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Denver to Santa Fe, NM
Monday, October 7, 2016
Sunny & gorgeous, mid 70s in New Mexico

We had to scrape the frost from our windshield as we prepared to leave about 8:45. We'd had a great visit and it was good to see that Elaine had found someone she cares for and who cares for her.

The drive, though relatively long for us, was pretty easy. We started out with the intention of stopping in Taos but got there early enough to opt to continue on to Santa Fe. There, we'd be able to join up with friends, Elaine and Rich who were holed up on their way to the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. So we shot straight through busy Taos to Santa Fe where we set up camp where Elaine and Rick were, at Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground, about ten miles out of town.

First on the agenda was a tour of their new Holiday Rambler camper. Very nice, very comfortable! It's a wonder how much extra space a slide-out makes!

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With Rick and Elaine in Front of Their New Camper

We ate dinner at Harry's Roadhouse, one of hundreds of establishments to have been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. This place deserves the extra business such exposure brings! Not only was the food and service very good. They had great gluten free selections for Sandy.

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Harry's Roadhouse was Featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives"

Returning to the campground we had a rare treat; we watched an episode of "Castle" on TV!


Santa Fe, NM
Tuesday, October 8, 2016
Sunny & gorgeous, low 70s

Rick started the day by making us a delicious breakfast of eggs, home fries and bacon. We then piled into their truck to spend the day in Santa Fe.

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The Cathedral Basilica of St Francias of Assisi in Downtown Santa Fe

We started with a stop at the downtown farmers' market. This open-air affair featured the usual produce and craft stands but with a twist. The twist was peppers! It seemed that nearly every produce or craft stand featured peppers in great variety. There were hot ones and sweet ones, fresh ones and dried. Several stands fire-roasted them on the spot with large propane burners directed at rotating steel cages filled with peppers.

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Peppers are the Thing in Santa Fe Farmers' Market

We then turned our attention to the shops and galleries downtown. Santa Fe is a huge market for art; said to be the second largest in the US, followed only by New York City. The array of shops and galleries seems endless and we barely grazed the surface. We did spend some time in a shop featuring olive oils and balsamic vinegars, finding a Maple Syrup balsamic that pleased our palates. Of course no visit to Santa Fe would be complete without a visit to Canyon Road where many of the premier galleries are. We started at the far end but only had time for a few galleries. The offerings are quite varied and one, in particular, struck Rick. It was a six-inch, sealed Plexiglas cube filled with "artfully" arranged Chinese tea bags priced at $700. Rick thought he should maybe start another new career!

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Entrance to One of Many Galleries on Canyon Road

Bill prepared a dinner of grilled teriyaki chicken tenders, sautéed veggies and tiny roasted potatoes that we found at market.


Santa Fe to Amarillo, TX
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Sunny & gorgeous, low 80s

Today was a travel day so we said our goodbyes to Rick & Elaine and hit the road about 9:30. Heading east, New Mexico was very flat. It was home to a number of huge wind farms. In some areas, where it seemed like you could see forever, wind farms stretched farther than your eyes could see.

Along the way we passed through Tucumcari (two-come-carry), NM. It's a place most of us have heard of but probably haven't seen. It's right on the original Rt 66 but it is barely a shadow of what it once must have been. Nearly every business was closed. Old art deco diners and gas stations were in tatters. A few people still live there but it seemed a sad, depressing place.

Cadillac Ranch, on the outskirts of Amarillo, on the other hand was still a hoot. In case you didn't know it, all it is 10 successive model-years of battered old Cadillacs in a row, set into the ground on their noses in the middle of a field along I-40. People are invited to photograph and spray-paint them as they wish. Unfortunately, a massive tractor-trailer accident held us up for about an hour and blocked off access to them for us.

The delay also caused us to abandon our plan to camp in nearby Palo Duro Canyon State Park since it would have turned dark by the time we arrived. We camped at a local Walmart instead. We did some shopping at the Walmart and returned to our one-night, Camp Wally, abode.

There, Sandy prepared a dinner of mixed green salad with leftover grilled chicken and lots of other goodies with pear balsamic vinegar. Delish!