Friday, July 28, 2006

Los Caminos Antiguos

Located in one of the most magnificent locations of Colorado, Los Caminos Antiquos, or the ancient roads, stretches from Alamosa, CO to the Great Sand Dunes National Park, through several quaint and hispanic-cultural towns, down to New Mexico through the pass of the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad, the nation's longest and highest narrow gauge railway between Antonito, CO and border-town Chama, NM. The byway meaders through the San Luis Valley between the impressive high peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the San Juan foothills.

Greatly accessible due to high-traffic for most of this byway, the Sand Dunes park is a great place to start. Start with one of their special sand wheelchairs with adapted bulbous wheels and a second pair of strong arms to see this fascinating natural wonder, where the sand of the San Luis Valley floor gets swept up to the base of the Sangre de Cristos and creates miles of dunes against the mountains.

The largest town on this trek is Alamosa, widely accessible in both lodging and dining, and located centrally for either both the end or the beginning (or both!) of your tour. We stayed in the accessible cottage side-house of the Cottonwood B&B (719-589-3882; 123 San Juan Ave, and had a marvelous soak in their hot tub after a long day of travel, as well as an excellent breakfast to awake to on their quaint patio.

The food is especially good in this region, and were especially recommended to the Dos Hermanas Restaurant in Antonito, "the food is out of this world," one customer told us, as the aromas of hispanic flavor drifted out the door.

Don't miss the excellent views of the tour on the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad, complete with one accessible car and bathroom; but reserve early, the car must be booked a week in advance!

Happy Trails!

No comments: