BC: Journey's end. Headed Home. | Peggy's travel Haiku All wide open spaces. Landscape bare and beautiful. Many things to see.
FC: The Land of Enchantment New Mexico May 27 - June 3, 2009
1: May 27 - June 3, 2009 What are girls suppose to do when Aunt Sue says she has vacation days she wants to use? Besides checking out the calendar to see how to squeeze a week in between Leslie’s two schools, looking for inexpensive airfares, picking a place you’ve always wanted to see but never been to before, and reading the Tripadvisor reviews to find that perfect home away from home. That’s how the three of us ended up in Sante Fe, New Mexico for a lovely week of sightseeing and time together. Loved it, loved it, loved it!
2: We decided to drive north to Sante Fe on Highway 14, the Turquoise Trail. It was a beautiful scenic drive through small towns on winding roads with many hills and wide open spaces scenic vistas. We could certainly tell we weren't in the Midwest anymore. | the turquoise trail | May 27-landed in Albuquerque and then drove north on...
3: The roadside greenery is a lot less green then we are used to seeing in Illinois. It was interesting to see the cactus in bloom. | Clouds and sky dominate the landscape in New Mexico.
4: madrid, nm
5: We stopped at Madrid, New Mexico, a hippie arts town that was also the location for some of the filming for the movie Wild Hogs. We visited a few art galleries and saw many beautiful paintings, sculptures and assemblages. After looking around for an hour, we decided we'd had a long day of traveling and were tired and anxious to get to Sante Fe so headed north again to continue our journey.
6: ...Inn of the Governors! | Our hotel is a lovely place located in a terrific location in downtown Sante Fe. The rooms are a bit small; we had to juggle to find places for our 5 suitcases (yes ridiculous we know). Overall it was very charming room and we were hap, hap, happy to be in Sante Fe at the ...
7: After settling into our room, we decided to go out and find a place to eat. We wandered up to Water Street and stopped into the Catamount Bar and Grille. Leslie and I shared her plate of nachos and my chicken enchilada. We returned to the hotel, full and happy to be in Sante Fe. | Catamount Bar and Grille
8: Our Breakfast Routine | Thursday May 28, 2009
9: Sue and I both got up early and tried to shower and get ready quietly. (Word from the sleeping princess is that we really didn’t succeed very well doing that). We left Leslie a note saying we were going downstairs to eat breakfast and would be back later. Breakfast was wonderful, lots of food choices and great coffee and lots of it. After eating, we shopped at the jewelry display in the lobby where an 83 yr. old Indian woman was selling earrings, bracelets and necklaces made by her family. We both bought. We sat in the lobby and read newspapers and books until Leslie came down for breakfast. Because the dining area was full – we moved to the outside area where we were warmed by overhead heaters and the fireplace. What a wonderful way to start our morning our first day in Sante Fe.
10: Loretto Line Tour We had a great time learning about Sante Fe on our trolley tour. Our driver/tour guide was very knowledgeable and we saw and learned about many areas, buildings and history of Sante Fe. We started in the downtown area, drove up Canyon Road, toward the east edge of town and around Museum Hill before returning to our starting point. We saw many areas we plan to visit during our stay in Sante Fe. | Above: Peg and Leslie ready for touring, at right: Monument in the center of Sante Fe plaza.
11: Clockwise from left: Monument to lost Native American tribes, New Mexico capital building (no dome!), yep – we traveled Route 66, Hotel Fonda at the end of the Sante Fe Trail, and the Sante Fe waterway.
12: Canyon Road Our tour took us up Canyon Road for a taste of the artwork at the many galleries in Sante Fe. Sante Fe is one of the top five art markets in the United States. The tour gave us a sample of what we would be checking out on foot the next day. | Loved the pink pig! | Liked the paintings and sculptures in this gallery a lot.
13: Cristo Rey Church This church, on Canyon Road was built by the people of the parish. It took 14months and 150,000 - 180,000 adobe bricks to build. The church overall measures 350 ft. from end to end, and is the largest single constructed adobe structure in the southwest. The walls vary from 2ft. to 9ft. thick in some areas.
14: The Outskirts of Sante fe
15: Blue doors and window frames are supposed to keep the bad spirits away. | The life-size bronze sculpture Journey's End, commemorating the Santa Fe Trail and the hardy mule teams that traversed it
16: Many of the homes in Sante Fe are surrounded by fences like this. We learned on our tour that they were called Coyote Fences
17: There are strict building codes in Sante Fe to ensure that the historical city center retains the look of the past 400 hundred years.
18: The Loretto Chapel
19: After we finished the trolley tour, we entered the Loretto Chapel to see the miracle staircase. When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel. Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in answer to the sisters' prayers. The stairway's carpenter, whoever he was, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today. The style of the church is based on that of St. Chapelle in Paris with the gothic style and beautiful stained glass windows – although much smaller. We lit candles and made a prayer for a safe trip (including the flight home).
21: Clockwise from upper left: Miracle Staircase, beautiful windows, Leslie and Peggy, staircase to choir loft, soaring ceiling and altar, another beautiful stained glass window.
22: The Palace of the Governors Portal Program In Santa Fe, New Mexico, along the south side of the Palace of The Governors, sit Native American artists and craftspeople who sell their handmade goods to tourists and local Santa Feans almost every day of the year, rain or shine. The 900+ vendors represent forty-one tribes, pueblos, chapters and villages in New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, and parts of Arizona. The rules for those who sell their work under the portal emphasizes authenticity (a maker's mark is required on all goods), traditional materials, and handmade work produced as generations of Native artisans have created it. | Portal Program
23: After a busy morning of sightseeing, we decided to enjoy lunch outside at Rooftop Pizza. Leslie and I shared a delicious shrimp, garlic and four cheese pizza and refreshed ourselves with lots of lemonade. | Rooftop Pizza
24: After lunch we went to the New Mexico History museum. The museum was well done and interesting. New Mexico changed hands many times. I could only empathize with the people who were pawns in the battles between Mexico, Spain, Missionaries’ and the US government. | New Mexico History Museum
25: One of my favorite displays was this room that told of the secrecy mandated of the people who came to Sante Fe to work at Los Alamos laboratory during development of the atom bomb.
26: Siesta Time | After the museums and a little shopping, Les and I went back to the hotel to swim (it was cold) and rest up before heading out to dinner.
27: Il Piatto | We had a delicious dinner at Il Piatto on Marcy Street. I had a tasty Rosemary Lemon Chicken with roasted potatoes and grilled veggies, while Sue and Leslie ate lighter fare (half orders of ravioli) so that they would have room for delicious and decadent chocolate mousse.
28: Friday May 29, 2009
29: These wonderful sculptures were lining the sidewalk on our way to Canyon Road.
30: Our plan for the day was to tour some of the galleries along Canyon Road. We decided to just pop into galleries that looked interesting, and many of them did. | so much art along Canyon road | I loved this huge face that was one of the first sculptures we saw at the beginning of Canyon Road. This larger than life Indian princess was one of many Native American sculptures. Rock, Paper, Scissors – there were lots of tongue in cheek art too!
31: There were lots of galleries with large sculptures of dogs, horses, cats and other animals.
32: People frozen in time were everywhere!
33: One of my favorite galleries and artist were these whimsical sculptures by a Brazilian artist. | A R T
34: These stone chairs were quite clever and surprisingly comfortable. | Butt art Have a seat!
35: We found a quaint garden area that was also a traveler’s rest area. It was a wonderful shady oasis of greenery in the midst of adobe and rocks and sun. | so much art along Canyon road
36: Doors and Windows (and Leslie) in Sante Fe
37: Beautiful flowers and gardens everywhere
38: After a long morning of art, we headed to the center of town to find postcard stamps and to locate lunch. We searched for the Paris Cafe and enjoyed quiches and crepes outside in the sunshine. And bought dessert for later. | Paris Cafe
39: Pecos National historical park | We drove 25 miles east out of Sante Fe to Pecos National Monument. It was a beautiful place and we could see why Native Americans chose this location for their home. At midpoint in a passage through the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the ruins of a Pecos Pueblo and Spanish mission share a ridge. Long before Spaniards entered this country this village commanded the trade path between Pueblo farmers of the Rio Grande and hunting tribes of the buffalo plains.
40: We enjoyed walking through the ruins and trying to imagine what living here would have been like. It seemed to us that many of the rooms were very small. The land around the pueblo was a storehouse of natural products the Pecos knew intimately. They used virtually every plant for food, clothing, shelter, or medicine and turned every part of the game they hunted into something useful.
41: We were able to climb down inside two enclosed kivas. (Scary dead bugs inside.) The elaborate religious life of the Pecos Indians, as evidenced by many ceremonial kivas, reached out to the nurturing spirits of all things, animate and inanimate.
42: All that's Left of the spanish mission church
43: I am always amazed at what people were able to build with primitive tools and shear will. The Franciscans sent veteran missionary Fray Andrs Jurez to Pecos in 1621 as healer and builder. Under his direction the Pecos built an adobe church south of the pueblo, the most imposing of New Mexico’s mission churches—with towers, buttresses, and great pine-log beams hauled from the mountains.
44: I sometimes think that the people of the Southwest chose Adobe mud for building materials just because it looks so stunning against the clear, blue skies.
45: Saturday May 30, 2009 | We started our Saturday morning by visiting an art fair in the small park by the church, and once again checking the Palace of Governors market for my elusive silver bracelet artist.
46: Museum Hill | Our next stop was the Museum of International Folk Art on Museum Hill. We saw exhibits on Indonesian paper puppets, Chinese clothing and a collection of 10,000 plus folk art toys from around the world.
48: We headed north out of Sante Fe to Bandelier National Monument to see the pueblo ruins and cave dwellings. On the way we saw a lot of government restricted areas. It all made me wonder, “What are they up to?”
50: Main Loop Trail
51: Leaving the visitor center, we walked the 1.2 miles Main Loop Trail and saw the remnants of a 400 room pueblo, much larger then what we had seen at Pecos. We also saw a very large kiva, which would have been covered by a roof made of wood and earth. You would have entered the kiva using a ladder through an opening in the roof. The kiva was a special place where important decisions and knowledge were communicated. The kiva was the community’s heart and center.
53: Life in the Pueblo The life expectancy for Ancestral Pueblo people was about 35 years. Standing approximately five feet tall for the average woman and five feet six for the average man, hard work and the hardships of life took their toll. Arthritis and bad teeth were common ailments. Childbirth was a dangerous process, taking many women’s lives. Likewise, many children did not survive to adulthood.
54: We climbed steps and ladders to check out the inside of the caves. The size of the rooms varied quite a bit from those that you could only crouch or sit in to a room that was at least 20 ft. in diameter. The ladders we crawled up were only 10-15 ft. high but ladders are always a bit freaky. The view of Frijoles Canyon from the caves was stunning.
56: WIDE OPEN Sky & afternoon rain!
58: Frijoles canyon vistas
59: The Ancestral Pueblo people are classified as prehistoric because they had no formal written language. The rock walls contain many petroglyphs (designs or symbols carved into the rock). Some petroglyphs depict easily recognizable forms such as turkeys, dogs, and lightning. Others have less obvious meanings.
60: Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad Chama, New Mexico
61: After a two hour drive through Georgia O’Keefe landscapes, we arrived in Chama for our steam train journey. We walked around the train yard, made a couple of flattened pennies and climbed into car #12 to wait for the ride to begin.
62: The train chugged out of the station billowing black smoke and soot. Les and I agreed that coal-fired steam engine travel probably wasn’t a “green” transportation mode.
65: The scenery along the route was unbelievably gorgeous. The train went through areas of mountain beauty that you’d never see any other way. At the beginning of the trip we had train chasers following us along highway 17 and it was fun to see them at each crossing along the highway.
66: We crossed our first trestle bridge, the Lobato Trestle, at 100 ft. above Wolf Creek. It doesn’t really look strong enough to support the train and US!
67: The train chugged along and we saw many stunning views.
68: We loved standing in the open car where we could see the beauty in all directions. Our docent Don was very knowledgeable and shared lots of fun facts with us. I won two pencils in a contest to guess what the W stood for on the train signs (it was warning!) | White capris and billowing soot = bad combination!
69: A must do if you ever get the chance!
71: Cascade Trestle is the highest bridge on the C&TS at 137 feet above Cascade Creek. | YIKES!
72: The train descended into the scenic Rio Chama valley on the way to Osier, Colorado, elevation 9.637 feet where we enjoyed a turkey dinner and some time to walk around before boarding a different train to continue the ride on to Antonito.
73: One train engine pretty much looks the same as the next to me.
74: headed to antonito, CO
76: The scenery between Osier and Antonito was varied. We traveled through the Toltec Gorge, went through both the Rock Tunnel and the Mud Tunnel, Phantom Curve, named for the rocky spire “hoo-doos”. We criss-crossed back and forth between New Mexico and Colorado eleven times. The last hour of the trip was crossing the broad plains of the San Luis Valley, with the Rocky Mountains in the distance.
77: Monday June 1 Moving on... It was time to pack our bags and say good-bye to the Inn of the Governors in Sante Fe. We really enjoyed our stay in this city and hotel and hope to be able to make a return trip someday, after we’ve explored some other new places. Like the “High Road to Taos”, our next destination …
78: El Santuario de chimay
79: Believed to be built on sacred earth with miraculous healing powers, the legendary shrine El Santuario de Chimay, is probably the most visited church in New Mexico. The crucifix which began the original shrine still resides on the chapel alter, but its curative powers have been overshadowed by El Posito, the "sacred sand pit" from which it sprang. Each year during Holy Week thousands of people make a pilgrimage to Chimay to visit the Santuario and take away a bit of the sacred dirt. Many claim to have been cured there of diseases, infirmities and unhappiness. The walls of the sacristy are hung with discarded crutches and before-and-after photographs as evidence of the healing.
81: Each of these shrines is primarily monuments to sorrow and lost, but there is a beauty in the collage of photos and mementos.
82: At the end of the road we arrived in Taos and our large room at the “vintage” Taos Inn, Our room was at the back side of a courtyard, and we all took the opportunity to have our photo taken with the Indian Maiden in the Courtyard. | We drove the high road to Taos through Chimayo and other small villages. Although they mostly looked sad, tired and old, there was usually at least one art gallery in each village.
84: TUESday June 2 Taos to Albuquerque | Today was our first time to go out for breakfast. After a little online research, we chose Michael's Kitchen, a busy local and tourist spot just a couple blocks from our hotel. It was delicious start to the day! | Delicious!
85: We all ate our fill (and then some) and enjoyed a leisurely start to our day. We walked back to the hotel and finished packing up before heading just north of town to our next stop...
86: Taos pueblo | We have lived upon this land from days beyond history’s records, far past any living memory, deep into the time of legend. The story of my people and the story of this place are one single story. No man can think of us without thinking of this place. We are always joined together. ~Tribal Manifesto
87: The San Geronimo Church built in 1850 is a Registered National Historic Landmark. It is one of the youngest buildings in the village. Inside the church, the central altar figure or Santo is the Virgin Mary, which along with other Santos was brought by the early Spanish missionaries. The outfits that drape the saints are changed according to the seasons. The natives incorporated their values into the altar to be reminded or cultural values. Today, about of the population shares in some of the Catholic practices, while the native rituals perseveres 100% in daily life.
88: Taos Pueblo is an ancient pueblo belonging to a Taos speaking Native American tribe of Pueblo people. It is approximately 1000 years old and lies about 1 mile north of the modern city of Taos, New Mexico. The Red Willow Creek, or Rio Pueblo, is a small stream which flows through the middle of the pueblo from its source in the Sangre de Cristo Range. Taos Pueblo's most prominent architectural feature is a multi-storied residential complex of reddish-brown adobe divided into two parts by the Rio Pueblo. According to the Pueblo's Web site, it was probably built between 1000 and 1450 A.D. It was designated a National Historic Landmark on October 9, 1960, and in 1992 became a World Heritage Site. As of 2006, about 150 people live in it full-time.
91: Taos Pueblo, Cemetery with ruins of old Mission Church of San Geronimo de Taos 1619, in background
92: Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
93: The Rio Grande Gorge runs from northwest to southeast of Taos, New Mexico, and cuts through the basalt flows of the Taos Plateau volcanic field. The gorge reaches a depth of 800 feet just south of the Gorge Bridge, which was completed in 1966. Many ancient beautiful petroglyphs and ruins can be found along the banks of the river. It is the third highest bridge (650 ft) in the U.S.
94: spectacular views during a scary
95: thunder and lightning storm
96: Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs We had time for one last stop and that was at Ojo Cliente Mineral Springs. The weather was cool, and we had some rain but it was still relaxing to try the different waters. Leslie has a hot stone message and Sue and I just relaxed. | Ready to go home Next stop was a quick drive through Sante Fe and then onto Albuquerque. We had to stop and get directions to our hotel, but spent the night repacking and looking forward to going home. | Leslie's travel Haiku Had a good flight down. Did not get sick on the plane yet. Trip back could be bad.
97: Butt all good things... | ...come to an end!