Tuesday, August 20, 2013

8 days away from home (August 17th, 2013) - Santa Fe - Part 1

7.23 a.m. August 17, 2013.   We are in the mountain time zone now.  Having stayed the night in Tucumcari, New Mexico, we are now heading to Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2146 miles into our journey.  A comfortable stay  in our hotel.  

We have 162 miles to Santa Fe.

At 7.55 a.m. we crossed the Guadalupe county line.  There are sunflowers growing wild on the roadside.  The scenery is now flat scrub land  with magnificent buttes in the distance.  It is a fresh morning, my kind of wake-up weather.  The traffic is light and flowing at 75 mph which is the speed allowed out here.  

We enjoy seeing all the trucks on the road and can now identify Peterbilt from Volvo from their grills in our rear view mirror.

We are driving next to a railway line and we have seen lots of very long trains on our journey.  One very large one had three engines in the front, another had two in the front and two in the back and so on.   All had more cars on them than I had ever seen before.  From what we could see it looked like they were carrying anything from livestock to coal and oil, to those big containers you see being loaded onto ships.

 8.19 a.m. and we are near Santa Rosa traveling through a safety corridor.  Fines are doubled and we must put lights on.  Gregg keeps the cruise control at the legal speed.  We have seen several people pulled over by the police and he remembers going through St. John's, New Mexico where he got a speeding ticket many years ago and before he met me.  When we were driving through St. John's together, I didn't think we were going very fast at the time, we were also pulled over for speeding.  Now that's been about 30 years ago but there is no third time lucky for the police officer in that town because we came via a different route and only saw signs pointing to St. John's.  And we are keeping the cruise control on all the time. 

2205  miles and at 8.22 a.m. we crossed the Pecos River.   We have a strong cell phone signal, woo-hoo!

Driving under several overpasses, we noticed that they have decorated them with beautiful engravings of Indian-style horses and pretty designs.  I missed the one of the horses but caught another that was less intricate.  

8.30 a.m. we passed the sign for San Ignacio.  I love the names out here.

One thing that has changed since our journey across country all those years ago, the amazing number of wind farms we have passed.

8.28 a.m.  Elementary Dear Watson, we have just seen a sign for the town of Moriarty!

9.12 a.m. Crossed the Santa Fe County  line.

10.09 we stopped for gas and a car wash on the outskirts of Santa Fe.  We had more red mud on our car from our trip to Palo Duro than I have ever seen.  It was great being able to drive down into the Canyon for the sights we saw, and driving over roads covered in water was an adventure.  One was deep which gave me pause for breath.  You can see why people drive four-wheel drives around here.

We reached Santa Fe and the first place we headed for was the Santa Fe Botanical Garden at Museum Hill. You can see it here.   

Oh my gosh, we had a great time walking around.....

and we were told by the two nice ladies at the entrance that it had only been open four weeks.  

We were also told many interesting things, one of them was how the garden was designed to save water.   Gregg is talking to one of these ladies.

I loved the look of this fountain, each side a seat for you to sit for a spell, and maybe doze off to the quiet sound of running water.

Also, almost immediately I spotted a hummingbird land on a branch of one of the new trees.  I don't know what kind it is.  A thrill all the same as I haven't seen one since the last time we were in California and that's been a few years ago.   

We spotted lots of little lizards running around....... 

and of course the flowers were gorgeous!  

The bees thought so too!

I will have more to share on the flowers in a later post.

We have been having fun with the new tripod that Debbie recommended.   It's working out great!

We loved everything about this place and I look forward to the time we can return.  Santa Fe is a great area, and I would recommend this lovely garden to anyone.  We also felt very fortunate to see it in its first month of opening and we look forward to going back when it is even more established.  

We were very lucky not only to stumble upon the garden but we realized that there were several museums nearby, and we went to two of them.  One was the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the other was the Museum of Indian Art and Culture.  You can look here to see what other museums  you can visit.   If we had the energy we would have looked at them all but as the old saying goes, you have to leave something for next time. 

8-20-13 - Part two will be shared as soon as I can.  When we reach the hotel each evening, Gregg and I sit down and we each look at our e-mails and check in to see how our son's day has gone, and other family members and friends.  That's something that has changed with the invention of cell phones and laptops that you can carry easily along with you.  

We were in the Grand Canyon overlooking those gorgeous views and our son called.  We had a nice conversation, interrupted twice because of a weak signal, chatted again for a while and then completely lost that said signal for the rest of our drive out of the canyon.  Gregg also chats to his Dad almost every day, when cell phone signal allows.  Lovely to be so connected because of this wonderful modern technology.

We've been lucky at all the places we have stayed in but it has been sometimes tricky to get a signal to call ahead for a hotel, and we look for cell phone towers or wait for the next community to show up.  

One thing that has changed on this journey that we never did before, is to call ahead for a room.  Of course we didn't have cell phones back then, and the way we travel we might change direction on a whim, so there are days we may not be heading in the direction we first thought.  

Yesterday we found a road we were planning to take that had a detour lasting for miles and miles.  It took us on a road we have never traveled and it was fun seeing something new.  On many of the other roads the fun was in remembering the last time, which in some cases was over 30 years ago.  There are lots of wide open spaces around here.  It truly is glorious scenery, each state offering its own beauty, and so we keep on traveling because this morning we head for Zion National Park.

(Depending on when I can get another post out about our vacation, you will be seeing others that I pre-posted before we left.)

Sending love and hugs to all family and friends, which of course include all you blogging friends out there. 


  1. If we in Hawaii were to drive as long as Gregg has, we would end up in the ocean. Lol. And to think we consider 45 minutes of driving time as being too long. We are so spoiled. I love seeing America through your eyes.

  2. Wonderful photos, nature is amazing:) Greetings

  3. You're very quick to be able to capture lizards and humming birds. How nice it must have been to be among the first visitors to Santa Fe Botanical Garden. I imagine water conservation must be a great consideration in such areas.

  4. Hi Denise, I absolutely love nature, as you know, and botanical gardens are so much fun. You have captured this tour so well I actually feel as if I am with you enjoying it all! Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. What an awesome journey --- love reading all about it!!

  6. We absolutely adored Santa Fe....would love to go back (and of course the beautiful garden is new since our last visit several years ago).

    We used to pull our RV with a Freightliner...how are you at recognizing those trucks ;>)

  7. My daughter and I went to Taos and Santa Fe several years ago and it is a trip I'd take again. I loved the art on the overpasses in NM, too. There's nothing like them in Colorado! We shopped for some jewelry in the Governor's Plaza and found several things to bring back home. The new garden looks gorgeous.♥♫

  8. I'm so happy for you all --and it sounds like you are having a fabulous trip. I'm envious since we've been there!!!! Love it!!!

    We always stay at the Holiday Inn Expresses. Hubby is a priority member and we get upgrades and special rates. Love it. AND--they always have their own wifi that we can use..

    Have fun at Zion.

  9. Hi Denise... Oh my goodness that is some wide open spaces in that first shot!!
    I am so glad you are learning such great stuff like; the difference between a Peterbilt an a Volvo !! I new there had to be another use for that mirror besides putting on lipstick!! : }}}

    The garden especially the roses are lovely,what a great place!!

    I am enjoying your travels, thanks for sharing!!
    Drive safe (watch for police)!!

  10. 8 days away!
    Hurry home, Denise.
    But wait, you don't have a furry waiting at home.
    Oh go ahead, enjoy your long vacation!

  11. What a trip - and thank you for taking us along for the ride.

  12. Denise, the gardens is a very pretty place to visit. Love the hummingbird. I have read that there are plenty of speed traps in New Mexico. But, I remember being pulled over going from the Grand Canyon to Zion. What a great trip, with lots of memories. Thanks for sharing, wishing you safe and happy travels.

  13. Denise, Sante Fe was one of my favorite places to visit when I had to travel to Albuquerque on business in the late 90's -- I could live there:)

  14. Oh you guys look like your having a blast . Wonderful photos ! I love the last photo of you and Gregg . Glad your tripod is working out well ! Thanks for taking us with you I have enjoyed your trip as well he he ! Have a good day !

  15. I am loving your views out west!

  16. Thanks for taking us along with you on this day. We haven't yet made it to Santa Fe, but I would sure like to get there some day. I do remember all the wind farms and the long trains, however.

  17. 75mph? 120km/hr!! Wow! Top speeds in Western Australia are 110km/hr and some of those have been reduced to 100km/hr. We have huge trucks that travel to our north-west which they call road trains and they can be dangerous where the roads are narrow.
    I am so enjoying 'our' travel. Love those sunflowers and your reference to Moriarty...very droll.
    You have discovered so many wonderful and beautiful things along the way. Fantastic and thanks so much for sharing.

  18. I was so excited to see you in Santa Fe, Denise. I remember those designs under the overpasses so well. Your photos are gorgeous and I really feel that sense of traveling with you. I well remember what it was like to be in and out of range of those cell towers. We loved visiting our son, Jon and his Sarah there. Thank you for showing us all the wonderful things you are seeing.

  19. Interesting place! I love the yellow flowers along the way!Your pictures are great!

  20. Santa Fe is always a fun place to visit. My parents lived in Santa Fe when I was born. Dad took bids on the cost of the birth from the hospital in Santa Fe and the one in Espanola and the latter won. So I was born in Espanola at a cost of $95 and I've been negotiating and bargain huntin ever since.