Easier ride today with three different parts. Surprised with how much traffic there was on the road.
Started out from Taos with a decent shoulder riding along the edge of a wide valley.
Once I left congestion of the town, I could see across wide open spaces. At 11 miles, the road went over a low rise and then descended ~750ft in the next two miles. At bottom was the Rio Grande Gorge Visitor center. They had a nice overview topographic that showed my last two days riding. The Rio Grande River goes through a gorge of ~82 miles long. It is now part of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument established in 2013. I had seen some of the signs, but the visitor center helped put it all together.
The next third of the ride went through a part of the gorge.
It was pretty though the road was narrow and the shoulder was rough. That would have been OK, except I was surprised at how much traffic seemed to be on this road. At Velarde the valley opened up and suddenly the road became two lanes each direction.
Here were folks selling apples along the way.
Short while later also possible to buy chiles.
I rode down to intersection with US 285 before finishing for the day. This will let me take a shorter ride tomorrow into Santa Fe, as well as do some additional looking on the best route to take into and through this city.