Sunday, September 22, 2019

The New West - The Desert Part 1

There definitely is something about Santa Fe. Though the elite shop Bon Marche here, and housing prices are reminiscent of the Bay Area, there is an abiding earthiness and disorganization which is threaded through town. The plaza may always be the plaza, commercial interests notwithstanding, a place with buskers, slackers, tourists, crystal-gazers, hucksters in abundance.

And our lodging follows suit somewhat; buildings are meant to remain what they were a century ago more or less, and so you have a Europe-like peculiarity with overall coziness.

We put in ten miles or more poking around the stuff we're meant to: the River Walk; the Georgia O'Keefe museum; the plaza; the Cross of the Martyrs with its commanding view.
And wow, those amazing kinetic sculptures, on one of which a cicada hitched a ride.

And finally to the Tea House for alfresco dining, and to bed to ready ourselves for Bandelier Monument, a place with a lot of ladders, and truly architectural outcrops.

We later reconnoitered with relatives with abundant First Nations knowledge, at dinner in their house in Albuquerque. They helped us with our planning for next day's visit to Chaco Canyon (The Chaco Culture Natl. Historic Park.) And their counsel really gave us a proper appreciation of the outsized awareness of this Norman Era people, who equaled many around the world in both structural design and celestial-inspired visual elements.

It became obvious why tourists, photographers, and tinhats all can't wait to get one of those lined-up shots that might capture the rays of the solstice sun (though we just missed the equinoctal one.)

And it's hard to imagine a nicer picnic spot.

And after such a day, a cold Cholo Stout (from Albuquerque's Marble Brewery) hits the spot with impressive force.

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