Saturday, March 21, 2015

Santa Fe - Capitol of New Mexico

It was a nice and easy downhill hour and a half drive from Taos to Santa Fe we made on October 3rd. Our RV Park destination was the Trailer Ranch RV Resort, a 55+ community about 3 miles from the Capitol building in old downtown Santa Fe. Nice little park that has been here a long time, but very well kept.  

On Saturday, October 4th we accomplished our major reason for visiting to the Santa Fe area by getting up at 3:45 A.M. and taking the 48 mile drive into Albuquerque’s northern suburb to take in the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. Gates opened at 4:30 A.M. in hopes of a 7:00 A.M. ascension which didn’t come off due to the wind blowing the wrong direction. I was wondering what the approximately 200,000 spectators were going to do. An amazing crowd of well-behaved people. They did inflate all the balloons which was an amazing setting. Hair raising actually!

We got back to Santa Fe by 11:00 A.M. and headed into old town Santa Fe for some sightseeing. Much adobe southwestern architecture. It is beautiful in context of the settings. Hotels, shops, and churches in adobe. Nice.

On Tuesday, October 7th, we decided to take the drive to Albuquerque again and see if the balloons would get airborne. We arrived at the balloon park at 7 A.M. and were rewarded with the spectacle of approximately 300 balloons lifting off and filling the sky. It was a chilling event that will certainly never be forgotten.

We drove on into Albuquerque and eventually gravitated into the eastern portion of the city for a visit to see Walt and Skylar’s house used in the popular TV mini-series, Breaking Bad. No pizza on the roof this day! 

We got on old Route 66, which parallels Interstate 40 heading east out of Albuquerque. This was a throwback to the 50s as most of the business establishments were born 50 to 60 years ago. About 15 miles out of eastern Albuquerque we came to New Mexico Highway 14 heading north 50 miles back to Santa Fe. Janet had studied the area and informed me our destination up Highway 14 was the small town of Madrid which turned out to be a 30 mile drive. Madrid was the small town where the movie “Wild Hogs” was filmed a few years back. The comedy movie starred John Travolta, Tim Allen, and William H. Macy.

We had lunch in Madrid at the Mine Shaft Tavern. I had an unforgettable cheeseburger that was served in a tortilla instead of on a bun. The flavor locked into the tortilla was unforgettable and I’ll be looking for something along this line in our future travels. It was a Torta-Burger at the Mine Shaft Tavern.

Old Santa Fe is a throwback of a couple hundred years with the old architecture refurbished and the new melded with the old. This is very much worth a visit if you every get this direction.

Although we stayed five nights in Santa Fe I think we are going to try to get back here in the future. It is just a strange attraction and feeling that says we haven’t seen enough of the area. Maybe late in 2015 will see our return.

From Santa Fe we moved on west on Interstate 40 to the gateway to the Grand Canyon, Williams, Arizona.


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