With so much to see and do in New Mexico, it’s hard to decide where to begin your trip.
Come along with our host, Michael Newman, as he explores the state’s most memorable destinations (and meets a few interesting characters along the way). New Mexico True Television airs Sunday mornings in select New Mexico and Texas markets.
Part of the adventure of getting around New Mexico is the "getting around" itself. Michael and crew tackle traveling in a variety of ways in this episode. They steam and soar, they bike and horseback. And take a break for one of the state's signature meals. Buckle your seatbelt, its going to be a thrilling ride.
MICHAEL’S BLOG: PLANES TRAINS & AUTOS
In this episode we highlighted modes of transportation: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I had a familiarity with most of these ways of getting around, but I was a novice of going up…up...and around. More specifically, going up in a Glider flight out in Moriarty. I understood that a glider flight would be much different than riding in a regular commercial airliner, but being the guy who has only flown in a small plane once in his life, I had no real grasp of what the experience would be like. With excitement and nervousness, I jumped into the front seat of this long sleek soaring vessel and took on the persona of my alter-ego, a “Top Gun” pilot of course with the accompaniment of “Danger Zone” in my head.
Once we got up in the sky, I was extremely surprised at the deafening silence I experienced. I imagine that it must be what birds hear when they cut through the sky, just you and the wind. It was very meditative. And then we up’ed the ante a little bit. I actually got to take the controls for some time, and my instructor, Rick, said I was a natural! Who would of thought.The more exhilarating aspect of the experience was doing maneuvers! Rick had us doing wingovers which allowed us to look up...to look down. Confusing I know, thats how it felt too. Theres nothing like that feeling of weightlessness and disorientation when your upside down. Its kind of like being on a roller coaster…except its a couple more hundred feet up. After experiencing that I feel like I unofficially earned my wings.
All in all, the glider flight was a surprising mix of excitement, serenity, and beauty. It is definitely a unique way to “view” New Mexico and I highly recommend it to anyone with a sense of adventure.
In this episode Michael takes his travels for a loop. The Enchanted Circle runs through the scenic mountain valleys and delightful villages that surround New Mexico's highest point, Wheeler Peak. There is adventure in every direction in this northern New Mexico hotspot, from trekking with llamas, to ziplining, golf, mountain biking, and of course some world class opportunities to sit back and simply enjoy the crisp mountain air.
MICHAEL’S BLOG: ENCHANTED CIRCLE
Here's a show where I can't believe all we packed in. And as much as I was able to experience, I feel like I could have spent at least another week in this incredible part of our state.
As charming as the llamas were, the town of Red River was equally as endearing in its hospitality. The whole feel of this place envelops you. It's a cozy town nestled in the mountains and the pines, and the people are as warm as any you'll find. No one is a stranger – right away you feel at home. How else can you explain my willingness to put myself out on the dance floor and take on square dancing? Or toss discs with the pro disc golfers at Red River Ski Area? I was able to step out of my comfort zone and really enjoy myself in so many different capacities.
Disc golf wasn't the only golf I got schooled in – I had the opportunity to have a private lesson at Angel Fire Resort with professional golfer Don Willingham. Let me sum it up by saying Don was an incredible instructor, extremely patient, and I have a whole new appreciation for the precision of this sport. Don never gave up on me, and by the end of the shoot I had definitely improved on my swing. But I think there were a lot of shots of little white balls all over the greens that never made it in the hole that somehow ended up on the cutting room floor.
There was so much more to see and do – I'll be planning another visit up there sooner vs. later.
Nothing is more “New Mexico True” than the rough-and-tumble Wild West culture that is both part of New Mexico’s past and its present. This episode, with some new gunslinger segments and another look at a favorite or two, shares some of the state’s unique frontier days attitude. Watch as Michael meets modern-day gunslingers, and then later wields a six-shooter himself. #NewMexicoTRUE.
In this episode we traveled all around the state to showcase our Wild West tradition that is still alive and vibrant. One of the most notable experiences was getting up close and personal with modern day gun slingers at the Single Action Shooter Society’s (SASS) -End of Trail Competition. The folks who attend this event are the epitome of Wild West sharpshooters and the setting made you feel like you were in an old Clint Eastwood movie. Good thing I got acquainted with those shooters because it came in handy when I was asked to participate in a Ol’ West shoot out reenactment in Old Town Plaza in Albuquerque. The New Mexico Gunfighters Association, who puts on funny and authentic reenactments in the old square, suited me up as if I was an outlaw, and I got to act in a real suit em' and shoot em' scene. I mean I actually looked like the real deal. Exhilarating to say the least, these activities are only a few of the many things in New Mexico that can really flash you back to the days of Jesse James and Billy the Kid.
Explore the Chama Valley with Michael and the New Mexico True Television crew this week as they see firsthand what makes this area so incredible. Fly fishing, hiking and horseback riding are just a few of the outdoor treasures you’ll discover, along with a trip to Heron Lake State Park and a ride on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. Dino tracks and glamping round out this excursion, along with a reminder of how important it is to “disconnect” and spend time outdoors with the ones you love.
My visit to the Chama Valley included many “firsts” for me: my first time riding an old steam engine train, my first time kayaking, and last but not least, my first time “glamping.” The Chama Valley is a lush, green mountainous landscape dotted with rivers and lakes and everything necessary to make the ultimate outdoor getaway. We spent a few days there, but I will spend the rest of my time in New Mexico going back again and again.
We started the shoot there by riding the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad. I had no idea how much I would enjoy this venture through the mountain passes that make up the northern border of New Mexico into Colorado. The train was loaded up with adults and kids alike, and the enthusiasm of the little ones was contagious. There is something undeniably romantic and exciting about traversing the countryside by train – especially with old windows you can roll down, or by riding the open gondola. It is an experience you can have in very few places in this country, and we’re so fortunate to have it right here in our own backyard. I met people from all over the country who came to Chama to ride the railroad.
The train ride was probably the only sitting I did, though. Most of my time in Chama was spent immersing myself in every outdoor activity imaginable. I packed two into one at Fishtail Ranch – both fly-fishing and horseback riding. And as it turns out, with all the other things they offer in the fall and winter I will be headed back there once the seasons change. I definitely have to get out on a snowmobile with the ranch’s owner, Valerie. She knows all the backcountry passes and spots to get the best views. I’ll just have to make sure I can keep up!
But outdoor sporting in the Chama still includes some relaxation. On my visit to Heron Lake I befriended Siscily, and she let me take one of her kayaks out on the water. I found this to be an amazing meditative exercise, and it’s a pastime I have a whole new appreciation and passion for. Not a bad day at the office, I must say.
The trip to Chama was topped off with a “glamping” trip down the Chama River with river outfitters Los Rios River Runners. Oh, wait, didn’t I say earlier the train ride was the only time I spent sitting – I lied! I did a lot of lounging as we cruised on our raft down the Rio Chama, letting our river guide Patrick navigate the waters and take us on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of this wilderness. We floated the river by day, and then our outfitters set up the most incredible and luxurious campsite for us to spend the night. Decadent dinner, beers and music by the fire, and the most stunning sunset I have ever experienced in my lifetime – the perfect way to end a visit to this magnificent part of our state.
In this episode we got to soak up some of New Mexico’s most visited waters and made some historic stops along the way.
For those who may not know, the city of Truth or Consequences has a very long history in New Mexico. Having been previously called Hot Springs, New Mexico, I learned that city had its name changed after winning a contest for a famous TV game show called Truth or Consequences
In this episode we got to soak up some of New Mexico’s most visited waters and made some historic stops along the way.
For those who may not know, the city of Truth or Consequences has a very long history in New Mexico. Having been previously called Hot Springs, New Mexico, I learned that city had its name changed after winning a contest for a famous TV game show called Truth or Consequences. But that is not the only unique thing about the city; it was also a place where many Native Americans tribes would come and peacefully soak in the healing hot springs. There are many tales of the people that came through this town over the years. One of the major names that many may recognize is Geronimo, the famous Apache warrior.
Since those days, many things have changed in Hot Springs, NM (specifically the name) but some things have stayed the same. People still come from all around New Mexico and the country to soak in the restorative all natural hot springs. This is what initially drew me here and MY… was I not let down. Luckily I had my local guide Monika to guide me through town, to the plethora of hot spring spas offered in town. On the tour I found that there is a place for every taste, from super luxurious to minimal and rustic. No matter what your desire for spa aesthetic, one thing is for sure, the water will truly put you in a peaceful state of mind, at least it did in my experience. There is a certain aire about the town that screams “slow down, take a breath, and smell the flowers.” So I did just that. The people of TorC (Truth or Consequences) are super friendly, patient, and creative. It is the ultimate place to unplug and soak!
Another great stop on this journey, we stopped in at the well-preserved ghost town of Chloride. Escorted around the ghost town by a local, Don, I learned that the town went bust during the Mining era. Don had a great story though…when he came to live in town he found the general store fully intact with relics that had been left untouched since the 1800’s! Talk about history. I was so fascinated by all the old tools and items from that era that you mostly only see in books. This place was a living encyclopedia. The town is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in New Mexico and is sure to give you a first hand perspective of what life was like in the 1800’s.
If you’re in the same area and are looking for a nice cool down after a soak or exploring ghost towns, you must make the stop to Elephant Butte Lake. This is probably the most frequently visited body of water in the state. Filled with lots of awesome water activities, you can find families taking their boat out, fishing, water skiing, and so much more. They also have a world class golf course and some great hikes there too. In other words, there is no shortage of activities if you want to be active.