This is how the scenery starts. You’ll see a few small hills in the distance, and that’s about it.
Within the first five miles, I had already stopped 5 times to take pictures. At one of those stops, I found several horses and a couple of donkeys nibbling on grass at the side of the road. As I approached the fence, they approached me.
One horse in particular was especially interested in being photographed.
When the road took a turn to the north, it eventually crossed under some high-voltage power lines. Power poles in a city are almost always ugly, but somehow out here, they seem majestic, as they line up to infinity.
As the terrain becomes more mountainous, you’ll come across the closest thing to a tourist attraction in this area: the Lake Valley Ghost Town. Outside the gates to the town, an old Conoco gas sign still swings in the breeze, although the pumps are gone.
Aside from the old gas station (seen from another angle above), all the old houses and stores in Lake Valley are behind a gate. And believe it or not, this ghost town closes at 4 p.m.! Since I arrived around 4:30, all I could do is shoot a few photos from the parking area.
Monument Peak and Lizard Rock rise above one old homestead.
From the parking area, you can see the town’s old church and a couple of homes, but it’s just not the same as exploring them up-close.
As you leave Lake Valley, there are a few more curves in the pavement, as you begin to head into the hills.
I made one final stop on Rte. 27, at this arroyo (dry wash).
Note: This trip was first published in 2006.