Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Time flies when you're having fun

Hello out there, I finally decided to sit down and do a post.
The trip down to Santa Fe was interesting, lots of wet weather.
We left town Thursday morning about 600. An hour and a half later, going over Soldier Summit outside Price, Utah, we had to go through a snowstorm that had 3-4 inches and was still falling. Observe:

The top picture is taken by my wife as we were climbing up into the active part of the storm, you can see the storm up the road.
The next two pictures are taken in the storm; the picture is not blurred, that is how hard the snow was coming down. Luckily it was only in the higher elevations, and we eventually came down out of it into wind and rain, which was with us most of the way. Around Chama, New Mexico, we ran into more snow, and a hailstorm with marble-sized stones that slammed down pretty good for a while. When we finally got into Santa Fe that evening, it was only lightly raining there.
Santa Fe isn't quite the town it was years ago; commercialism is slowly showing on all of the western towns that attract tourists. We spent a lot of our time just looking at stuff, taking a few pictures of architecture here and there. Didn't get around quite as much as I'd hoped. A lot of the area you have to get out and see on mare's shanks, and I'm not in the condition I used to be. The elevation is 7000 feet, compared to about 4500 feet here where I live, so I was out of breath a lot. A few years ago the thinner air wasn't as noticeable, but since my heart went bad, I haven't had the stamina I used to have. (On a side note, Friday was the third year anniversary of my heart going sour and requiring a stent.) There also seems to be some strange laws of physics there; it seems that every where you walked, no matter what direction, was always uphill; hiking around that place really kicked my ass.

Some of the more interesting stuff around the area is the old Spanish architecture; some of it goes back to the early seventeenth century.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a good example of some old stuff there; it was originally built in 1610, destroyed during a revolt in 1680, and rebuilt in 1714. In the late 1800's, it was rebuilt, the only part of this church still existing is the Chapel of Our Lady, La Conquistadora.
This is a picture of the outside, which is undergoing some restoration at this time.

They allowed photographs to be taken inside, but flashes were forbidden, so the pictures are not quite up to the standards I usually prefer. These two are of the old part of the church, and the top statue of the Madonna is 380 years old. The lower picture shows her in a little more detail.

The Loretto Chapel and it's famous staircase is also interesting, and it is close to the previous church. You may want to look at the history and controversy surrounding it here. Here are some close up pictures of the famous stairs; if you know anything about carpentry, you will definitely appreciate the craftsmanship. I have taken it in two pictures; top and bottom, so that I could catch more detail.

There are quite a few museums and such in the area, but many of them don't allow photographs, so we couldn't get photographs of some of the stuff.

The food, as usual, was good, if you go to the right places. New Mexican cuisine is southwestern, but it is different from Mexican or Texan cooking. The spices are handled a little bit differently, and can be exceptional, if handled correctly.

We also stopped in on Taos over the weekend, but it isn't what it used to be; it has been changed over the same way that Boulder, Colorado got changed, everything being built around fleecing tourists.

The trip back was fairly uneventful; no snow, but a lot of rain and gusting wind. When we got home late Monday night, it was clearing up, but it had been cool and raining the whole time we were gone, so I have a jungle to clear up in my yard over the next few days.


Today's playlist has a fair mix of older rock with a few wild cards; the top ten here are a good representation of what I've been in the mood for since we got back. Everyone familiar with these:

"Hold on Loosely" by .38 Special
"Gloria" by Laura Branigan
"Kind of a Drag" by The Buckinghams
"Misery and the Blues" by Maria Muldaur
"Maggie May" by Rod Stewart
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meatloaf
"Back to the Cave" by Lita Ford
"Prelude From Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007" by Andrés Segovia
"Who Knows Where the Time Goes?" by Judy Collins
"Legend of a Mind" by The Moody Blues


Stingray said...

Glad the trip was fun. One of these times hopefully will coincide with a period where we are not either busy as all hell or sick as dogs.

Which right places did you find this trip to whet your apetite at? There's a fair number we've yet to sample, despite our proximity, others we seem to find ourselves at again and again despite the availible variety. Tulips springs to mind...

Finally, with regards to the Loretto Chapel, the part that blows my mind almost as much as the staircase is just how small it is. Pictures always show the stairs, and you think from looking at such a feat of engineering and carpentry that surely the place must be huge, a cavern capable of holding most of Santa Fe if necessary for an emergency sermon or zombie invasion, when in fact the average suburban house probably has more square footage than the chapel itself (not counting the support structures, gift shop, etc). Personally that's a darned interesting illustration something or other.

BobG said...

We never got to Tulips, but did find some interesting places here and there. The Blue Corn Cafe and Brewery was fairly decent. We also like going to the Tecolote Cafe for breakfast; it is a little hole-in-the-wall type of place, but has good homemade type food. When we go to Santa Fe we always like to have at least one breakfast there. If I remember correctly, you live in the Los Alamos area, don't you?

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Oh wow, the spiral staircase is incredible... that is just beautiful! To see that all that in person would be fantastic... thanks for the photos here.
Glad you had a great trip. The weather here on the 24th which was um Saturday was bad as we did get some snow up in our mountains but it melted as it hit the ground and didn't stay as it did in your pics... whew.
Today it is warm and spring is back in full force!!

Thud said...

Considering my love of buildings lots of food for thought here....sounds an interesting road trip...another to add to my list of must do's.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good trip! I'd love to see some of the architecture you describe.

Stingray said...

White Rock, specifically, but you know the deal. I'm pretty sure we've done the Blue Corn Cafe at least once, but Tecolote is definitely new, and now on the short list of spots to try.

Joe said...

Great pictures!

Hammer said...

I love santa fe. I was just there last year and it was a good time.

The best food I had was at the blue corn cafe.

meleah rebeccah said...

wow. impressive pictures...LOVE the stair cases.

Id love to visit Santa Fe some day

SpeakerTweaker said...

Wow, sounds like the drive was simply fraught with Global Warming. Someone needs to tell your local Weather Gods that it's FRIGGIN MAY ALREADY!

That staircase makes me want a multi-level house just so I can have one like it. WOW.

I'm very glad the trip was enjoyed.


Lord James Bigglesworth said...

We have slightly different weather in Sicily, Bob. Loved the other pics too.

H2o said...

I love the pictures!

H2o said...

I love the pictures!

Anonymous said...

Just checking in on ya. It's been a couple weeks since you posted....