Thursday, March 31, 2011

Santa Fe

We made our way eastward, crossing back into New Mexico, until finally entering Albuquerque, at which point we turned north. We had identified an Army Corps campground closer to Santa Fe, but were so tired of driving that we stopped short, in a town called Bernalillo. Coronado city RV park wasn't anything special, but also was adequate and inexpensive, so we settled in. The Rio Grande borders the campground to the east, and we took the dogs down to walk and swim in its cool waters. Unfortunately, in his frisky antics, Toby managed to hurt himself, perhaps pulling a muscle or ligament. He wouldn't use his right rear leg, and it made for a long walk back to the Whale. Even now, four days later, there is not much improvement. If he's not using it by Monday we'll have to find a vet to look at it.

Anyway, as I usually do at each new place we visit, I perused the web looking at porn (April Fools!) looking for bike trails. I found quite a few between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and selected one near the former, at Elena Gallegos in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. Here I found a decent network of trails, mostly smooth, sandy single track, but on one side, where it was hillier, there were many rocks and boulders to make it much more fun. I also met up with a friendly threesome of riders, who guided me around for a bit, whooping it up on the corners, before I excused myself so that I could ride at my own pace (faster!). These trails are at about 6500 feet of elevation, and I felt it, especially during the first half of the ride, when I was doing a bit of climbing. (Riding, threesomes, whooping, heavy breathing...does kind of sound like porn!) Here is one of the fun, bouldery sections:

Adjacent to our campground is the Coronado State Monument, a ruin of an adobe pueblo (town). Adobe doesn't hold up well over time - it pretty much just washes away when it gets wet. The Kuaua Indians who built the village back in the 1300s were constantly making repairs. As such most of what the archaeologists uncovered has washed away, leaving eroded ruins behind:

The main objective of our visit here was to check out Santa Fe. We went downtown in the afternoon and spent a few hours walking around the old city streets, admiring the adobe (or feau-dobe) architecture that the city is known for. Here is the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi:

All around the plaza are countless galleries and shops selling clothes, blankets, figurines, jewelry and pottery. After two of three they all start to look the same, but much of the merchandise is beautiful, particularly the Hopi pottery. But wow, very expensive! I picked up one small bowl, saw the tag on the bottom read $2900, and put that sucker right back down! I could buy another mountain bike for that!
Here is a typical street view.

Along a nice little "riverside" park there were several little totem-pole statues. If you click to expand this one you'll see a woodpecker going for the gills:

Afterwards, we wandered down to the Railyard district...

...and had a nice meal at La Choza, a cute little New Mexican restaurant, where the standout dish was their green chili stew, which was deliciously tasty, and very hot. Not ridiculously so - enough to get my scalp a'sweating, but not so much that my tongue and lips lost feeling. Exceptional!

1 comment:

  1. Dear Matthew and Nancy, I am so glad you loved Durango and I am so sorry about your Grandmother. I talked to Laurel and wrote to your Mother. I am thinking of all of you and your Grandfather who as you say has to stay alone now after so many years.