Sunday, September 30, 2012

Santa Fe, New Mexico

September 28, 2012:

We drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico on September 24th and set up at the Campos de los Santa Fe, (Santa Fe Camp).  It is within the Santa Fe city limits, not very scenic, but clean, fairly quiet and very convenient to the downtown attractions and everything else.  In fact you can get on the downtown shuttle bus a block away and ride all day for $2.00.  
Santa Fe is as beautiful as advertised, everything is built in the adobe pueblo style with lots of spanish/mexican/native indian embellishments.  Santa Fe has been under the control of Native Indians, then Spain, then Mexico and now the US since 1600.  The history is pretty brutal not a happy story !  Santa Fe is the second oldest settlement in the United States, of course we don't count the various native indian cultures who have lived here for thousands of years. 

We  explored the downtown area and the "Plaza" with the native Indians selling their wares on the sidewalk of the Palace of the Governors. The Palace of the Governors was built by the Spainish in the early 1600's and it is now turned it into a great museum tracing the entire history of the town.  Downtown Santa Fe is wall to wall silver and turquoise jewelry and art, it is everywhere !  We are pretty cheap so our purchases were minimal, but much temptation !  

Lots of tourist attraction such as the San Miguel Mission (oldest church in US), and behind it is a house thought to be the oldest house in America.  Then the historic Saint Francis Cathedral, the Loretto Chapel and the State Capital of New Mexico. 

We didn't go to any of the trendy restaurants downtown, as we got hung up on the "Cowgirl BBQ" the first night, the food and atmosphere were just right. I also went there to hear live music one night and had a good time talking to a guy who back in the 1970's jumped freight trains for a couple of years. 

I also went to the 2nd street Brewery another night to hear a band that does these shows they call "Dylan and the Dead".  They were mostly doing Grateful Dead songs as 90% of the people there would qualify as Deadheads.  The band was amazing, I think they may be better than the real Grateful Dead !  They played one song that went on for about 1/2 hour.  I never really liked the Grateful Dead sound before, now (too late) I think get it ?  

My favorite thing was the ride we took on the Turquoise Highway to the towns of Cerrollos and Madrid.  We stopped at this old trading post in Cerrollos that was incredible, like a scene from an old western.  As we were there a film crew person came in to talk to the owner about taking his sign down for the movie scene they were going to shoot there.  We then went around the corner near the railroad tracks and saw all the movie trucks and cameras getting set up.  The Trading Post owner told us that Jennifer Anniston was in town for the movie and they had to chase the paparazzi away.  We then drove another 10 miles or so to town of Madrid.  It was also an old mining town, brought back to life by the hippies in the 1960's, now loaded with shops selling art and jewelry items.  They had a really original looking old tavern there, The Mine Shaft Tavern, a long rustic wooden bar with paintings on the wall behind, original looking old wood flooring, real log ceiling beams.  Guy on one side of us wearing a drover coat, a guy on the other side with cowboy boots with spurs.  We had a conversation at the bar with a local shop owner who told us that we could boondock there easily, hang out for a few days without any problems, we were very tempted, maybe another time.

Another highlight was a ride I took up into the mountain north of Santa Fe towards the Santa Fe ski Basin.  The Aspen tree leaves were all turned a golden yellow color in contrast to the green of the fir trees on the mountain sides, it was almost raining and still beautiful ! 

My Favorite moment was : At a gas station, as I was putting fuel in the truck this young dude yells over to me ; Cool truck man, Wow, you got six wheels !

Next stop Albuquerqu, NM

Twinkles has a new ride

Interesting paintings across from St. Francis Cathedral

Santaurio de Guadalupe

New Mexico Rail Runner Train set

Mural on Guadalupe Street

The Cowgirl BBQ, a favorite place in Santa Fe

St. Francis Cathedral 

Typical Santa Fe architecture

Painting inside New Mexico State Capital

San Miguel Mission

Interior of the San Miguel Mission

Mural in Santa Fe hiding electrical transformers

House in Cerrillos

Casa Grande Trading Post in Cerrillos

Old mission church in Madrid

Painting behind bar at the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid

Hank Williams at the Mine Shaft Tavern ?

View behind the bar at the Mine haft Tavern

View from the road to Santa Fe ski Basin

Beautiful Aspen tree leaves

Lady of Guadalupe Statue

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