New Mexico, Santa Fe

Sunday: Santa Fe to Albuquerque

I tried to laze around on our last morning in Truchas, but suddenly realized that we had to return the rental car in Santa Fe by noon. Thank God we had packed the night before or that could have been a mess.

The Rail Runner Express is a very comfortable commuter train that connects Santa Fe and Albuquerque. It cost only $9 for me and $4 for Sandy, as a senior. It runs frequently during the week, but on Sundays we found ourselves having to wait until 3:15 p.m. Fortunately, the Santa Fe Railyard Arts District is full of restaurants, galleries, and shops. We headed with our luggage to Cafe Sonder to have lunch and mango mimosas. The staff and food were fantastic. I was most happy with this Mediterranean platter. The smoked roasted beet spread was to die for. I need to find that recipe.

The mountains on either side of the train were beautiful but I couldn’t get good photos. I was fascinated by the telephone poles that ran along the track. Most of them still had glass insulators. Then I noticed that some sections had wires missing or cut and hanging down. I really fixated on these images.

Then there was this sad little one next to the tracks.

Also this sad bigger one. He was one tired puppy.

Once we got to Albuquerque, we found out that the free shuttle that you can ride to the airport that is included in your train fare does not run on Sundays. No problem, Lyft to the rescue, straight to the hotel where we collapsed for the night. We didn’t even eat dinner. So we didn’t see much of Albuquerque. That will have to be included in another trip.

Even though there were terrible storms that disrupted my cousin’s plane travel from Denver on Monday, we had a normal flight from Albuquerque home. We had changed these tickets from Denver a week before the trip. It seems that we stopped the snow when we were there and then the snow came back as we left. The only bad thing about the plane trip was that my ears were stopped up and we landed and took off three times. My ears hurt so bad I almost cried…I tried every trick to pop them. I feel so sorry for the little kids who have this problem in the air and don’t understand what is happening to them.

We loved our trip. I really thought we would come back home with my obsession with checking real estate prices anywhere in the West I visit intact. But I don’t think we can live in New Mexico, at least not that area. Sandy’s problem with the altitude was almost too much for him. I definitely want to go back to see some of the many areas we missed, and maybe take a workshop or do a week’s artist retreat at the place in Truchas.

National Parks and Monuments, New Mexico, Santa Fe

Bandelier National Monument

As much as I’d like to show some photos of the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, which was our first stop on Thursday morning, somehow there are no photos. My camera was dead and I know that Sandy and Cherie were clicking away. Hmmmm. Spirits interfering? Anyway, the camera worked outside the museum. As you might expect, seeing so many of her paintings in one place was very inspiring, and it made me want to reread the biography of her that I read several years ago.

Cherie dropped us off to get our rental car after this and said goodbye. We immediately drove out to Bandelier National Monument. If you haven’t been there in recent years, access has changed during the main tourist season. You park about 20 minutes away and a shuttle bus takes you down to the Visitor’s Center in the canyon. Nice ride, and allows you the leisure to view the walls of the canyon which are riddled with holes.

Once there, Sandy was finally able to do a hike up to see petroglyphs. I was not feeling well either. This particular trail was paved and easily accessible, with lots of benches along the way to stop, rest, and observe. Opportunities were there to climb ladders up into some of the cliff dwellings in some areas. We chose not to do those. Our walk back took us along the creek at the bottom of the canyon.

If you go to my photos on Flickr and open them on a large screen, you will likely see many petroglyphs. As we stood there looking at these walls, we kept finding more. The holes in straight lines indicate where the lodgepoles supported the roof of the rooms that were built in front of the cliff. Some holes were hollowed out and worked into rooms inside the rock. The walls of these pueblos were usually covered in plaster. The pictograph below was found behind some plaster and preserved against the elements.

Then we headed up high, high, high on the High Road to Taos, where our AirBNB apartment awaited us in Truchas. We were tired but we had to eat. So down the mountain roads we went to the Ranchos de Chimayo Restaurante, an award winning, friendly, and surprisingly inexpensive place with lots of charm. It was our 32nd wedding anniversary. Hard to imagine sometimes. We learned a lesson about drinking alcohol at high altitude – it packs a much larger punch.

It was chilly and the wind whistled around the house. Lorey had built a fire in the woodstove to warm the apartment. I could have easily holed up in this cozy place full of books and art and beautiful textiles and read for three days.

art, New Mexico, Santa Fe, Wonderfulness

Meow Wolf, Santa Fe

Wednesday was Meow Wolf day!

It is difficult to describe this experience. Art, mystery, fun, music – an interactive experience for adults and children. Twisted in many ways. A blurb on the brochure wrapped it up pretty well, but not quite: “Like Pee Wee’s Playhouse on steroids.”

Basically you wander through this Victorian house structure within another building, where a family has disappeared. Throughout the house you find clues to what might be happening. Every door, cabinet, and drawer might open up a portal or a surprise. Once in a portal, there may be fantastical art, music making devices, retro video games, or films.

I found that if you scooted into a portal through a small opening, say, through the washing machine door or the fireplace, there was an adult sized door somewhere inside. WordPress won’t let me upload the videos, so click on this next photo to take you to the video.

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Here’s another video link to click on below. Turn on the audio:

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And one more video link to click on.

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After Meow Wolf, we went shopping at the Palace of the Governors on the Plaza where the Indian artisans sell their work on blankets. I chose some nice earrings and Sandy bought a sand painting on a tile. We wandered in and out of shops. Sandy tried an oxygen infusion at an oxygen bar to see if it would help his altitude adjustment. It didn’t. I bought a book about Navajo weavers at a used book store.

Dinner was on the balcony patio of Blue Corn Cafe where I ate tamales and their associated brewery’s stout. YUM.

One of the very best galleries we went into was the Antieau Gallery, with the fiber art of Chris Roberts Antieau. As much as I wanted to take photos, I just took one of the poster outside. I may have to buy the book. The manager of the gallery was so informative and friendly, even though we were clear that we were just looking!