onto the main road, we saw a sign and suddenly remembered why the town Abiquiú felt familiar.  It's Ghost Ranch the sometime home of Georgia O'Keeffe.


We had thought there would be a hotel in Abiquiu.  Nope. Not that we could see from driving through.

After much driving around we hit a town and finally found a hotel.  Turns out it was super cheap and you can tell.  Putting a few things from the car into the room we went to find some food.  Sitting down waiting for the food to arrive we realised we had no idea where we were and if it hadn't said on the receipt we'd have remained ignorant.