Annie and I slept the sleep of the gods in Laurie’s luxurious Santa Fe retreat. Upon waking, she insisted on taking us for breakfast at a darling tea shop on the art mecca that is Canyon Road. Annie and I split a scone and some bacon, but I kept the Mexican Hot Chocolate all to myself.
While Laurie tried to navigate the broken parking lot pay machine, I spotted a nearby coin changer and saw my chance to get some needed quarters for laundry and parking meters. So I fed in a dollar and was rewarded with . . . a dollar. Coin. Well, that will be exceedingly useful. After that fiasco, I enjoyed the luxury of the passenger seat while Laurie gave us the grand tour of the older homes and grand estates of Santa Fe. Annie made several attempts to claim the driver’s seat, but was denied.
All too soon we had to bid farewell to our hostess with the mostess and make one more foray into the heart of the city to tie up a few loose ends. Number One was an interesting phenomena I had heard much about, the Miraculous Staircase of the Loretto Chapel. As legend has it, when this small chapel was originally built carpenters could find no way to give access to the choir loft other than an ungainly ladder or a staircase that would take up too much square footage in the tiny space. So the Sisters of the Chapel made a special prayer to St. Joseph, Patron Saint of Carpenters, for assistance. Nine days later a man with a toolbox appeared on a donkey. He crafted an astounding double spiral staircase that required no support from either the walls or the center. An engineering marvel that is not fully understood to this day. And then he left, without leaving his name or accepting payment. Originally, the staircase didn’t even have railings, those were added later. Here I present you with both a scale rendering and selfie version, but it’s so much more impressive in person.
By random, but fitting, chance I seem to be visiting a lot of sacred sites during Holy Week. I do like to be thematically matching. So I decided to pop by one more: San Miguel Mission, the oldest church structure in America, constructed in 1610 by the Tlaxcalan Indians.
Alas, my time in Santa Fe was all too short, but I wanted to throw in a few more shots just to give you the artsy flavor of the place.
And an other #Elvissighting!
And also, also . . . no need to make a separate trip to Walgreen’s AND the liquor store, in Santa Fe they’re one and the same!
Finally there could be no more stalling, and it was back into Marigold and up north towards Taos (and beyond) again. I was headed for a particular destination, and, as luck would have it, there was no way to reach it without once again going down (or rather up) my arch nemesis road, the one that tried to kill me a few days ago. But this time I was ready for it. Annnnndddd . . . it turns out that the spot where I chickened out and U-turned last time was about 1/4 mile from the end of the scary part. So I could have totally made it to the hot springs. FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD! NOT THE U-TURNERS!
I found myself on the surprisingly flat high plains of Northern New Mexico. Headed to the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, the seventh highest bridge in the country. My photo of the actual bridge is crapola compared to ones easily found via Google, but what Google won’t show you is HOW VERY VERY VERY VERY FLIPPING WINDY IT WAS!!
Seriously, there was a period when I couldn’t even get the van door shut it was so gusty! WHOOOOOOSH!
The wind was at our backs as we continued northwards to our (all but deserted) camping destination for the night: Wild Rivers Recreation Area. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
Scenes around camp (where the wind continues to gust to 30 mph, and this van is rockin’, but feel free to come knockin’!)
The highlight of dinner was some bizcochitos (New Mexico’s State Cookie) and Annie got to try on the fancy new St. Francis bling I purchased for her.
We hiked around a tiny bit, but the blustery winds and appearance of a strange vehicle soon drove us back into Marigold’s warm embrace where I’ve made a little shrine of my own to cheer us and look after us when we feel especially far from home. (My Mom painted the angel Christmas ornament and I just rediscovered it a few months ago).
Next up: Colorado!