Friday, August 29, 2008

Angel Fire, Enchanted Circle, New Mexico

Hi Everyone,

I’m back in Prague and settling into every day life again after my visit home to my family in New Mexico! The time difference between here and New Mexico is still making itself felt, but I’m beginning to feel a little more “normal” again! Today I’ll finally tell you about Angel Fire, New Mexico—the last stop on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway!

The village of Angel Fire sits in the Moreno Valley, at the base of Wheeler Peak in northern New Mexico, at an altitude of 8,382 ft. Angel Fire is a bit remote, but that is what adds to the village’s many charms. The village is surrounded by the Carson National Forest (filled with pine and aspen), ranches and homes, and is the home of the Angel Fire Ski Resort. There is so much to see and do here—you can see bears walking near the restaurants, and even near homes in the area; you can see elk and deer most days wandering through the nearby neighborhoods, and find multitudes of birds (of every variety) in this place! Wild flowers abound, along with wild berries up on the ski mountain trails in the summer. Along with all the wild life, you can see the wild sweep of mountains all around and beautiful deep turquoise-colored skies day or night.

The Angel Fire area has a long history—the Native Americans (Apaches and Utes) long used the area as hunting grounds and as a gathering place in the summer and fall months. The Native Americans were fascinated with the pink “fire” that comes to the mountains in the morning and evening, and called this phenomena “fire of the gods.” Later, Europeans came to the area. Some of the first Europeans to visit were Franciscan monks and they renamed the fire phenomena “fire of the angels,” which led to the current name of Angel Fire.

Many came to the Angel Fire area during the gold rush of the mid 1800’s. Just after the gold rush was over, ranchers and homesteaders came to the area. In 1864, Lucien B. Maxwell came to be the owner of 1.7 million acres of land that came to be known as the Maxwell Land Grant. Later, this land was the scene of the land grant wars and much bloodshed and violence—and the source of many stories and legends of the West.

Nowadays, Angel Fire is calm and peaceful in the high, clear air of the southern Rockies. Many tourists come to the area for many different types of recreation. Some of my family’s favorite activities are off-roading in my Dad’s Jeep, and hiking the many trails that abound in and around Angel Fire and the Enchanted Circle area. And I can’t forget to mention the Angel Fire Ski Resort! The ski resort is an excellent place to ski—over 100,000 visitors come each year! Angel Fire Ski resort is also the only resort in New Mexico that offers a halfpipe for snowboarders.

My family truly enjoys all of the Enchanted Circle. I was very fortunate to live in this area for four years before moving here, to Prague. I mainly moved to the area for health reasons, and at first found it to be a very remote and wild place. Over time, however, I came to love this part of northern New Mexico. This area is an excellent place to recuperate and heal, an excellent place to visit and to live due to its clean and clear environment. There is also much to see and do in this area, along with the entire state of New Mexico!

I hope you all have a chance to visit New Mexico sometime…you will find it a place of legends, history, and healing…and you’ll have a lot of fun, there, too!

This weekend, my husband and I are going to the Šumava Mountains in southwestern Bohemia. My brother-in-law will be celebrating his 60th birthday—Happy Birthday, Lad’a! We will also be taking a day or two to visit the area around Prašily—to take in the forest and lake, and also try to find some mushrooms! I’ll be back to Prague on Tuesday, and will tell you about our trip then!

You all have a great and happy Labor Day weekend!

God bless,

Sherry :0)

© 2008 by czechoffthebeatenpath

Photo property of S. A. Vacik


Anonymous said...

Angel Fire sounds awesome! -Karen

Sher said... is awesome there--in all ways! The beauty of the area speaks for itself, and there is so much history, too! I'm happy to have been able to spend time with my family there!

Sherry :0)