Sunday, October 6, 2013

Friends, Taos, Santa Fe, ABQ & 66

On Saturday we left Ojo and headed south to Espanola, a very short 27 mile ride.  We stayed there for four days to meet friends and explore the area.
As soon as we arrived we called Bobbie and Jim who were staying with friends in town.  We had not seen them since they had to leave Betty's early for their summer job.  We had a great afternoon getting caught up and sharing a bit of our bounty from the Bourbon Trail.
On Sunday afternoon our WashPA friends Mike and Sherri arrived for a visit.  They will be staying with us here and then at the Balloon Fiesta.  We started our visit with a great meal and euchre while getting caight up with them.
The next day we drove to Taos.  Our first stop was the San Franciso de Asis Church, an old adobe building that has been featured in Georgia O'Keeffe paintings.
We then went to the Taos Pueblo.  We were not able to tour the pueblo because it was a festival day.  Here is a link to our previous visit to the pueblo.  While we did not get to tour we did get to see the festival ceremonies that were very interesting.  They included dancing and the climbing of a high pole by young Indians to get to the rewards that were hung at the top.  No pictures where allowed.   If you are near Taos at the end of September be sure to check it out.
After spending so much time at the pueblo, we only had a short time to check out a few shops in town.  The guys were very disappointed:)
The next day we headed toward Santa Fe.  On the way we stopped in Chimayo.  We enjoyed the Santo Nino de Atocha Chapel, a small church dedicated to children.
The main attraction here is El Santuario de Chimayo that is famous for its holy dirt that is said to have great healing powers.  Pilgrims come to the church searching for spiritual, emotional and physical healing.  The two churches are well worth a visit.
The Santa Fe governor's palace dates back to 1610.  It is the oldest government building in the country.  The Native Americans sell their jewelry along the front of the palace.
The Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi is a rare stone building in this city of adobe.  The French priest who had it built felt there was to much adobe in the city so the church was built of stone.  Santa Fe has a very low skyline because no buildings are higher than the cathedral.
Mike and Sherri made it to the end of the Santa Fe Trail.  Mike was disappointed they did not get to see any wagon rut but, hopefully, that will happen somewhere else along their way.
We moved on to Albuquerque with Mike and Sherri primarily to go to the Balloon Fiesta but we took advantage and explored a bit of the area.  We have been in ABQ a couple of times and have never been to the top of Sandia Peak, so we decided to take the tram.
What a view.  From the top you can look out over the ski area to the East and see for miles.
A typical mountain experience.  While it was sunny, the wind was howling and the temperature was much cooler than at the bottom.  Here we are soaking up the Sandia sunshine.
To the west you are looking out over the Rio Grande Valley and Albuquerque.  The big green space just right of center is Balloon Fiesta Park.  Click on the picture to blow it up and you may be able to see our RV. 
The second tram nearing the top.  At 2.7 miles it is the longest tram in the world.  It climbs 3,819 feet of elevation.  You can buy a one way ticket and hike the 3.5 mile trail up to or down from the 10,378 foot peak.  That may be a bucket list item.
Look carefully and you can see the house that is built at the highest point.  There is a road up the East side of the mountain to service the ski area and all the towers at the top.
If you get to ABQ make sure to put a trip to the top of Sandia on your to do list.
Mike and Sherri did a lot of Route 66 on the way west so we checked out the 66 sights on Central Avenue.  There are several neat old buildings and even some signs that were left in place after several old motels were torn down.  
On another evening we explored Old Town Albuquerque, the site of the original Spanish settlement.  There are many neat old adobe buildings with shops and restaurants.
We are now waiting for all the Balloon Fiesta activities to get under way.  On Friday the program where balloonists visit local schools was cancelled but the Saturday launch was great.  Many pictures to follow in the next blog.
Mike and Sherri are leaving us on Monday, but a few places they had planned to visit are closed because of the idiots in Washington.  Hopefully, all that will be over by next week.  It would be a real shame if they travelled all this way and don't get to see some of the national parks.

1 comment:

Bobbie and Jim said...

Boy oh boy, your posts just get better and better. That camera is really capturing the sights and scenery very well. You sure did a lot in a short time.