Monday, May 20, 2013

Wrapping up a Fun Week in Santa Fe

We've had so much fun in Santa Fe, blogging's moved to the back burner! It's turned out to be a very social stopover for us with lots of dinners and happy hours after the usual out and about during the day.

We met Nicole in ABQ and since she lives in Santa Fe she and her friend Wil came over for dinner one evening. Nicole is an aspiring clothing designer and Wil performs pyrotechnical shows. We also had Glen and Eliane, our friends from Madrid who have the amazing straw bale home, over for dinner.

Here in the park we met up with Pam and Vic, fellow full timers who write the blog Travelin' in the Big EZ. Our next door neighbors in the park were Brian and Marianne, part timers in the RV lifestyle. The six of us had a few happy hours and a fun potluck night.

Potluck dinner outside Brian and Marianne's RV!
From L to R: Hans, Lisa, Marianne, Brian, Vic, Pam.
Site T14 was the only site in the park with the nice brick patio and privacy plant.

We played a round of disc golf at the Arroyo Chamisos course near the RV park. It's a different experience in the desert, you have to worry about sunburn and snakes and cactus!

We took a walk through the Santa Fe Plaza and wondered how so many artists and jewelers and crafters and restaurants and hotels could manage to survive in such quantity and competitive environment.

Modern art in the plaza area.

Lovely old church near the plaza.

We took the beautiful and strenuous Circle Loop hike in Hyde Memorial State Park. The trail head is at 8500 ft elevation and even though it's just a three mile loop, it was quite the workout due to the steepness of the gain 1,000 feet in one mile.

Happy to have reached the top of hike.
The Sangre de Christo mountain ski area is just visible in the background.
During a good winter, this is a natural ice skating rink at Hyde Memorial State Park.

We visited Bandelier National Monument, an ancestral pueblo site utilizing the natural caves in the canyon walls and supplemented by structures built against the canyon and on the valley floor from the native volcanic tuff.

A view of Bandelier canyon from above.
Structures built from volcanic tuff in the valley floor in the foreground.
The largest holes in the canyon wall above are the remains of pueblo caves.
We got to climb into several of the caves. 
Some of the natural caves were carved into larger rooms called Cavates.
The darker pigment is remains of plaster on the cavate walls.

Remains of tuff buildings in the foreground, holes for roof and anchoring structures are in the canyon wall.
Cavates are behind the rectangular doors, faint remains of plaster can bee seen on the canyon wall.
Called Long House, this site was like a modern apartment building, housing many families.
Hiking up canyon toward Alcove House, the walls above us were spectacular.

Our last full day in Santa Fe (yesterday) was actually spent primarily in Madrid. It's the cute art focused town about 25 miles South of Santa Fe that we visited last week.

First we went to Glen and Eliane's house so Hans and Glen could have an experimental jam session. Eliane was gone to a solar cooking class so while the guys played music I walked the gorgeous property with my camera.

Straw bale home, owner-designed and built by Glen Neff
Lots of spots to relax and take in the views.
Lots of sustainability features on the property as well.
Note the water catchment container on the right and you can see part of the greenhouse, upper left.
One of Glen's sculptures...there is a Thrasher nest inside.
Hans and Glen having fun in the "studio".

After the jam session, Hans and Glen and I headed into Madrid for the Crawdaddy Blues Fest at the Mine Shaft Tavern. This looks like a fun bar/restaurant any time, but for the annual festival it was a rockin' good time! Plus, our campground buddies, Brian and Marianne, joined us at the event. We caught the last two acts of the day, including Junior Brown, who put on an awesome show.

Junior Brown rockin' the house!

Today we head back down to the Northern end of Albuquerque, to the town of Bernalillo. We'll hang out there for three nights before making our way into Colorado for the summer.


  1. I can attest to your busy and fun-filled week in Santa Fe and am just sorry we missed another good time with you at the Blues Fest in Madrid last night. Your friends' straw bale home looks amazing. I am not typically drawn to the idea of a home in the desert, but living in a place like this could change my mind.

    1. Yes, except for the dryness of the area, I could easily live in a place like theirs. There were numerous vegetable patches as well as the greenhouse and other unique outbuildings. Truly a paradise/oasis in the desert!

  2. Sounds like just a fabulous stay in Santa Fe with so much to see and new friends to meet. I really must get to Bandelier!! This is such a unique ruin form any others we've seen. I ma so excited to climb all the ladders. Between your post and Pam's it is hard not to head there now. But we do have guest coming to Estes Park so I assume she wouldn't be happy if we weren't there. Oh, well, next year for sure.

    I just love your friends house and property. I would have loved watching Glen build the house. Hopefully you took more pictures that I can see when we meet up.