Two things about me: I always take the morning first shift driving and leave the hard driving to Sam, and daily blogging, especially when on a trip is a real nuisance. I want to do well by Sam and all the wonderful people who bothered to become followers, however weak they were in the moment. Next time I will know my limits.
Sam will likely pull the short stick on driving if it is up to me, but I will know I cannot keep up a daily blog.
But back to the wonderful trip. We continued south on I-25 through bergs with names like Raton (Worth a ten minute conversation about whether it is pronounced RaTON or RAton.) Maxwell, Levy, and Wagon Mound.
Sam had studied the next day’s travels where there is a Thoreau, New Mexico and we were in a conversation about whether there had ever been a a Mexican Thoreau-type person. Neither one of us knew, (I suggested Barry Lopez just because of his last name and I wanted to sound like I knew of someone.) but we have a friend, Salvador, who may be able to tell us.
The point is western landscape can give time for many conversations, and we missed a turn-off we had wanted to take as a small detour, but we went back.
Spontaneous Stop #11 / State Road 63 Bypass
The monument describes the March 26-28, 1862 battle there that is nicknamed the “Gettysburg of the West,” where the confederates lost and turned back. Now it is a road of make-do lean-tos with tin roofs where people live. I did manage to buy pinto beans from a vendor along the road.
Santa Fe is a first class tourist trap, and it is meant to be enjoyed like that.
I wonder if any residents ever come into the town square area except to run their very expensive stores. Hmm, last paragraph I described lean-tos that are located half an hour outside of town and in Santa Fe I found myself wandering through a women’s clothing boutique where a suit, and it was beautiful, had a price tag of $3,400.
But our hotel–well, that was worth the trip. If you like historic inns you will more than like the El Rey in Santa Fe. It is a ten minute drive into
town, but worth every stop light. Located on the historic Route 66 it opened in 1936 when nothing was around it. Through the years it has been tended by gardeners, tile masters, and a series of caring hoteliers.
Years ago I stayed at the La Fonda on the town square and that was great, too, but I saw it is being renovated, so I don’t know how it will be.
Two important stops on our trip: 1. Kakawa Chocolate House. Deemed by our son as having one of the best chocolate drinks of his life there, we visited. Sam had the Atole which
was 100% chocolate with hot chilies and blue corn. I had the Mayan which was 100% chocolate with flowers, honey, and chilies.
Though not on the town square where most tourists go, our dinner was perhaps the best of our trip. I’m very critical of Mexican food since Sam’s mother taught me the basics many years ago, but this is one of the best I’ve enjoyed. I wish they would open one where I live.
And then it was back to the wonderful El Rey Inn and the special moon of the night.