Can you see yon canyon or what a gorgeous gorge

Sorry, I lost my head. I just didn’t want to say awesome again.

Mahgrit’s post once again says it all. The pictures she posted are only some that we took. We met some nice people which is not surprising but, what is surprising is we met some people from Burlington Vermont.

The Grand Canyon is one of the places I have always wanted to see. It did not disappoint. It is soooo huge. Pictures do not/cannot do it justice. Everyone needs to put this on their bucket list.

The girls are really doing well. They seem to like the stroller and are having less and less problems with all of the people who want to pet them. Today we took them out for awhile because the trail we were on was very quiet. They walked along side each other for a long way. However, on the ride back to the hotel they both were comatose.

So, who’da thunk that we would be eating Hawaiian plate lunches in Flagstaff? It wasn’t as good as we have had in Mauai but the last time I had Loco Moco was about 5 years ago.

The weather has been working with us all the way. We were told that it would be really hot at the canyon but, it was very cool. This enhanced the experience. Also, since we hunkered down for the Memorial Day Weekend we missed the huge crowds that were there over the weekend.

Tomorrow we begin our turn north to Zion and Brice canyons.

When you come visit be sure to ask to see the thousands (really) of pictures we have taken of this trip. We currently have over 1600. 😉

Not much to say today

Mahgrit’s post pretty much says it all. I enjoy driving so the miles behind the wheel don’t bother me. An interesting thing is the subtle change in the landscape from New Mexico to Arizona. The colors and the shapes are different. Still very beautiful.

The last week or so we have been at altitudes of between 6,000 to 8,000 feet. For some reason I still feel the effects of being at the higher altitudes. I noticed it again when we walked down and back up at the crater today. It wasn’t bad but I was puffing a bit. That is the extent of it I have no problems with headaches or nausea but, I feel I should be over this.

Tomorrow we head for the Grand Canyon. I am looking forward to this. It is a bucket item for sure.

Sky City

Today we kenneled the girls and went to the pueblo at Acoma (pronounced – Acama, I am constantly told not, A coma ;-). ). The actual pueblo is called Sky City. It is at the very top of a large Mesa. (See Mahgrit’s post for pictures.) The only way to visit this site is via a guided tour. Our tourguide was a young lady named Sparkle (her actual name in her native language is too much for me.) She explained all of the structures and gave a very good history lesson.

Talk about ” off the grid” Sky City has no water, no sewer, no electric, no utilities what so ever. All needs must be taken up. In the past everything had to be carried up by hand on steps cut into the walls; Mostly by the women on their heads. A road has been built so manually carrying things up the steps is no longer necessary. There are a few dozen people who live in Sky City permanently while some have homes there but live down in the valley. Our tourguide was one of these people. She showed us her house on the Mesa top and explained that she lived down in the valley. She owned the house because it is a matriarchal society and all property is passed down to the youngest daughter.

All in all a fantastic visit.

The drive into and back from Sky City was … ready for it … AWESOME! It is very interesting scenery. (Again see Mahgrit’s post for pictures). I seem to believe reading that all this land was under an ocean a million years ago or so. The rock outcroppings are all unique and interesting.

We also got to see an exibition of Zuni tribal dancing and saw some fabulous crafts in jewelry and pottery.

For dinner tonight we went to County Line Barbeque. We first found this restaurant in Austin Tx. We were excited to find one here in Alburquerque . I am sure Mahgrit will publish a picture/ pictures of this dining experience.

Tomorrow, the petroglyphs.

Old Town and Sandia Peak

We spent the day today in Old Town Alburquerque .

It was a hot day and the girls attracted all the attention as usual. We had them in the doggie stroller and all of the shops let us take them in.

Old Town is a good shopping area. It has a Lot of good galleries and shops. It is laid out in little alley ways. You go into an alleyway and there are three or four shops in the alley. The products are all pretty good quality and not junk.

I bought a really cool piece of Navajo pottery and Mahgrit found a couple of nice pieces of jewelry.

We went to dinner at the restaurant at the top of Sandia Peak. To get there we had to take a tram up the mountain. The tram rises about 3300 feet in elevation and is about 2.5 miles long. We ha d a ice meal and got to see a really sensational sunset from the top of the mountain.

Tomorrow, off to the Acoma pueblo.

Rollin’ on down to Albuquerque

Said goodbye to Taos this morning. We had a few good days here.

We took a small detour to Bandelier National Park on the way. The drive in was … Ready for it … awesome! But, we were not prepared for the greater awesomeness of the park itself. Unbelievable sheer cliffs down to a pretty valley with a stream running through it. The Anasazi lived here in the valley about 10,000 years ago. These were people who lived in the canyon walls in caves turned into homes. This was a piece of history I have always wanted to see. I was able to climb up a ladder on the side of the canyon wall and look into a living space. We were high up on the canyon wall and Mahgrit had a little trouble with her fear of height but she troopered on through. This was another national park for free on my senior pass whoo hoo!

We left Bandelier and passed through Santa Fe on the way to Alburquerque. Let me tell you the Santa Fe drivers are as bad or worse than NE drivers.

We made it through Santa Fe and continued our drive on the turquoise highway a scenic route. It was another relaxing and pretty drive through the countryside. We were told to stop in Madrid and look around which we did. However, the people were not as friendly as we have become used to. Also there were no sidewalks and it was not easy to get around. Also, they would not let people use their facilities. They had porta-potties for visitors to use. Not very tourist friendly.

We are going to hang around here for the weekend. We don’t want to fight the crowds over the Memorial Day Weekend and getting reservations where we want them is difficult. We might even spend an afternoon at the pool and hot tub.

Last day in Taos

For our last day in Taos we took a drive up to the Taos Ski Valley. We went from 7,000 foot elevation up to 9,200 foot elevation. The temperature dropped about 9 degrees. Ok, here it goes, the drive was awesome. I know, every trip we take I say the scenery is awesome but, it is. There were some really cool ski cabins/chateaus on the way up. At the top, there were fancy condos and resorts. Actually, we didn’t go all the way to the top. It is 13,000 feet but you need to take the lift there. This is off season and no lifts were running.

On the way up we went through a small town, Arroyo Seco. We stopped there on the way down. An off the track little place but really cool. Mahgrit picked up some jewelry at one of the shops. We sat and had an ice cream. Everywhere we go, people are enchanted by Jasmine and Juliet. So where is all the doxy art? We think there is a market opportunity here.

After that we spent the rest of the afternoon in old town Taos. There are a lot of great shops and galleries. Mahgrit found an art supply store and is doing some painting tonight.

Dinner tonight was Mexican, a small family place, the food was delicious. The chile sauce had a smoky flavor. It was spicy but not overly so. It was some of the best Mexican food we have had since we left Ca.

Tomorrow we head for Albuquerque. We are going to go the back way on the Turquoise Rd. on the way we are going to stop at Bandolier National Park and what ever else we may run across.

I forgot to mention yesterday that we also crossed the Rio Grande. We walked across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Mahgrit doesn’t like heights and found it scary. She took some cool pictures. I helped her by holding the back of her belt. This gave her a feeling of stability. She took a couple of panoramic shots. We are going to have a cool photo album when this is done. Don’t worry, we won’t subject you to a photo night. 😉

We are going to a lifetime of great memories from this trip.

Pueblos, earth ships and red rocks

Cruising day today.

Started off at the Taos Pueblo this morning. The people of this pueblo have been here for over 2,000 years. The pueblo is open to the public during the day, and they give guided tours. The inhabitants live in much the same way as they did 2,000 years ago. It was built of adobe brick covered with mud and chopped straw. They sell jewelry from their front rooms. They invite you in to see their wares.

One guy called me over when he saw the girls. We chatted about the girls for awhile and then I got a history lesson on his people, the government, and WWII . It ended up with long bible quotes and praises to God. Mahgrit came by and rescued me. Really though, he was a nice guy. He just liked to talk

From the pueblo we went to the site of earthships. These are totally off the grid houses built with recycled materials. We were given a tour of the demo house and watched a slide show of how they are built. The foundations of these homes are built with old tires filled with sand which is pounded in with sledge hammers. Then this is covered with an insulation blanket and concrete. The houses are powered by solar and wind. The temperature is controlled by passive solar and geo-thermal. All the electrical is D.C. run off the batteries. Really cool, but not my style. Also, they are somewhat pricey to build about $250 per sq. ft. But, after they are built there are no utility costs.

After this we once again took the road less travelled to find Georgia O’Keefe’s studio at Ghost Ranch. We didn’t find it but we did find some incredibly beautiful country along the way including the Red Rocks area and the Abiquiu reservoir. (As always see Mahgrit’s post for pictures).

After seeing the landscape of today’s drive, I am inspired to paint some landscapes. Unfortunately the only painting I have done is to some walls. (And not that good at that.) oh well!

I said in yesterday’s post I am not impressed with Taos but it really is better than my first impression and the surrounding area is beautiful.

We went back to the Downtown Bistro for dinner and had more of his red chile soup once again, yum!

Tomorrow is a trip to old Taos Which is the downtown area with shops and galleries. Then on to Taos ski area about 20 miles up in the mountains. We should be in awe again tomorrow night.

Taos, so far, not impressed

We left Santa Fe this morning and headed to Taos. My brother-in-law John, suggested we take the Taos high road bypass. Thanks, John, it was some of the most awesome landscape I have ever seen.

It was another “road less traveled” route. Almost no other vehicles on the road. Mahgrit took a ton of scenic shots. Don’t miss them on her post.

We chatted with an elderly couple at breakfast and they suggested a small side trip on this route. It was to small town named Chimayo. There was a really old mission there, the El Santuario de Chimayo. It is still an active parish church but had a very spiritual air about it. It was one of those places where you speak in whispers because it would be wrong to speak out loud.

We continued to motor on to Taos and the first impression of the town was less than exciting. However, that said, we haven’t seen it all yet and we didn’t come to see Taos specifically rather there are a number of interesting things to see and do here. More tomorrow on this.

We actually checked in and then checked out of the first motel The Sagebrush Inn. It was very dark even with all the lights on. It also had an aroma. We talked to the server when we went to dinner and she recommended the Hotel Don Fernando de Taos. We are here now and very comfortable.

We had dinner at the Downtown Bistro, a little place next to an Ace hardware store. Once again the food, service, chef and server were fantastic. It was not very busy as we went right at opening time. The chef/owner seated us and chatted with us for awhile. We ordered the red chile soup. (My lips are still tingling) and before we had finished the chef gave us a second serving. Delicious ! We will definitely eat there again before we leave.

A small glitch in the trip is Memorial Day weekend. Some of the places we wanted to go are already booked up so we re-jiggered our plans to go to the Grand Canyon a couple days later. Not a big problem but a small pain not being able to do what we want, when we want. At least this way we will miss the crowds at the Grand Canyon, Brice Canyon, and Zion.

Tomorrow off to see the local sites.

Santa Fe spa day for Mahgrit

So today we are still in Santa Fe. Got up early and walked over to Canyon Rd. , this is a section of Santa Fe that is all galleries. Most of these galleries are very high end with a lot of full sized and larger than life sculptures. See Mahgrit’s pst for some pictures. It was early and a Sunday morning so most of the galleries weren’t open yet so all we did was window shop. That is the most cost efficient way to go to the galleries ;-).

We had to get back because we were meeting some old friends who moved here from Ca. I last saw Hans and Marge 23 years ago at their wedding. They looked great and really love living in Santa Fe. We had a delicious brunch at Tia Sofia’s and caught up on old times. Hans and Marge have travelled extensively through out this area and gave us some tips on other places to go. Marge is a painter and sill smith. She was wearing some of her jewelry and in Mahgrit’s opinion she should be selling it because it is such good work.

Hans and Marge had to get back to work ( they work in the tourist industry and never have time for themselves). So we went back to the hotel for Mahgrit’s big spa day. I went back to the room and sat with the girls and a few hours later Mahgrit returned with an enormous grin from ear to ear.

Mahgrit had a jones for sopapitas so we went out for them in the evening. When Mahgrit went to pour the honey on her sopapita the top came off and it was covered with honey, oh darn ;-).

We are now back in the room trying to plan some of the rest of the trip.

A day not behind the wheel!

I was going to start off that this was a down day but, that really wasn’t the case.
We got a dog sitter for the girls so we could go to the museums and galleries here in Santa Fe. We spent almost 7 hours wandering the streets of Santa Fe. This is a fabulous city.
We started with breakfast at Tia Sophia’s. I had a chorizo burrito with green chile sauce, yum!
Even though we spent the whole day we did not cover all the galleries and shops, there were booths set around town for other artists to show/ sell their work. This place is crazy with artists. Unlike some of the stuff we have seen up to now with ” made in China” stamped on the bottom, all the art work and jewelry here is made right here. I saw some wood turned vases with crushed turquoise worked into the cracks. It was so beautiful I wanted to give up my poor attempts at turning. However, I have resolved to get better after I get back.
Mahgrit has been sorely tempted by all the beautiful jewelry but is holding steady. But, we still have a long way to go.
I can see Mahgrit and I coming back here for an extended vacation in the future.