From Santa Fe to Boulder Colorado, by Road

Red Rocks at Ghost Ranch

We reluctantly left New Mexico and followed Highway 84 to Colorado, through the Village of Abiquiu, past Ghost Ranch, and up to the Carson National forest.

The different layers within the sandstone cliffs

We marvelled at the amazing rock formations we saw, and stopped to photograph them. These sandstone cliffs have been formed over millions of years, and the different layers, formed through the millennia, are distinctly visible.

Echo Amphitheater

One spectacular stop was at Echo Amphitheater, with a natural stone rounded structure that makes you want to shout with joy, just to hear the echo reverberate all around.

Could this be blood, or just a strange configuration of the rock?

There is a legend attached to this particular formation. It is said that in 1861, a group of settlers were executed by a band of Navajo Indians  here, and their blood spilled over the walls. Three years later, there was a revenge attack by the settlers, and more blood was spilled, which seeped into the rock, and is supposedly this, clearly visible today.

Although the paths were lined with fragrant sage bushes,
we also saw lots of this lethal-looking pencil-cholla cactus

After visiting Echo Amphitheater, we climbed higher and higher, 
so high that we drove through snow-covered land.

Our Lady of Guadeloupe, Conejos

Our next stop was in Conejos, Colorado, where Colorado’s Oldest Church stands. Our Lady of Guadeloupe Parish Church was built in 1858 and dedicated on December 12, 1863.

The beautiful sign over the arched doorway dates from the reconstruction of the church after a fire

Tiled mural of Our Lady of Guadeloupe, in the church

The grotto outside the church is a shrine to Our Lady of Guadeloupe

This really is a vast expanse of country. Just imagine going to school in this every day. Magnificent!

by Elizabeth Coughlan


  1. Gosh Elizabeth, what a memorable trip you had. I think that very last pic of the school bus in that spectacular scenery is amazing. Super!

    1. Thanks, Claudia. The trip was especially amazing for all the spectacular scenery. When I think about it, that part of the world is really special, and I would really like to visit there again.

  2. Beautiful photos! I also love the school bus photo. The yellow against the blue sky and snow-covered mountains is just perfect! Cheers from Warsaw! :-)

    1. Hello, Joy! How lovely to hear from you. We miss you in Istanbul, but I see from your blog that you are enjoying Warsaw. Thanks for the comment.

  3. What a great trip! I've been back and forth between Denver and Santa Fe many times (we used to live in Denver), but I never drove it. Now I wish I had!!!
    I, too, love the school bus photo!!!

    1. This trip really is worth doing, Caroline. It isn't the main highway, so it takes a little longer, especially if you stop as many times as we did! I think it took us somewhere in the region of 10 hours! Thanks for stopping by, I hope we can catch up again in the not-too-distant future.


I would love to have your thoughts on any aspect of my blog.

Press Centre

Press Centre
I couldn't resist this one!