A tour of New Mexico & Colorado for pre-1973 and exotic cars
The Rally du Soleil (Rally of the Sun) was magnificent and is held in addition to the annual Concours du Soleil fundraising events 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.
There were 9 exotic rally cars that participated in the rally, plus the coordinators, Calle and Stephanie, in another car, and the mechanic’s team, Robert & Cyndi Brault, in a tow vehicle who trailed behind. Inside the trailer the mechanic brought a spare car just in case any car broke down and could not be repaired on the road. The spare car was a brand-new 2019 BMW M3 convertible on loan from Sandia BMW of Albuquerque, NM who was one of the sponsors of this event.
The trip began in Albuquerque, NM at Sandia BMW with a Police escort to the freeway; then it was on the road towards Pagosa Springs where they lunched at Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant. Pagosa is surrounded by the largest contiguous wilderness area in the U.S at an altitude of 7,000 feet, with more than 3 million acres of National Forest to play in. Once their bellies were full, they enjoyed the windy mountainous roads to Telluride where its captivating scenery and delightful Mountain Village has skiers flock to Telluride's slopes. It has more than 2,000 acres of terrain, plus ample après-ski spots and an impressive 300 inches of snow to match its 300 days of sun annually. It has an awesome gondola that connects the town of Telluride to the Mountain Village.
That night was spent at the Mountain Lodge Telluride and they feasted at the Cosmopolitan Restaurant which is - One of the best meals in Colorado, totally worth the drive. Just across the street from the gondola, chef-owner Chad Scothorn’s homage to fusion and (whenever possible) locally sourced ingredients, combines food artistry and integrity to delight the senses.
Breakfast at the Mountain Lodge started the day as they took a day trip to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. The unique and spectacular landscape there was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring down through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Carved by the Gunnison River two million years ago, this 12-mile long canyon is one of Colorado's most spectacular. The 2,300-foot Painted Wall is the state's highest cliff. It offers hiking trails, scenic drives, fishing, kayaking, rock climbing, and wildlife watching, so something for everyone.
Lunch was over at the True Grit Café in Ridgway and was built to honor the filming of the Academy Award winning movie “True Grit” starring John Wayne. The movie was filmed in 1968 in and around Ridgway and Ouray. The internal south wall of the True Grit Cafe was the original external wall of “Chambers Grocery” from one of the first scenes in the movie. A true “Ranch to Fork” experience with food
sourced locally. Dinner was another culinary experience at Allred’s Restaurant back at the Mountain Village, which is Telluride’s flagship restaurant at the top of the gondola and offers unique mountain top dining. The restaurant sits at 10,551 feet offering jaw-dropping views of the box canyon, and also sources from local fare.
DAY 3: The morning started off with a tailor-made burritos / bowls at a grab-and-go eatery called The Pick which gave enough sustenance to start the trek back to Pagosa Springs. The drive was exhilarating along the mountain roads as the air was crisp and clean. They enjoyed the scenery of mountain foliage and wildlife as they took in all the sights. Some of the best parts of a road trip is getting to try new dining options, and so the Pagosa Brewing Company & Grill was their next stop with Handcrafted Beer, Award-Winning Cocktails, and House-made Food. After a quick bite, it was off to Taos, NM for rest and relaxation, and some more vacation food. The last night was spent at the El Monte Sagrado, which is a top-notch “eco-resort” committed to providing a healthy environment for relaxation, revitalization and healing.
They left Taos and headed to Chimayo to end their trip with lunch at the Rancho de Chimayo, as the best way to end a trip is with even more delicious food! Florence and Arturo Jaramillo cultivated the menu for Rancho de Chimayó based on personal, local and ancestral family influences. Over the past 50 years, the restaurant became famous for its signature dishes of spicy guacamole, hand rolled tamales, blue corn enchiladas, Chile rellenos, and their carne adovada being the most world renowned. This historic restaurant was the first to put the "Stuffed Sopaipillas" on their menu, therefore being the "creators" of this unique dish.
All in all, the rally participants all had a wonderful time, made great friendships, and rekindled old friendships. A total of 22 people enjoyed being on the rally and seeing the sights together. This trip had a diverse group from New Mexico, CA and AZ, but the event is open to anyone passionate about cars, and who wants to enjoy driving their beloved automobiles 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. Save the date for next year’s event on May 26-29, 2020.