Sunday, April 28, 2013

2013-9 Santa Fe New Mexico Continued

Georgia Okeefe


Santa Fe visit continued

This is my second week at Cochiti Lake Reservoir and I’m continuing to enjoy the high desert and views of the lake.  I decided to once again go to Kasha-Katuwe (Tent Rocks National Monument) which is just down the street from where I’m staying.  I’ve been there a few times in the past and was pleasantly surprised to see that the old washboard road has been fully paved.  Made for a much more pleasant drive into the park.  

Tent Rocks has a couple of trails and I selected the slot canyon trail for today.  It was more of a walk than a hike as I kept stopping every couple feet to take pictures.  This is one of my favorite slot canyons to hike.  By the time I left the canyon, the crowds were starting to come in.  Everyone from families with little ones, to elderly folks taking just one step at a time, but still making it.  A few hats got blown off in the gusty breezes, kids running ahead in all the excitement to see what was ahead.  Mom and Dad not worried as there’s only one way in and one way out.  One young lady asking if the slot canyon got any narrower, as she was starting to feel closed in.  I assured her she would get into the wider part of the canyon just around the corner, well, that is after her and her boyfriend ducked under a huge boulder lodged between the two sides of the canyon.  I even took a few pictures of two gals for them so they’d have a picture of their hike.   On the last shot I told them to wave their hands in the air and I got a really fun shot of them.  The cone shapes are formed from an extinct volcano in the area.  Huge rocks top some of the cone shapes as the weathering action of wind and rain shape the walls, canyon and cones.  

I decided to stop at the local gas station and convenience store for a quick lunch on my way back to the campground and met another couple staying at Cochiti Lake as well.  Had the best pizza I’ve had in ages.  really really great.  Shared a couple neat places to visit with them as they head towards the Grand Canyon next.  

I had a nice visit with my friends Ginny and Christine in Santa Fe.  After lunch we stopped by to visit The Baca Street Pottery where Ginny creates some wonderful pieces of pottery and art pieces.  There are three or four potters currently working at the studio, all with their own character and style.  You can even take classes to learn the art yourself.  Fun for me to see all that creativity in one place.  Santa Fe is filled with so many artists there’s even an artist road called Canyon Road where you can visit artist studios and see them at work.




If you're an art lover, you will truly enjoy Santa Fe.  Today I went into town to see the Georgia O'keeffe museum which was having a special showing by Annie Leibovitz.  Rather than photos of famous celebrities that she is so well known for, this is a collection of work representing people that have influenced her life in some way.  Though not photos of those people the show displays objects from their lives.  Images of the famous Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. included the original model of lincoln's hands, which the sculptor created using a mold of his own hands as inspiration.   A photo of Graceland as seen in the reflections of the smoky gold veined mirrors in the dining room.  An interesting perspective especially for the budding photographers in all of us, providing inspiration into using objects to represent subject matter/people.  

Georgia O'keeffe on

Walking around the downtown main square I was able to visit many of the art galleries that line the main square and side streets.  Stunning art work that was priced in the high teens, 20’s, 30 and $40,000 on up.  Outside on the streets are all the Native Indian vendors selling their jewelry and crafts.  Street musicians are on every corner providing the music of the city.  Many appear to be homeless and more than a bit scraggly with their dreadlock hair and wrinkled clothing.  One musician had a sign that said “my girlfriend said I had to get a job.  This is it”, with a donation box below the sign. I finished my art walk by stopping in at the historic La Fonda Hotel in all it’s adobe glory for lunch in the atrium style restaurant.  Excellent food, good service, great atmosphere.  Nice to treat oneself on occasion. I had shrimp diablo with green rice and fresh green beans.

Tv.  On the morning news, channel 4, the weather guy carries his small chiwawa in the crook of his arm while doing the weather. The little dog just looking as content as can be.

Well the winds have died down making for much more pleasant days.  The sun is shining and the temps have been ranging in the low 70’s.  Time to enjoy the outdoors a bit more without being blown away.  Christine and I finished up my week of “cultural endeavors” by going to the Wheelwright Museum and the Museum of International Folk Art.  Their together on top of museum hill where a number of museums are located along with a pretty good restaurant.  the Wheelwright Museum had it’s entire first floor closed off due to a new exhibit being installed, so we only got to see the top rated Trading Post gift shop in the basement.  This is a must visit for anyone interesting in purchasing only the best native Indian produced artifacts.  We were also treated to a talk by one of the noted Indian potters doing a series of 3 by 5 tiles etched with historical and modern Indian motifs (average price, $300).  

Across the street we entered the International Folk Art museum and of course once again Christine knew half the people working or visiting the museum.  Nice to be with a seasoned professional of the arts in Santa Fe.  I love Folk Art and though they did not feature any U.S. folk art, the international folk art pieces were exciting to see.  They had two rotating exhibits, one displaying Amish quilts and the other on the history of chocolate, which we didn’t spend a lot of time in since they had no chocolate samples, not even the smell of chocolate wafting in the air.  Really,,,, where is the authenticity of the exhibit...

and of course many more photos on PICASA

Saturday, April 20, 2013

2013-8 Cochiti Lake (Army Corp campground) Santa Fe New Mexico

stunning mural, downtown Abq. Central Ave./ route 66


Albuquerque to:
Santa Fe New Mexico

Campground:  Cochiti Lake Reservoir. Army Corps. campground.  Senior rate: $10.  Sites have 50 amp electric.  Water and dump station available.  All sites are paved and the back in sites are a breeze to back into.  I got a nice pull-thru, but it’s not very level.  Reservable sites all have elect/water at each site.  Strong 4g verizon signal.

After leaving the casino campground this morning, I headed into Albuquerque to have the boo boo on my camper fixed.  Aloha Rv did the work and I must admit although it was cheap, they did a very poor job on the installation.  I’ve had to go back over some of their non-work and fix it myself after the fact.  It’s not perfect, but at least it doesn’t look like I’ve been running down any green wooden fences lately.  

Distance traveled:  67 miles

views from Cochiti Lake

I arrived at Cochiti Lake where I used the dump station and filled up my holding tank before getting to the campsite.  Once at the campsite, 052, which is a pull-thru I discovered there was a water connection right next to my campsite.  Not all sites have water, but apparently all of the reservable site do.  White caps are starting to form on the reservoir lake below.  

And yes, I did look at a few new campers while at Aloha Rv,  they are a bit smaller than the current one I’m in (between 3-4 feet shorter).  Even asked them to provide an estimate on a trade in and will see what they come up with. Fun to look and I really would like to get into a slightly smaller camper (lengthwise).  Still want all the slides and space I can get.  I received an estimate, but won’t act on it as it wasn’t all that great of a deal.

We’re expecting up to 50 mph gusts today and I was glad to get off the road by noon before they started to get severe.  As a full time rv-er I’ve found that the winds usually pick up in the afternoons, so I try to get to my campsite early in the day.  Actually I had a tail wind so it even helped push the camper forward.  Maybe I saided a gallon or two of diesel fuel.  


Cerrillos NM 

There are so many places to explore in this part of the state besides visiting the wonderful city of Santa Fe.  One of those excursions I took today was to The Turquoise Trail.  I visited two old mining towns, Cerrillos and Madrid.  Now for those that may not have heard of the Turquoise Trail, it was the original trail that native Indians took in search of turquoise.  They would mine it and make various ornaments which were then traded all over the south west and into Mexico.  The town of Cerrillos has a state park has numerous pit mines that one can hike to.  And who knows, you may find some turquoise yourself.  Cerrillos is a pretty dead town overall, the state park headquarters in town is only open between 2-4pm the day I arrived.  I stopped in one of the few shops that was open.  A dusty antique shop that really was dusty.  As I browsed around I could see the dust rings around the objects that had been picked up and moved slightly.  Glasses and dishware all covered in a layer of dust.  No extra charge for the dust.  One of the shop owners was warming herself next to an ancient but functional wood stove that put off a wonderful warm glow while she puffed on a cigarette.  

After walking up and down the dirt streets, noticing a mix of upscale adobe homes, ramshackle homes and trailers, upright post fences, a couple dogs barking and a turkey cackling from on top of a tin roof I decided to head onto Madrid.

Madrid NM

the wonderful smell and look of lilacs in the springtime

Madrid is a short drive south on the turquoise trail and I found it to be much more vibrant.  With a good mix of art shops, restaurants, mining museum and pubs.  The waiter at the “Hollar” told me about 150 artists and shopkeepers live in town.  This is a local hangout and considered one of the best restaurants in the area.  I sure enjoyed my meal and they had great deals on beer too.  Maybe that’s why so many of the shopkeepers end up there around 5pm.  Stopped at one shop that had a lavender lilac bush out front and I had to stop and take in the wonderful spring smell that I remember from living in Northern Michigan.  A shopkeeper told me that the lilac bush has bloomed early this year in this little town and even offered to let me take a sprig back home.  

Whoa there Pardner, I almost forgot to tell you about a fun day trip that Lynn and I took in Albuquerque.  By the way, thank goodness I don’t live here, I would never figure out how to spell the towns name if it weren’t for spellcheck.  

Lynn and I drove down to the old heart of town along the original Route 66.  Now called Central Avenue. Seeing lots of the old motel signs that the state of New Mexico is restoring as a part of the Route 66 heritage.  What a great idea.  There’s also a most eclectic downtown area near the University as well.  I’ll post a few photo’s of the area and also check out my Picasa web site for more pictures.  Talked to a lone security guard at the De Anza Motel.  It was all fenced in and closed down.  He said the city has purchased it and is waiting for a buyer to restore and open it back up.  It was built in 1939 and has quite a history along with Route 66.

We tried to get into the Kimo Theatre, but it was closed on the day we were there.  It’s been beautifully restored in it’s original Native American Indian theme and has a number of events there, so check it out if you're ever in the area.  

Kimo Theatre

The rest of the week so far has been just enjoying the local area, doing a few chores, downloading a few e-pub books to my Kindle and overall just vegging out.  

Since I’ll be in the area for another full week, I’m sure I’ll be doing more exploring.  Till then, enjoy your own journey wherever it leads you.

additional photos:  PICASA