Colorado Road Trip – From The Desert to the Mountains

After 2 days…

…and nearly 30 hours behind the wheel, we made it to our planned stop in Bernalillo, NM. We didn’t choose this spot for any particular reason except that it appeared to be about the last place to get a room unitl we got to Telluride which was about a 5 hours drive. It actually turned out to be a great stop. Thankfully we got into town late in the afternoon which gave us enough time to relax prior to the last leg of the trip out. The area around Bernalillo also turned out to have simply stunning views of the desert mountains to the east and the Rockies off in the distance to the north.

Outdoor Patio at Kaktus Brewery

We had packed enough food for an Army bivouac but after 2 days of eating by hand in the car, we decided we needed to sit down somewhere that had plates and utensils and of course…adult beverages. As luck would have it….we discovered this little hole in the wall nano brewery (yes…even smaller than a micro brewery!) less than a mile away from the motel! Welcome to the Kaktus Brewing Co.  This tiny, eclectic, neighborhood brewery sitting in the shadows of the Sandia Mountains uses all natural and organic ingredients in their beer and is run primarily utilizing solar energy. They brew a surprising, varied assortment of beers from blondes to porters and lots in between. Their food selection is nothing to sneeze at either….from Dog Bites, to Frito Pies, to Wild Game Pizzas. Kaktus was the perfect choice for us! 

After a handful (or 2) of beers and pie, we carefully ventured back outside to make our way over to the Sandias to catch what we hoped would be a magnificent desert/mountain sunset.  We were not disappointed! 

15 hours and about as many beers…we headed out into the desert…ever so carefully. 

We wandered around climbing over the red earth clay and dodging the prickly pear cacti until the sun slowly slipped beyond the western skyline. The shadows the setting sun spread across the desert and the mountain tops were something to behold!


After a wonderful nights sleep, we set out at the crack of dawn for the last leg of our trip through the desert of New Mexico and into the mountains of Colorado.  It was just one helluva drive! For a couple hundred miles it was pretty much just desert….nothingness for as far as the eye could see….but simply gorgeous. The thoughts of being on horseback or wagon train back in the day floated through my head….just trying to imagine traveling across this desolate prarie and through the mountain passes must have been such a daunting experience. I wished that we had had enough time and a proper vehicle to just turn on to one of the scores of dirt roads that went, seemingly. to nowhere. We settled on the paved road however and made our way up to Dolores, CO where the scenery dramatically changed as did the driving conditions. You can see & hear more in the description below.


With virtually no traffic along the desert roads, we were able to make many stops along the way to catch some of the exquisite scenery in the desert and the montains.





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