Lunch at Taos Plateau Public Access

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Itty bitty piece o’ the national monument

“See that road? The way it goes way off to the right and then turns for those two hills?”


“You can tell how it must drop down into the that big valley between the plateau and the mountains in the far distance. I’ve always been curious what’s over that ridge. The view must be stupendous! I can’t believe I’ve never done it. It’s ridiculous. I’d love to just drive up there right now and see, but don’t worry, I won’t, not in this car. It would make it, though…”

“I should say not!”

“See, this is why I need my little truck. A Tacoma with great big tires. It’d go flying over those rocks! I’ll just have to come back out here with my little truck. Jim O’Donnell’s been out there, I’ve seen his photos. There are structures out there in the middle of nowhere, primitive corrals or something built of piled-up rocks. Some of them must be really old.”


“I’ll pour out the sour chocolate milk right here, I think.”

“Good idea.”

“Can’t take it back to Albertson’s, I don’t have the receipt. And how could I prove it in the first place?”

“I can’t believe it’s a whole week past the ‘use by’ date.”

“Oh well, human error. I don’t mind.”

“I can’t believe it.”


“I’ll bet that’s the last time that happens.”

“Man, just look at that road!”

  • Rita June 29, 2016, 1:10 AM

    What car is that? Nice looking and maybe room enough to sleep in it? Does well in the snow?

    • JHF June 29, 2016, 1:36 AM

      That’s a 2007 Pontiac Vibe, essentially a reskinned Toyota Matrix. Has the Corolla engine, front wheel drive. It’s actually pretty good in snow, but tires are everything. The back seat folds flat and so does the front passenger seat, so one could conceivably sleep in it. Maybe.

      As a car, it’s been fantastic. We got the rare 5-speed manual because it’s underpowered for the weight, and the manual lets me use lower gears for passing or climbing in the mountains. Gas mileage is always in the 30s. Last tank was 36.3 mpg. Pretty amazing. Over 100k miles on it, no problems. It’s very comfortable for three-day road trips. Cruises at 80 plus quite nicely, but you do have to know how to row that gearbox. Naturally, they don’t make them any more.

  • Rita June 29, 2016, 1:10 AM

    forgot to say – I am enjoying the new book!

    • JHF June 29, 2016, 1:40 AM

      Excellent! By all means write a review. 🙂

      • Rita June 29, 2016, 8:18 AM


  • James Moore June 29, 2016, 9:06 AM

    Get ya one a them Tacomas, only about $35k for a base model. Ha. The resale on those trucks, even 15 years old, is absurd. I saw a silver Tacoma, 2001, with 156k miles on it, pretty good shape, for $9500. I had the exact same model when it came out new and sold it after four years. Wish I’d kept it. But I plan to get one probably before the summer is out.

    • JHF June 29, 2016, 9:23 AM

      Oh, it’ll be one of those used ones. When the moment [koff] is right.

      • James Moore June 29, 2016, 9:32 AM

        They are great trucks, though. Best I’ve ever owned and I think I’ve driven and owned most every model out there during my multiple decades wandering the earth.

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