Thursday, September 27th. We arrive at Cochiti Lake Campground early afternoon and start exploring this giant Corps of Engineers earthen dam on the Rio Grande and Santa Fe Rivers, built 1965-75 for flood control purposes. Apparently Albuquerque is built on a flood plain and has had some disastrous floods over the years. Scenes from our campground:
Friday, September 28th.
Our first full day in Santa Fe! We drove into town and find the Planet Fitness in a strip shopping center on Cerrillos Road behind a Chick Fil-a with a jammed drive-through line just like the one near our Home Depot on US441 in Florida. We worked out and showered, then drove a couple miles up the road to what must be the most crowded Whole Foods Market in the country. By a miracle, we found a parking space, and went inside for lunch and grocery shopping. By then it was time to meet Lynn & Vic for a long-overdue reunion with dear friends. We have seen them over the years on their occasional trips to Florida, but we figured out the last time we visited them in Santa Fe was 15 years ago! Can it be??? Anyway, we had a great time catching up, and meeting Henry! We went for a walk around Quail Run, the nicely landscaped golf course community where Lynn’s parents lived. Then we had dinner at La Paloma near downtown Santa Fe. Guacamole, a salsa sampler, mushroom quesadillas, cauliflower tacos, almond cake with peach and meringue topping, with sorbet for dessert. Mmmmmm!
Saturday, September 29th. We showed up on Lynn & Vic’s doorstep at 10 a.m. and piled into their car for a visit to Santa Fe’s famous Saturday Farmers Market. The gorgeous produce! flowers! Peppers of every description! Roasted chiles! We watched a batch of poblanos being roasted at Romero’s and bought a bag of the fragrant peppers. Then we drove downtown to Old Santa Fe and had a fantastic brunch at the Plaza, a local restaurant that has been in business since 1905.
Passed the ever-entertaining gallery row on Canyon Drive on our way to Santa Fe Botanical Gardens. Yes, there is a Master Gardener training program in Santa Fe!
Vic & the Chamisa, AKA rabbitbrush
Hornos, traditional outdoor ovens
Stopped to nose around a recently sold house where there was an estate sale around the corner from Lynn & Vic’s.
Not having run out of things to talk about, we sat and reminisced the afternoon away. Lynn brought out old photo albums with pictures from St. Croix, and the St. Dunstan’s high school yearbook from 1966, the year she and Scott graduated.
Scott & Jan Henle, c. 1965
Scott & Jan, cooking up some mischief c. 1966
The entire graduating class
Scott & Helen, St. Croix, c. 1976
Later, we drove to Rabbit Road to meet their friend Trevor and take their usual daily hike at Arroyo Honda Trail, a beautiful rails to trails project.
Then it was sunset and we drove the 30 miles back to our campground while there was still a little light in the sky. We enjoyed those roasted poblanos with baguette and avocado for dinner in the trailer!
Sunday, September 30th. Our last day in Santa Fe!
Lynn & Vic drove out here and met us at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in the Cochiti Pueblo across the road from our campground. We took the 1.5 mile Cave Loop trail.
Look at the blue of that sky! Intense!
The cave on the Cave Loop Trail. You can still see the soot of campfires or cooking fires on the ceiling.
Tent rocks, the eroded remains of tuffstone, originally deposited in a layer 1000 feet deep by a Jemez volcano 6-7 million years ago!
My favorite desert native plant
Then we drove out to the Cochiti Pueblo Visitor Center/Gift Shop at the crossroads on the way back to our campsite.
We showed off our trailer with all its features and conveniences, and shared a light lunch of nachos with those wonderful roasted poblanos. Then we said a fond farewell before starting to pack up for the final leg of our trip.
We fleshed out the details of these next 2 weeks of our eastward journey that will take us back home:
10/1: 331 miles from Santa Fe to Palo Duro Canyon State Park, south of Amarillo, TX
10/3: 315 miles from Palo Duro to Wes Watkins Lake Campground, McLoud, OK
10/4: 327 miles from McLoud, OK to Willow Beach Army Corps of Engineers campground near Pine Bluff, AR (near Toltec Mounds State Park)
10/6: 187 miles from Willow Beach to Poverty Point Reservoir State Park, Delhi, LA
10/8: 350 miles from Delhi, LA to Blackwater River State Park, Holt, FL (back in Florida!)
10/9: 321 miles from Holt, FL to Stephen C. Foster State Park in the Okeefenokee NWR near Fargo, GA
10/12: 100 miles to Jacksonville for a visit with KB & Joyce
10/15: Bill Frederick Park at Turkey Lake, Orlando, where we hope to spend a little time with Matthew!