Trinidad by Night

We originally planned to set off on our trip Saturday morning but upped departure time to Friday afternoon. Decided to get 200 miles down the road to have more time for tomorrow’s adventures. Made last minute reservations in Trinidad, Colorado – seven miles from the New Mexico border – and got out of town by mid-afternoon.

Arrived in Trinidad shortly after sunset. After getting into our room we looked in the phone book for restaurant listings. There’s a full service restaurant in the hotel but that would be too easy and predictable. We like the menu for Cougar Canyon Fairway Grill.

Driving through town we see lots of cars at Chef Lui’s, “Chinese, Seafood, Cocktails,” and Rino’s Italian Restaurant & Steakhouse. The historic downtown seems quite alive for eating and drinking. Heading east of town Bob’s sure we don’t know where we’re going – all the more adventure. Cougar Canyon turns out to be a Golf Resort Community under development.

The Fairway Grill adjoins the golf shop. It’s obvious we’re the only tourists but we’re welcomed warmly by all of the staff. Next door a 117-room hotel is under construction, scheduled for completion by July 1, 2009. Under the pitch black star-studded skies we see not a foot of the Nicklaus Design golf course but the pictures intrigue with pedestal greens, split fairways and rocky canyon walls. Golf magazine named Cougar Canyon one of the “Top Ten Courses You Can Play in the U.S.” Although I’m not a golfer I have to come back in the daytime to see the course and its sweeping views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Instead of just passing through I want to make Trinidad a destination some day. The community’s rich history is preserved in the Corazon de Trinidad National Historic District. The Trinidad History Museum encompasses heirloom gardens and three landmark buildings including the Baca House, The Santa Fe Trail Museum and the Bloom Mansion. Just west of town we’ll find Trinidad Lake State Park and, further along the Highway of Legends Scenic Byway, Blue and Bear Lakes. A future Trinidad visit will reward with fascinating history, outdoor recreation and natural wonders.

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