Friday, May 15, 2009

Excerpts from my Colorado vacation – Day 5
22 July 2008
7:30 am Breakfast at Waffle House. The waitress put songs on the jukebox: Neil Diamond, Genesis, Patsy Cline, Eagles & ELO.

8:30 am Leave town, 78F
Many overpasses are painted and have “Amarillo” with cowboy boots for the two “l’s”. It’s very attractive. Lots of RV parks around. There was one that advertised itself as horse-friendly.

Saw, and smelled, my first feedlot. Did not know what it was at first, just that it was not the usual terrain. I still think a hog lagoon smells worse.

9 am See another windfarm, Oldham C. more longhorns.

9:15 am Vaga, TX, gas; $4.10 per gallon. Ouch!

Dad’s stomach insisted on a slightly longer stop so I bought a Rte 66 t-shirt for my collection, plus 3 Texas ones (3/$10) .

9:40 am See a plane crop-dusting

9:45 am Terrain has changed again. It’s still scrubby but now it rises and falls. Here are mesas, hills that rise to a flat top-like cut with a knife. The sides are rumpled folds.

Sometimes there are buildings in the distance. There’s always a fence next to the road and frequently, there’s a dirt road or old roadbed alongside. More often than buildings, there are windmills and/or cattle.

Bushes polka dot the plains.

10 am New Mexico border

Speed 75 mph & time change, now it’s Mountain Daylight Savings Time. Set clocks back an hour.

Welcome Center is only 8 weeks old. It has no shelters and no plants. There’s just the building. It’s very pretty. The water is currently non-potable. So they provided the purell stuff.

Trees freckle the mesas.

10:13 am construction, 55 mph, until 10:24 am
½ hour nap, so tired

Flat bottom clouds like scows scudding across the sky
Once they reach us the temperature drops 6f.

11:43 am Clines Corners

Elevation 7200’ and 79 Degrees
There are barn swallows under the overhang. Neat!

I had a cheeseburger with toasted bun and fries. Our waitress, Mariam, is from Capetown, S. Africa.

Clines Corners was founded in 1934 [I read the history on the menu] at the intersection of 2 highways. Then Rte 66 came through and Ray Cline relocated. They lost the apostrophe but they’ve bee on the same site ever since then. It’s a huge, emphasis on the huge, tourist trap.

12:45 pm leaving
Rain is sprinkling down. 1st rain on the trip. Since the land is so flat you can see where patches of rain are falling. There’s even some lightning in the distance.

Power & light poles are not creosoted. No insect protection needed?

Changed to highway 285 to go to Santa Fe when we left Clines Corner.

Bush-like cacti along the road. Some are in bloom, some pink and some yellow.

13 miles from Santa Fe I see my first Adobe. The highway retaining walls are pressed/imprinted to look like rock.

Adobe is everywhere, including the Walmart & the McDonald’s. I wonder if it’s like Cary or if they did it voluntarily?

1:45 pm Santa Fe Sage Inn, but the room’s not ready yet. We called the Art Van Gogh shuttle to take us downtown. The shuttle is part of the hotel package.

1st stop: Governor’s Palace [I wish I’d taken more pictures] Since 16-something CE, Indians came to trade as they do to this day. There are 71 places for native artists to spread their wares on blankets. Better to buy directly from craftspeople. Very nice people.

Dad was talking to the husband of one of the artisans. If more than 71 people show up, they draw lots to see who gets a place. Today, one nice older man (with gorgeous & pricey pots) split his spot with a woman working in beads & silver. If I had had the money I would have bought one of his pots especially because of that. They were beautiful, a bonus. Or would the beauty be the key & his kindness a bonus?

I bought a pottery turtle for Steve and pottery cats/tiny bowl for Maya (Richard & Kathy’s little girl – her own ornament). I bought some jewelry for myself; a turquoise barrette (her son is a Marine at Camp Lejeune, finished 2 tours of Iraq); an earrings & necklace set of turquoise & other stones; silver earrings; silver & turquoise ponytail holder with water symbols; and a pendant from Mable, a very sweet older woman. She has the softest hands.

Kathy & I roamed the nearby shops, including an art gallery. I found presents for my co-workers, magnets of wood with a turquoise chip. I also found a wolf décor thing for Chris. I got a Santa Fe tee for myself & finally found a summer hat; a black straw cowboy hat.

We met Dad at 5 pm and set off to find a restaurant for supper.

~5:30 pm Coyote Cantina & Café
Downstairs (2nd floor) was not open so we went up to the roof to eat. It was cheaper up there, too. Gorgeous view.

I had the Taco el Pastor, a 2 on the spiciness scale of 1-10. It was still almost too much, but very good.

Live jazz started playing in the plaza downtown. We were all tired so Kathy called the Van and we went back to the hotel to unpack the car.

I had trouble downloading the video from Dad’s camera. It took me over an hour and I finally gave up on trying to read the disk directly and hooked up the camera to my laptop.

I read a little bit and played a round of a computer game before going off to sleep.

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