Four days in Santa Fe…

Atop the Atalaya Trail at 9,100 feet above Santa Fe. An elevation gain of nearly 2,000 feet. We slogged up snow the last 1,500. We learned the utility value of ‘Yaks’ too late in our trek to be of any help.

Reid is in India this week and next, traipsing in and around Bangalore.  Why he picked that spot is beyond me but that’s where he is for the duration of his odyssey.   If a kid is going to pull up stakes and travel, why not now when he has no life commitments beyond his job and rent and has a little change jingling in his pockets?  Everybody has a little bit of wanderlust and adventure in them.  He may have exceeded his supply.  By my count, he’s been to Mexico, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and maybe other nations I don’t know about.   Norway?

By comparison his old man had to settle for four days in Santa Fe.  But it was far from a booby prize.  As a getaway locale its pretty darn good if you like the Southwestern motif of food, culture, pervasive adobe structures and high-country desert.  I’ve been there more than several times and wonder if I blunt my own sense of wanderlust by not expanding my travel horizons with return trips to Bend, OR or Boise, ID or San Diego or sunnier, warmer spots.  I’m kind of Santa Fe’d-out for maybe the next half-decade or so.  You could do worse, however.


Here’s what the kids received last week:


February 13, 2012

Ellen/Reid: Reid, I hope this gets to you before you journey East (or do you go West to get to India?) and it has to be an enormous relief to have your visa in hand.  What a deal that would’ve been to go all that way only to be turned down at the customs office.  I cannot wait to hear about things and hope that you can get online as often as possible to send us your photos and your impression of things.  It is just wild that you are headed over there.  There was a book some time ago titled The Ugly American and it was about how in our arrogance we bullied some Southeast Asian banana republics into our way of thinking or some such thing.  You will be anything but.  What an experience.  Sure you don’t want to lug your old man along with you?

In lieu of your once-in-a-lifetime trek to India, Santa Fe had to do for us.  We had a great time.  The streets and byways come back to you after a little while, and we just had a low-key but fun four days.  Among the many places we dined and imbibed was Cowgirls (which if memory serves me, which it may not, was where we had BBQ there with you a few years ago), incredible wine at the 4 star Inn of the Anisasi, a couple of good visits to the La Fonda, Casa-something-or-other which was just a riot with a live flamenco dancer accompanied by an operatic singer.  It was really fun and the food was good, too.  I couldn’t tell you what we ate at El Farol but it was a wonderful meal.  That was the place a little bit south of the house you guys rented when you were there.   We stayed at a funky little B&B called the Inn on the Paseo.  Homey yet with good access to the Plaza.  We moseyed around the perimeter of the town square looking at Indian jewelry and the like and had a glass of wine now and again.  It’s a big art town and the cultural angle is kind of lost on me so 50% of the stores went unvisited.  It hadn’t changed a whole lot since the last couple of times I’d been there.

I suppose the other highlight besides gorging ourselves was a hike up the mountains to the east of Santa Fe.  Felicia found the alleged day hike online, and we literally went straight up nearly 1,800 feet on the Atalaya Trail.  The tourist info called it a ‘difficult’ climb but some other stuff I came across just this morning termed it strenuous.  It was accurate to say the least.  Whenever a trail sign offers two options, one being ‘Steepest’ and the other being ‘Easiest’, take the latter.  We opted for steepest, and while it was a challenge, we were in fine shape.  It wasn’t so much hiking as climbing.  We just weren’t mentally prepped for it.  Plus, we were on snow the entire last half and that made the going treacherous, but we did prevail and persevere, and after a few hours we made it to the top.    That’s where the cell phone photo came from.  It was unbelievable.  The few folks we did see sported a strap-on traction deal on their boots called ‘Yaks’ which were a poor man’s crampon.  Thus, we half-slid our way back down the mountain.  It was exhausting but well worth the ordeal.

We took the Turquoise Trail to Albuquerque and that was kind of a bust.  Of note was the town of Madrid, where the climatic street scenes from “Wild Hogs” were filmed.  So that was sort of fun.  We skirted Albuquerque in hopes of finding the desert but the shrubs and few cacti weren’t much different than what we saw around Santa Fe.  It ended up a waste of gasoline and precious time.

Ellen, let me know if you have questions about the bath thing.  Sounds arduous.  Tim’s demolition is really a huge part of it.  The other stuff should come together.  Just make sure you have your materials list in hand and the specific locations of where the shower, sinks, etc., are going to be.  Make sure the contractor gives you a daily report and a to-do list for the next day’s work.

Okay, guys, over and out.  Reid, do what you can to keep us filled in.  Can’t wait to hear all about it.

Love, Dad



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5 responses to “Four days in Santa Fe…

  1. mort

    Great photo Dave… a latter day Kit Carson.
    Hope Reid is enjoying India.

  2. Bangalore is a beautiful city! We call it Garden City of India.. so I’m sure he is enjoying himself there 🙂

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