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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Touring Santa Fe

We decided to take it a little easy this morning, but our bodies are still on Eastern Time, so we were awake at 6:00 AM. We made coffee and took a little walk around the RV park. It is an interesting little place tucked here on a main highway on the way into Santa Fe. Daily RVers are located in the front of the park. We are about 50 feet from the street separated by a adobe type wall, but we could still hear the traffic during the night and early this morning.

The back part of the park is all full time residents or retirees that spend part of their time here. Most are double-wide or park type trailers, but all are very well kept, clean and neat.

The bus stops right in front of the RV park, and many of the retirees use it to get to the mall or to get downtown to the historic plaza area of Santa Fe. It was suggested that we use the bus, but we decided to drive and take our chances on finding street parking. We found a parking place but only had enough quarters on us for an hour, so we fed the meter all we had and took off on a walking tour of the historic Santa Fe Plaza.

But we may have a little problem on our hands. When we parked, I smelled coolant from the Civic radiator, and sure enough, the overflow resivoir was spewing out on the street. We decided to let the Civic have its little fit and go ahead and walk around. It was kind of confusing because the temperature gauge on the Civic showed nothing abnormal, and there appeared to be no leak other than the water overflowing from the overflow resivoir. We'll just handle that problem when we get back.

Santa Fe is an interesting place. It is a strange mixture of artists showing their work in high end galleries, Native Americans hawking their crafts (weavings, jewellry, and art work) on the street, and the history of one of the oldest towns in the USA. All that added to the fact that it is the capitol of New Mexico with all of the government offices, make it an unusual place. We made several pictures of the area CLICK HERE to see our picture album web site.

There also seems to be a lot of homeless types on the streets. The desert landscape gives things a sort of unkempt appearance. But on the other side of the coin, there are a LOT of resturants serving all kinds of food, but many specialize in the New Mexican food that includes green and red chillies.

Even the hamburgers get a dose of chilli, either red, green, or "christmas" (both red and green).

Back at the Bounder for lunch and then back downtown to finish our walking tour. The afternoon included a trip to the St. Francis Cathedral, the Chapel with the "Miraculuous Staircase" and a visit ot the Oldest House. It is really the oldest structure in the USA.

The Oldest House was built originally in the 1640s, but it was built on the foundation of an old pueblo that was built in 1200 AD.

The "Miraclacuous Staircase" is an interesting story. The staricase is a double spiral with no support in the center or on the outside spirals. The legend has it that when the church was being built in the 1800s, the builders had no skills to build the staircase going up to the choir loft. They held a prayer service to ask for devine intervention to provide help to complete the job. The next day an unknown carpenter showed up at the site with a bag full of tools and began work on it. He worked for weeks to complete this structure, then left without asking for pay, and was never heard from since. It is called a Miracle because it has no support but still stands and has been used for 200 years. In recent years it has been analyzed by engineers, and supposedly is an engineering marvel and should be "Impossible" to stand on its own.

After completing our walk around the plaza and a short walk out to Canyon Road, an exclusive art gallery area, we went to Maria's New Mexican Kitchen. This must be one of the hot spots in SF. We got there a little early and still were seated at the last table un-reserved for the evening. And it was a hoppin' place. After a combination plate of Tamales, Chili Relleanos, beans and rice with both red and green chili sauce, we were ready to call it quits til tomorrow.

Back at the Bounder, the wind started blowing and the temp began to fall. Warm days and cold nights seem to be the norm here in the high desert.

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