Santa Fe and Sandia Crest

The waitress asked if I needed anything. Breakfast buffet, a beautiful place and the SundayNew York Times – What more could I possibly need?
“Okay, then stay here all day,” she said.

But we didn’t we were off to Santa Fe.

View of St. Francis from St. Cathedral, Santa Fe New Mexico

"Myself among the churchgoers." 1939. Ben Shahn in the Georgia O'Keefe Gallery, Santa Fe , New Mexico

Once we would have asked directions, or followed the ones in the guidebook, but now we are all hi tech so we spent a few minutes loading the directions onto Eric’s new Nook and tried to read the screen in the bright sunlight. But we made it to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum anyway We listened to a guide describe the current exhibits that exhibits that explore the relationship between photography and painting. We were interested in a picture by that listed it as a digital print

Although it looked like a painting for all we could tell it was not The guard explained that the painting has been sold by the institution that owned it the week before. What was being exhibited in the museum was a reproduction that somehow had the texture and appearance of an oil painting.

We left the Museum to do the tourist thing (or more of the tourist thing) and walk around the Plaza. The Plaza is surrounded by mostly stores and some restaurants. We followed yet another downloaded guide around. The high point was finding the famous Roque Garcia (according to the guide) who sells carnitas, a “good energy restorer”(same guide’s quote) from a truck on the Plaza. We restored our energy and watched a group of people in kind of ad hoc costumes, play fight with each other in the middle of the square. The costumes consisted of everything from a pillow case with holes cut out to a professional looking Frankenstein costume, the weapons – tube balloons, plastic swords and the like. I finally asked someone what was going on and he told me it was the annual monster battle by a group called Miaow Wolf.

Monster Battle on the Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico

We left Santa Fe and talk the Old Turquoise Trail back to Albuquerque.

On the route to Sandia Crest, New Mexico

Its hard to say the main highway is not a scenic route, but the old Turquoise Route was chock full of scenic pullovers- So we pulled over and practiced our self photography.

Sandia Peak has  a tramway that lifts you above the New Mexico Scenery for 2.7 miles to crest.  One can only imagine the breathtaking views.  I can only imagine the breathtaking views- we drove up. At least I drove up – something a bit less harrowing than driving through the Sierra Madres in the mist (old story – from the time I kept journals in little pocket notebooks) but exciting none the less.

One of the most amazing things about New Mexico is  the big sky.  Wherever you look the sky looms above- often with different weather systems, blue sky with fluffy white cumulus clouds to the left, gathering storm clouds to left and mixing systems to with shafts of sunlight coming through up ahead.

The View from Sandia Crest, New Mexico

The parking lot at the top of Sandia Crest has a parking system that works on a quasi-honor system. Put three singles in an envelope, fill out the details and ascend a steep wooden staircase to the gift shop. We had no less than a twenty between us. So I figured we could just fill out the tear-off and return later with the stuffed envelope. There is little chance that we would stiff the National Park System for $3. But Eric was nervous. So he put his camera on the roof, rummaged through the car for change without finding any he ascended the long staircase to the gift shop. Then he looked down and saw the camera on the roof. So we went down.  Then we went up. Then I convinced him to just leave the filled out tag, so we went down.  Then we went up.

At the gift shop we got water, change and lots of pictures of humming birds.

The humming bird feeder, Sandia Crest, New Mexico

Then we went down. Money in the box, our integrity restored- we went to find the place to hike across the summit to stone house.
Guess where the trail begins.
Then we went up.

But Sandia Crest is a beautiful place filled with magnificent views and beautiful wild flowers. And all that ascending and descending helped us get adjusted to high altitude climbing.

The Kiwanis Hut, Sandia Crest, New Mexico

Wildflowers, Sandia Crest, New Mexico


One Response to “Santa Fe and Sandia Crest”

  1. myra needleman Says:

    Love the view down onto the flowers.

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