Phoenix to Santa Fe and getting lost

Trip Start Mar 14, 2006
Trip End Mar 15, 2007

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

left Phoenix about 7:30 - despite a helpful Super 8 stuck in traffic for an hour. Then continued up highway 17 to Flagstaff then 40 to Santa Fe. Scenery today much like the day before yesterday. Miles and miles of dry, dusty, hot arid roadway, view and some grasslands. As I moved into New Mexico the landscape moved into sudden extrusions of sandstony red rock bursting out of the yellowy grey desert with blue, blue, blue, blue sky and eventually layers of red rock, sandstone until they were mountain size.

Again, spent most of my time listening to various country music stations. Not only does the music somehow grows on you when there is nothing much more to listen to, it also speaks very strongly of the country that created it. Listening to songs like "When I get where I'm going, don't you cry for me down here", "Can't stop love", "I'm gonna love you for ever ... for ever and ever, amen." "American Soldier" "Who says you can't go home" gives a sense of strength somehow in the people and the country that other kinds of music don't seem to give. I found myself singing along and shedding a tear here and there for the lost dreams, family deaths, hopes and dreams as expressed in the songs. The Country American way.

It was a reasonable drive making reasonable time through Albuquerque (with its' amazing desert coloured highway under and overpasses) to Santa Fe but got lost trying to find a gas station in SF. Then got off on the wrong street and completely missed downtown (which is very mixed up with St. Michaels and St. Francis' and a circular road around the old town. Loved the old pueblo building style; however, was asked by a local not to take pictures of his area so did not. Managed to get onto old route 66 and went up and down that the wrong way for an hour then drove about looking for the Georgia O'Keeffe Gallery but could not find it. The downtown core is a rabbit warren of little old streets which should be travelled by foot and not by car (as I was doing). By that time it was closed. I was so unhappy I could have cried. Super 8 again and an unimaginative dinner at Applebees - did not even have any local beers.

From the reading I have done about Sante Fe I really want to come back. It was a Pueblo site as long ago as 1300 AD. The oldest church dates to Santa Fe's earliest settlement by the Spanish in 1609. It is, I believe, the terminus of the Santa Fe Trail with a huge component of its' downtown offering all kinds and manner of art galleries and clothing outlets. And did I mention food? From my meanderings downtown, it appears there is lots to do and see. Wonder if I can convince some friends of mine to take a month or so and explore this whole corridor - four corners, I think it is called. Utah, New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona.
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