I just love traveling the backroads….

You stumble across such wonderful people and businesses and magnificent views when you are willing to take one of those squiggly, little, thin black lines on a map instead of the big, wide, red lines.

From Taos I took Hwy 64, which wandered through the canyon and forests over to Angle Fire. Angle Fire hasn’t much to offer during the summer but in the winter is the home of a very large ski resort, and Zeb’s Bar, who serves a really great steak salad.

From Angle Fire my friends Gerry & Johnny, who I was headed to see, said I really needed to take Hwy 434 for some much needed scenery! Well, there are those skies that are just well…huge……

with mountains climbing into the clouds. But when not looking up, I found I really needed to keep my eyes on the road as even though this scenic route had a yellow line down the middle designating it a 2-way road, it was about a wide as a regular one-lane road, and it wiggled, weaved, went up and over and down and through some pretty interesting and white-knuckle steering-wheel grabbing turns and curves. Passing an oncoming truck was quite interesting, to say the least. Thank goodness, this did not happen often!

When I actually saw signs of people living this far out, they were signs like cattle crossings, which fyi really rattle when you drive over them, an interesting mixture of fence-types to keep the cattle from crossing, crumbling, abandoned adobe houses and lots of lamas. Lamas seem to be very popular to raise in this part of New Mexico.

Hwy. 434 ends at the little town of Mora, where it joins Hwy 518 heading to Las Vegas, NM. As I made the turn onto 518 I literally slammed on my breaks and parked the car as I had ‘stumbled upon’ on those places where I just had to stop.

I had found Tapetes de Lana, a yarn manufacturing co-op run mostly on grants and donations and volunteers who are trying like crazy to help the local economy by providing the local ranches who produce wool a place to have their product dyed and spun into yarns. They also employee a number of locals, teaching them to weave, manufacture and sell a product.

I spent 2 hours just talking with the folks who work here, getting a tour of the processing rooms and learning how those cute lamas I saw while driving along the road have donated their coats to become beautiful colored yarns, along with some curly-haired sheep and rabbits as well. As a matter of fact, fibers are shipped in to Tapetes de Lana from producers from all over the country. Many people who tend their own wool-producing animals have found this wonderful place to have their fiber cleaned, spun, died and wound before having it returned to them to create beautiful woven and knitted creations.

There is a large gallery where local artisans can sell they woven goods and where people such a me can purchase colorful skeins of all weights of yarn for 40% off retail. They do mail order and would love to talk to you so be sure to take time to click on their link and find out more about Tapetes de Lana. If you are a knitter or a weaver, you will love knowing about this new source of beautiful yarns.

Until next time….