We drove up to Santa Fe to join our Michigan friends Jim and Renee Wilson and George and Diane Moger for the last week of our western trip. The Wilsons rented a house in the historic downtown area of Santa Fe for the month of April and we worked our schedule to be coincident with the Moger’s visit.
We stayed at a private RV park 12 miles south of the city while the Mogers bunked with the Wilson’s at Casa Establo. We usually avoid private campgrounds as they tend to be expensive, short on scenery and the Snoozy often gets stuck between two giant RV busses. Kudos to Santa Fe Skies RV Park though. Not too expensive, nice open sites overlooking Santa Fe and the Rio Grande valley and top notch bathrooms.
We got to Santa Fe late Tuesday afternoon just in time to set up camp then head into town for a reunion with the Mogers and Renee’s famous “welcome soup”.
The next day was a lazy one, strolling around downtown Santa Fe, listening to some street musicians at the plaza then a nice lunch at Cafe Pasquals, a diner specializing in veg food recommended by a couple of different local people at the plaza.
Sue and Renee enjoying some veg food, southwestern style.
One of the big attractions of Santa Fe is hiking in the beautiful mountains and canyons. Thursday we visited Bandolier National Monument, first taking the trail up to the Tsankawi prehistoric site.
A few pictures from the Tsankowi trail:
Next we went to the main Bandolier visitor center where most of the ruins are located.
A view looking down into the ancient settlement in the valley:
Friday we went to an even more scenic hiking spot Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Volcanic eruptions six to seven million years ago left thick deposits of ash that have eroded into mystical shapes and spires, many with big rocks balancing on top.
Our destination was the top of the mesa at the far left.
And some hints at the scenery along the way:
And the payoff view from the top:
Saturday we spent a pleasant morning strolling around the Santa Fe farmer’s market, getting lots of free samples and gathering the ingredients for dinner at Casa Establo that evening.
Sunday was another great hiking day, this time at Ghost Ranch. This was Georgia O’Keeffe’s winter residence and the place she painted many of her famous landscapes. It’s now a Presbyterian Church retreat center and open to visitors. One scan of the horizon and you can see why an artist liked it here so much, beautiful red, tan and grey mesas all around.
From the front porch of the welcome center:
Our designated picnic spot today was the top of the chimney rock trail.
On the way up:
Views from the top:
Our last day before heading home will be to revisit Ghost Ranch and do another hike. We discovered a Corps of Engineers campground on the shore of Abiquiu Lake, down in the valley shown in the last two pictures. It will be a great ‘last day in the west’ before putting the helm over and steering east.