Farmington, New Mexico
First we met up with our host, Gayle at her home in Farmington. She gave us a walky-talky and we followed her truck on a paved road for 10 minutes. Then the fun began. We were lucky our non-Jeep made it to the top of the dusty mesa. We parked next to the pipe/chimney, showing that we were on top of the cave.
The Hike Down
No rolling suitcases for this overnight. We actually had to sign papers that we were up for all the risks involved in staying in our cave hotel. I was glad for the railing that guided us down the rocky pathway to the opening.
Up and Down Hike
But when you're inside, it does feel very cave-like at a constant 68-73 degrees.
Better Than a Cave
During my rugged college camping years, I slept in caves a few times. They were damp and clammy, with more than a few bat and mud encounters. It was a treat to have bathrobes as an option, instead of coveralls.
Quite the Bathroom
him enough room for a replica Kiva. This must have been an inspiration from the Pueblo Dwellings not too far away in Mesa Verde. If only temps had been cooler, we could have lit a fire in the corner fireplace.
Instead of snuggling up for a fire, we got to go out and enjoy the warm evening while the animals feasted. Gayle made sure to show us where the nibbles were stored for the critters. Sadly we saw no ring-tailed cats, but lots of squirrels and chippers.
Happy Hour Sunset
We had our own food and drink, but Gayle said the fridge was stocked for our use. We climbed up the steps from the cave opening and out onto the flat rock.
Once again, I could see why we signed those papers. The little chain railing would not keep us from stumbling over the edge... if we happened to have one too many.
The show couldn't have been better. The sun finally sank and the clouds continued to entertain us.
We woke to a beautiful morning with the moon still visible. We watched the hummers and a few more critters before heading up to the top of the mesa.
Not only did we have the cave to ourselves, but the whole mesa as well. What a treat to get up and hike the mesa after a restful overnight, underneath!
My New Year's Resolution for 2014 was to start documenting some of the memorable overnights I've had in some very odd and curious motels and hotels. Like the adventures in my Dining Blog, I have learned to enjoy the surprises that happen when you step out of the comfort zone, far away from the well-known chains.
I began with a few entries recalling my very first home away from home memories from my youth. Then, I started sharing about some of the quirky and unforgettable motels, hotels and inns that my husband and I have discovered in recent years.
The best part about this challenge was making some lists with Don and getting on the road in search of new overnight adventures. I gave myself a 2-year goal to write up 90 stories and the goal was met. Now we just keep on adding!