5/19/11 Thursday - It is a very cold, windy & some rain today in Albq but I want to go and see the Petroglyph National Monument, which is just a couple freeway exits from me! I bundle up, actually look like I'm ready for a ski trip but I am determined to hike the trails and see some of these Petroglyphs. When I arrive at the trail head there are only a few adults hiking but then I discover an entire classroom of 5th graders and chaperone's (most kids are dressed in tee shirts) on the same trail. Do you think they send out my advanced schedule as they ALWAYS show up when I do. Oh well, I will not be deterred and I start out. I discover quite a few of the drawings although I must admit my first thought was they looked like graffiti but the sign at the entrance said there are an estimated 20,000 carved images of animals, people & crosses. I didn't stay to long as it was so cold but did get pictures of some and was happy with what I saw. It sure felt good to get back in the car w/the heater going & and wave goodbye to the school kids who were eating their lunch at the picnic tables outside! www.nps.gov/petr
I then took a ride down to the Rail Runner train station to get a schedule for my planned trip tomorrow to Santa Fe NM. It cost $6.00 for a senior, round trip. I can park across the street in their parking lot for $8.00 a day. I'm excited and can't wait.
Late that afternoon at the RV park I saw a couple walking around our RV and looking at it very seriously. I opened the door & invited them to see the inside. It turns out they have the exact same Bounder only theirs is a 2010 and Will's is a 2008. They came in and looked around & then invited me to see theirs and the changes that have been made. It turns out they are pretty similar but they have a wonder pantry in the kitchen that would be so nice to have. It turns out, Stoney & Claudia are from Miami Beach, FL and do not tow a car but use bicycles for transportation. I told them I was going to Santa Fe tomorrow and if they like they could join me and I would be leaving at 6:30 am. They said they would and they did!
5/20/11 Friday - We are off to Santa Fe! I have good directions & make it to the parking lot in great time and find others waiting for the Rail Runner that departs at 7:23 am and arrives in Santa Fe at 8:53 am. We get on the train & find seats on the top level, purchasing our tickets from the conductor that comes around, they couldn't make it any easier. The ride is pleasant and a lot of "high desert" scenery.....nothing! However, Stoney, Claudia and I get to visit most of the way. PS to my friend Judy, I told them about beautiful Canyon de Chelly and make them promise to go see it on their way to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. I tell them, they won't be disappointed.
We arrive in Santa Fe and take the shuttle bus into the town plaza. Of course the first thing we see is the native Indians selling their beautiful wares outside the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the U.S. Now it is COLD this morning, thank God I have dressed for it. With my "to do list" in my hand we head over to the Loretto Chapel http://www.lorettochapel.com/ a small church best know for its "miraculous staircase." Pls check out this website as this place is beautiful.
After this, we split up and I head over to the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. I have always wanted to see this museum, all her paintings, her comments but alas a big disappointment. Just this day, 5/20....after being closed for several days, the museum has a new showing: Shared Intelligence: American Painting and the Photograph. "The highly productive relationship of painting to photography in 20th Century American Art".......say what? I saw more Georgia O'Keeffe paintings in the calendar I bought than I saw in the museum. They best one was a Norman Rockwell painting, remember the soda jerk staring into the eyes of the young girls at the soda fountain? Well they had the photographs that he took prior to painting to show how he put the painting together. It was interesting, but I was really disappointed it wasn't all Georgia. http://www.okeeffemuseum.org/ I met another couple there from New Jersey (they started talking Yankees as I was wearing my Yankee hat) and they were also disappointed.
I must say the town of Santa Fe is beautiful and so interesting. A tourist town but not offensive. The architecture is beautiful and boy did my camera get a work out, I just kept shooting pictures like they were paying me for each one. I went in and out of galleries that ranged from terrific to outrageous and all of the prices were in "I must win the lottery to afford these." My favorite artist was Bruce Cody at http://www.manitougalleries.com%20the/ see if they show some of his work on their web site, great stuff. After the museum and galleries I met up with Claudia & Stoney and we had lunch in a recommended Mexican food restaurant, The Shed. www.sfshed.com The food was great and we all enjoyed the meal and atmosphere. Today, was high school graduation & they had lots of seniors and families celebrating graduations.
We then headed over to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. It had been closed that morning as the graduation ceremonies were held there. An absolutely beautiful church, the beauty you just cannot describe. Took lots of pictures but see for yourself. www.cbsfa.org
Stoney had enough of churches and headed off on his own, while Claudia & I went to the see the New Mexico State Capitol, the Roundhouse. http://www.santafe.org/ What beautiful art work and a gorgeous rotunda. We went up to the top floor and worked our way down, taking pictures all the way. Time was growing short before our train to return to Albq and we wanted to see the San Miguel Mission billed as the country's oldest church, built somewhere between 1600 and 1646.
We then try heading for the train station but looking like lost tourists, a very nice retired gentlemen starts to give us directions and then decides to walk with us and show us exactly where we need to go. God Bless him. We made it back with only about 5 minutes to spare and caught the 4:10 pm train back.....Stoney was already there. www.railyardsantafe.com On the train ride back I met 91 year old Florence from Iowa who was out visiting her son and discovered it was her first train ride ever!
We arrived back at the train station in Albq at 5:38 pm, thoroughly tired after a very long and fun filled day. Retrieved the car from the parking lot and I decided to take them home down Central Ave, the original Route 66 only to discover I had gone the complete opposite way from our campground. Now we were all dead tired and didn't need any additional sightseeing as we all just wanted to be home. Finally I found I-40 going West and before you know it...there was our Enchanted Trails Park. Thank you to Claudia & Stoney for going along with me today, I so enjoyed the company and look forward to seeing you again in Miami Beach next winter. Much love to all family and friends.