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Friday, April 14

New Mexico

and today's added attraction:

This is a wonderful five star hotel that is part of a small exclusive chain.

Georgia O'Keeffe -- Grey Line with Black, Blue and Yellow, 1923


Below-- Dave, welcoming us to the Inn of the Anasazi.



Taos, NM

Land of Enchantment

"All the earth colors of the painter's palette are out there
in the many miles of badlands..."
Georgia O'Keefe

We started from Pueblo at 7:30. It was cloudy all day which kept the temperatures in the 70s. About 80 miles later, we were in New Mexico. Eventually, we turned off the Interstate and headed up through a pass toward Taos. Following the Santa Fe trail, we went through some amazing country, including the Boy Scout's Philmont Ranch, and Cimarron Canyon and Eagle Nest Lake state parks at 11,000 feet.

At lunch we stopped in Taos, home to many artists, and wandered into the Kit Carson museum. Carson, who lived in Taos much of his adult life was an interesting character, the prototypical Mountain Man, although he was only 5 feet 5 inches tall.

From there Janet drove in the only real traffic we have seen for the trip, following the path of the Rio Grande, which starts in Colorado, and plunges several thousand feet in the 70 miles from Taos to Santa Fe. Rafting should be a lot of fun through this section of the river. Along the way, we saw several walkers, on a Good Friday pilgrimage to a shrine in Chimayo reputed to have healing powers. As the local bishop explained on the news, it's like a US version of Lourdes.

Santa Fe is America's oldest capital city. Say what? Spanish explorers established this capital city in 1607. Today, it's the capital of New Mexico, and a tourist destination focusing on art. If you want anything "southwest", this is definitely the place to be. From Indian art to jewelry to amazing landscapes and other art objects, the 14,000 area artists make Santa Fe a destination that is not to be missed. We wandered from shop to museums, spending the most time at the Georgia O'Keeffe museum. Along the way, I saw a small plaque on a building in downtown explaining that this was where all Manhattan Project workers heading to Los Alamos, were received before being sent to develop the first atomic bomb.


By the time we reached Santa Fe, it seemed the construction war was largely over. From the Prairie's eastern style architecture, to the eclectic mix of styles in Colorado Springs, we have seen the competing influences of the settlers of the various areas.

In Santa Fe, it's adobe.

And one other sign that we are clearly in the southwest. It's fire season, and fires are already raging in the northern part of the state. Today, with wind gusts to 50 MPH, promises to bring new challenges to the firefighters.

Last Updated: Saturday, April 15, 2006 5:50 PM