I was driving. We were headed north on I-25, on a spur-of-the-moment trip from Las Vegas, NM to Trinidad, CO.
I’d been on this stretch of interstate once before, but I didn’t remember too much about it. The Man kept talking about the beauty of the Raton Pass. He was excited to see it again.
According to Wikipedia,
Ratón Pass (7834 feet or 2388 meters elevation) is a mountain pass on the Colorado–New Mexico border in the western United States. Ratón is Spanish for “mouse.” It is located on the eastern side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Trinidad, Colorado and Raton, New Mexico, approximately 100 miles (160 km) northeast of Santa Fe. The pass crosses the line of volcanic mesas that extends east from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains along the state line, and furnishes the most direct land route between the valley of the Arkansas River to the north and the upper valley of the Canadian River, leading to Santa Fe, to the south.
The pass is a historically significant landmark on the Santa Fe Trail, a major 19th-century settlement route between Kansas City, Missouri and Santa Fe. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 for this association.
The Raton Pass is at an elevation just over 7,800 feet.
The really beautiful mountains were to the west. They were snow covered and wonderful. I wanted to see more of them.
Can we stop? Can we stop? Baby, can we stop? The Man chanted.
He’s been known to pull off on the shoulder of the road–any road, highway, interstate, any road–to take a photo. I’m a bit more safety conscious. I don’t like to stop on the side of a busy interstate or a curvy mountain road (or a curvy mountain busy interstate), but I will, it that’s the only way to get a photo the man or I (or both of us) want. In this case, I’d seen a sign for a scenic overlook and decided it would be much safer for us to stop there.
Scenic overlook, Baby, I told him. We’ll stop at the scenic overlook.
I took the scenic overlook exit and was tremendously disappointed to find we could not see the huge, snow-covered mountains.
Why didn’t they put this overlook where we could see those other mountains? I asked rhetorically.
Oh well, the scenery seen from the scenic overlook was lovely. The Man and I stayed about ten minutes, taking photos of the land and each other, then got back on the road. We were soon in Trinidad.
You can read more about the Raton Pass and its history.
I took all of the photos in this post.