New Mexico: 3/16 – 3/19/19

We headed south/southeast on Hwy 9 to Hwy 50 and landed at a KOA campsite in Pueblo, CO, for the night.

6FA3D5C0-415C-4968-926C-961CEB409F69We had trouble with the motorized tongue jack our last morning in Breck, and then again when we got to Pueblos.  It jacked down on our arrival, but he couldn’t get it back up the next morning.  Scott had to get the trailer hooked up to the truck tow manually, and we knew that when we got to Santa Fe, he would have to see about replacing it.

Driving down the open road of Hwy 25 South, the view was mostly brown fields housing antelopes, cows, and horses.  I took some pictures but you can’t really make out what I was seeing from the truck window.  Any remnants of snow quickly disappeared while the temperature rose.  We crossed over the border into New Mexico (I missed the Welcome sign), and within a few hours we had made it to our home in Santa Fe for the next two nights.

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F45093FA-47C3-4643-981E-B997AA855279Since it was St. Patrick’s Day, I just HAD TO HAVE corn beef and cabbage. We found a pub, Second Street Brewery, that had the food AND entertainment.

 

The only problem was that they did NOT serve Irish Soda Bread.  I made Scott stop at Whole Foods on the way home so that I could purchase a loaf.  To close out our evening, we enjoyed my favorite St. Patrick’s Day beverage, a Green Goddess, while we finished off the Irish Soda Bread.  Yes, we ate the whole thing.

5CE2CE35-CDD6-4EBF-A48D-C20D971E8243The following day, we both agreed that we needed to move our bodies.  It had been quite some time since we had been on a hike together, and we needed to detox our bodies from yesterday’s festivities.  Scott had to work on the truck first to replace the tongue jack, so I did laundry and started this blog.  By early afternoon, we took off on an eight-mile round-trip hike with an elevation gain of 1,821’ adjacent to St. John’s College.

98E93C74-17D7-4019-89CD-113EF6897508St. John’s Santa Fe campus is located at the foot of Monte Sol, on the eastern edge of Santa Fe, at 7,300’.   It is known for its distinctive curriculum centered on reading and discussing the Great Books of Western Civilization. I didn’t realize that St. John’s has no religious affiliation, yet it is called St. John’s.  We began at St. John’s College Trailhead (see bottom of map) and continued on the Atalaya Trail to the peak.

0F95E46C-5E2D-4420-A28B-C70871911688

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1EA22CA6-C7F6-4F5B-96D9-8791BAC3DF93About an hour into the hike, we came across this option.

600783B0-1540-4515-AD6B-865E2461F484We chose the Steeper Route and soon needed to don our micro spikes.  Close to the summit, we stopped to take in the view of the Capital City of Santa Fe.

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024277A4-6BC7-4316-A1E9-87A6B3694AD0Scott soon identified the “peak” at 9,121’, and I asked him to pose for me.

2DA2C731-CDA3-442B-8A49-E44049707751On the way back down, we decided to take the Easier Route to see what we had missed.

3B1C09B6-6F13-4028-AD3D-73A2122E42B7As we neared the end of the our four-hour hike, I wondered if the running water was just from the melting snow.

5D73200E-0B8A-4BFB-AE2D-BB0C1DC303C3Our plan was to leave Santa Fe early the following day.  Check out time was 12:00 noon. We got the trailer ready to go and left with just the truck to head into the historical part of town.  I really wanted to see St. Francis of Assisi Church. We had to wait over an hour since it didn’t open up to the public until 9:30 a.m.  It was only 8:30.  Someone was impatient.

B4EEF9FD-F433-48BF-AF89-610DEFAC0625So, we walked around a little bit and I took some more pictures.  Here is the Santa Fe Inn and Spa at Loretto.  Too bad that we didn’t go in for a massage.  Don’t you love the adobe structure?

3A553E5B-CD5F-4E2B-8481-BED331B163CANext to the Spa was the Loretto Chapel with the Miraculous Stairway.

CCCEA47F-A415-4D5F-ADC0-65B578E9315DOn the tree in the background are rosary beads hung on the branches.  Here is a closer look.

036FFC17-A76A-482D-971C-BA259C1A3F07We still had some time to kill, so we stopped for a coffee at a local coffee shop.  It was pretty chilly this morning.

F5CC7A7A-6B29-4AC0-AEF5-94C02F3EE1BEYes, I got the special, Mexican Mocha…sweet!!

7E581644-6CB3-4446-A09A-73E7FE332C4BIt was almost 9:30 so we headed back to the church.  On the way we passed a parking garage.  Yes, a beautiful parking garage.  I thought it was an apartment.  Go figure.

B6A7B3D1-68D6-4276-8748-14934C19B7BFThe church was right around the corner from this parking garage.  Below you can see the side view of The Cathedral Basillica of St. Francis of Assisi as Scott approaches it ahead of me.

 

934CF838-EB84-4702-89D9-EC1B45E1A45EThe front of the church was adorned with a statues…

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…and a labyrinth.  I walked it and counted all 700 stones while we waited earlier this morning.  Sorry, no picture available.  Scott was walking around somewhere while I was deep into counting.

0B8AB6EC-C0AF-4D08-9832-E67B791D5393Inside the church were beautiful columns, stained glass windows, and a very simple yet elegant altar.

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4BECBAD9-ED7B-4EB5-9710-1E252A4BA6EE

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91DD746A-8AD0-4575-AE7F-154D942FB109The church was on a quiet street, and behind the church to the right was a Stations of the Cross Prayer Garden.

 

Here are photos from two of the stations.  It was quite moving for me.  They were a little scary looking but obviously it took a long time for someone to carve these figures with such detail.

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DC49919F-4787-4ED8-8F45-D46879358E6FScott caught me deep in thought as I stared at the statue.

13FFB14B-58A0-4C0D-923C-980E3148DC54We returned to the RV park and hooked up the trailer.  It was time to say goodbye to New Mexico for now.

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