Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico Tuesday September 22, 2015

We told the cook that she didn’t need to stop by this morning to cook us breakfast. She had to travel at least 30 minutes for each meal that she prepared for us as she did not work full time at the lodge.

I was never so happy to leave any place that we stayed at . (At least that I can remember!)

Here is Steve letting us through the gate to leave.

And our van approaches the gate to leave!

Boom! One set of gates done. More to go!

Good bye Cow Creek! Not sorry to be gone!

This whole stay at Cow Creek was not quite pleasant, I find it cathartic to relive it’s end!

Good bye burned out forest!

Onto the dirt road.

Then it was onto a stone road.

Some parts of the road were really bumpy.

Then we got to the narrow section with blind spots ahead.

Where a truck always seemed to be approaching, with poor visibility of the road ahead.

The road was so uneven.

With steep drops offs on one side.

And a truck barreling down the road to look for downed wood in the forest.

I told you it was a bad road!

After an hour on the dirt/stone road we made it to pavement. Yay!

The car was a real mess from the dust and dirt!

Now would be a good time to recap Steve’s thoughts about Cow Creek.

A harrowing drive up the worst road I’ve ever seen, a burned over landscape and truly bad food will prevent a repeat visit, but I caught a lot of fish in our 2 days there. Cow Creek is a small high mountain (8800′) stream, about 10’wide and perhaps 20 CFS, that has been “improved” by digging deep holes every 30 yards or so over a 2 mile stretch. This section is divided into 12 beats. They have also dug 7 ponds. The work was done as tastefully as possible, but still feels artificial. The deep pools and ponds hold bookies, browns, cutbows, and rainbows, some 5-8 pounds. They are very wary and tentative due to the concentrated pressure, I enjoyed catching a few big ones of 4-6 pounds, one of which took a mouse against the bank near the inlet of Pond No. A. With a strike worthy of a lunker bass, but I most enjoyed the natural stretch upstream, which is tiny water full of small wild browns, bookies, and a few Rio Grande cutthroat. With stealth and accurate short casts, even bow and arrow casts, the fish rose to small dries, especially a Royal Wolff in size 18.

I found this place for breakfast on Yelp. Chocolate? Yes, please!

The bakery looked very promising.

We were told to sit anywhere, I plopped ourselves in front of the window so we could watch the bakers. “You looking at me?”

While we waited for our breakfast to be brought over, we enjoyed watching how some of the pastries were prepared.

First the dough needs to be run through the machine, several times to create the perfect flaky croissant.

Then it is placed on the slab, ready to be cut.

Here the baker is piping chocolate onto the dough.

On the right spinach croissants are being prepared.

Our breakfast were derived. I had the blue corn blueberry pancakes with piƱon syrup. I probably should have had the strawberries and cream waffle. These were a bit dense and dry.

Steve had some kind of Mexican slop. If that isn’t a gloppy breakfast I don’t know what is!

Then it was time to find our hotel. We went from no stars to a five star American Express Fine Hotel with benefits!

We would be staying at The Inn of the Anasazi.

The hotel was right on the courthouse square. We went for a walk. Come along.

We checked out The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

The church was started in 1869 and is designed in the Romanesque Revival style.

It was lovely inside.

Nearby was the famous Loretto Chapel.

Inside is the miraculous staircase.

There is no newel or center pole. The staircase was built without nails. It is held together by pegs and glue. That is why it was called the “Miraculous Staircase.”

The Gothic Revival altar is made of wood painted to look like marble.

While in Santa Fe we also went to some museums. The Georgia O’Keeefe museum was going under renovations so they didn’t charge us to enter. We also went to the Historical Museum. No pictures allowed!

On the way back to the hotel we stopped to window shop at Lucchese boots. We only window shopped.

Our room was very inviting.

This was the special amenity we were given by the hotel. A handful of potato chips, a handful of popcorn and some nuts. We shared.

We had dinner at the hotel.

I love cornbread, as does Steve.

One of us had a salad.

I am not quite sure what this entree was.

This was definitely salmon!

Dessert was flan, ice cream and chocolate. All three of my favorite food groups!

Do you think I was too hard on Cow Creek?

Are you nuts?

Which one these food groups is your favorite? Flan, ice cream or chocolate?

Cow Creek Ranch, Pecos New Mexico. Sunday September 20, 2015

After I published last night’s post Steve remarked that I did not embellish much about the road to Cow Creek. I told him that I blocked a lot of it out of my memory as it was such a bad, bad road. Steve said that the road was bed rock in many parts and that at times we couldn’t even tell where the road actually was. Yep. That is why I didn’t remember the road. It was bad!

Here I am at breakfast, reading the literature about the history of Cow Creek.

Please don’t quiz me! This is the view of the dining area from the opposite direction.

I can tell you that Cow Creek was founded in the 1800’s as a boarding ranch for wealthy English boys to learn Western ranching. Generally these would be second sons as only the first born son would inherit the estate. In the 1930’s Cow Creek was transformed into a guest ranch. It’s for sale now, if you want to buy it!

Breakfast!

I love my whipped cream on coffee!

Here is a view of Cow Creek and the valley.

After breakfast I wandered down to the horse barn for my scheduled ride.

Can you see the fish in the stream?

Here I am with one of the staff and Lanier one of the owners. This ranch had the first riding waiver that I had to sign that mentioned the possibility of death, I looked at Lanier and asked her how often that happened. I did not relish the thought of being their first casualty!

The creek at Cow Creek was very pretty.

Unfortunately there had been forest fires a few years ago and the hill sides were severely damaged.

This is some damage from a bear that was clawing on the tree!

Look how big the scars are from the bear claws!

My posture looked good, I was happy to be almost done with the ride! At one point in the ride my horse stumbled and I semi fell off it. No worries! I lived to tell the story!

Thank you for the ride Horse!

After my ride I walked back to the room where I rested for the rest of the day. The elevation really got to me and I was exhausted.

This is the living room where guests could hang out. I don’t even remember sitting here reading. I blocked out a lot about the stay at this ranch as I was so uncomfortable with everything about this place. The living room does look cozy though!

This is what one of the rooms looked like. I didn’t find any guest logs to find out if any famous people had stayed here before. Nor were there any other guests staying here to tell you any fun stories about them!

The bathroom.

This is where our meals were cooked.

This is one of the fish that Steve caught in the morning from one of the lower beats on Cow Creek.

Steve didn’t really like these lower beats as they were enhanced.

The fish was a real beauty, but Steve prefers less constructed streams. This fish was 21 inches.

So Steve and his guide moved upstream. This was one of the spots where Steve fished later in the day.

Isn’t this a beauty? He preferred the wild trout as opposed to the larger fish in the stocked ponds. This was his first Rio Grande cut throat.

Here is another area where he caught many wild trout.

I tried sitting here to read for a little bit while Steve was fishing. It got a bit too sunny for me so I went back inside.

I could see the horses gather near the gate while I read. You can see all the fire damage here.

This view is of one of the ponds that were created on Cow Creek.

The rooms were in a motel shape arrangement. They had a very bad fire that destroyed much of the landscape here. You can see how close the fire was to the lodge.

Steve came back from fishing to report that he caught 25 fish for the day, rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, cutbow and a rio cutt.

Then it was time for dinner. We didn’t have the cook come for lunch as she had to drive about an hour each way to get to the ranch.

We had a somewhat green salad.

Dinner was pot roast. Followed by the cake from the previous night.

There were many hummingbird feeders under the eaves.

Here is a close up of one of the Hummingbirds. Aren’t they cute?

Off to bed!

What is your favorite type of bird?

Are you a second son?

Would you rather catch a large stocked fish or a small native fish?

Is this place too dull for you? No famous people, no interesting guests with interesting background stories! No pictures of good food! I might as well just hang up my blogging skills. Instead I will persevere, you never know when something exciting will happen!