The Rally du Soleil (Rally of the Sun) was spectacular! This is a fundraising event administered by the Albuquerque Community Foundation. Each year, one-half of the proceeds are added to the Cinco Amigo Now and Forever Endowment Fund held by the Foundation for the long-term benefit of the community. The other one-half are granted to local nonprofit organizations selected by the organizers of the events.
The trip began in Albuquerque, NM with some of the group starting out by visiting Puye Cliff Dwellings, a National Historic Landmark and home to the ancestors of today’s Santa Clara Pueblo people. It is New Mexico’s most awe-inspiring cultural attractions featuring cliff & cave dwellings, early Pueblo architecture, an original Harvey House, and a stunning panorama of the valley. The other rally participants opted to take a tour of Georgia O’Keefe’s home where they enjoyed the view of Ghost Ranch, which is known for the infamous artist who was inspired by the surrounding textured landscape and has been recognized as the "Mother of American modernism”.
Then it was on to The Chama Land and Cattle Company, which is a hunting lodge / retreat. Hunting, fishing, and all other outdoor activities are available for some outdoor fun, done in a western theme. Owned by the Jicarilla Apache Nation, the 36,000-acre Lodge and Ranch at Chama offers some of the most sublime sporting opportunities and scenery in North America.
We passed through the historic towns of Silverton and Durango, CO and continued on to the final stop at the Telluride Ski Resort. The trip to Telluride was breathtaking! Taking gondolas from the lodge to the village at the bottom was very fun. The Telluride-Mountain Village Gondola is a one of a kind transportation system connecting the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village. The Gondola gives visitors and locals alike a stunning perspective of the beautiful mountain surroundings at 10,500 feet. It's the first and only free public transportation of its kind in the United States.
The drive for the 3rd day offered many historic views through the San Juan National Forest, the Rio Grande Gorge and more. We were even treated to a rare occurrence as we happened to run into some Porsche factory technicians that were at the lodge with eight future model Porsches and two Audis. The Audis were driven by the Porsche engineers, who followed behind the group. The eight Porsches were driven by their factory technicians who were testing the new electronics for the models coming out in 2020-2022. The cars were covered inside the garage to hide them overnight, and the technicians were of course all very hush-hush about it, but it was very cool to get a sneak peek at what the future holds for their brand when they were lined up on the road to head over the mountains to Los Angeles.
All of the rally participants cars ran well, thankfully, with no breakdowns. Some of the rally couples had to reroute due to the fire that broke out in Durango, and because of this unexpected circumstance, they had to meet up later that evening. Everyone was very happy to regroup and be back together again. The last night was spent at the El Monte Sagrado in Taos, which is a top-notch “eco-resort” committed to providing a healthy environment for relaxation, revitalization and healing.
We left Taos and headed back to Santa Fe to end our trip with a late breakfast at the Rancho de Chimayo, and a walk to El Santuario de Chimayo (a Roman Catholic church in Chimayó, NM). This shrine, a National Historic Landmark, is famous for the story of its founding and as a contemporary pilgrimage site. It receives almost 300,000 visitors per year and has been called "no doubt the most important Catholic pilgrimage center in the United States."
The rally's last stop was Union Square in Santa Fe, where we had snacks and beverages, and said our goodbyes. That day, we enjoyed the Santa Fe Union Square, with it's arts and crafts, museums, and all of the Southwestern culture the region offers. The next day, we continued on through New Mexico, stopping for lunch at Sparky's in Hatch which is a must if you want the world's best Hamburger and a great atmosphere. Ending up in Tuscon, and the next day back home to San Diego.
A total of 24 people enjoyed the rally and seeing the sights together while making new friends. This trip most of the group was from New Mexico, but the event is open to anyone passionate about cars, and who wants to enjoy driving them through scenic Western America. It is a worthwhile trip to take, and we recommend you mark your calendar for spring of next year, so you can attend as well!