Thursday, September 12, 2019

Beauty of Lake Abiquiu and an Odd Monastery…

IMG_20190906_181949Our time had come to for us to leave Bernalillo NM and our friends behind until the next time ours paths cross. We packed up the RV and headed north, not to far, and we pulled in around lunchtime at Lake Abiquiu at the Riana COE Campground. The normally blue lake is more greenish in color. The lake is suffering from a blue-green algae invasion and is very, very low due to an extended northern New Mexico draught.


Wow, but what a nice campground. Not many sites here but they are well spaced and with plenty of hiking trails. Also the expansive views are fabulous. There is no wonder that Georgia O’Keefe spent much of her life here capturing the colors and landscapes in her artwork.


We spent five days here and found it to be very relaxing. Our morning hikes among the rocky ledges overlooking the lake were not only enjoyable but offered us different photographic opportunities everyday because the lighting would change not only because of the time of day but because the weather was a bit unsettled at times.


While here we did make a couple of short dives to some interesting places. One was a trip over to the half mile hike into Echo Amphitheater. The short hike inside a small canyon of sorts ends at the Echo Amphitheater. This large naturally eroded landscape feature is much larger once you are inside it looking up. The water stains from hundreds (thousands?) of years of erosive forces remain imprinted on the overhang above.

IMG_20190903_15332300000IMG_00000_BURST20190903145911563_COVERThe red rocks that are evident here due to erosion and some uplifting of geologic rock created some rock formations more like those seen in Utah or Arizona but yes, they can also be found here in New Mexico.

IMG_20190903_135259MVIMG_20190903_135021We also drove out on a 14 mile dirt road to check out an oddity, a monastery that also brews beer. Yes you heard that right!  The Monastery of Christ in the Desert is just such a place. This peaceful religious retreat in the boonies is also home to the origins of Abbey Brewing.

IMG_20190903_134920result_1567635313548While they brew beer on the premises they don’t have a tap room for sampling and they also do not allow tours of where they brew the beer. Luckily for us though the little store named Bodes in the little town of nearby Abiquiu sells some of their beer. I can say that the Monks’ Dark Ale they brew was quite tasty and it was even better knowing that we had visited the Monastery that the monks had brewed it in….


This sure is a beautiful place to spend a few days on the road of retirement…

NOTE: We are currently in Vallecito CO and going to Mancos CO in a few days…


  1. It really is beautiful country! Utah gets lots of credit for its red rocks but AZ and NM also share some great sites.
    The NM monks may brew a great beer, but the CA monks at New Clairvaux make an awesome wine!, and have a tasting room :-}