After a slowish start this morning we drove into town with a stop off at Camel Rock in Tesuque – a rock formation which does look like a camel’s head and has a couple of humps. In town we visited the Georgia O’Keeffe museum which only had a couple of galleries open but we had a free guided tour of their research centre which covered her life and how her work developed. We were shown the early works and colour charts she made and some of the other things she collected and was inspired by including stones, bones and shells. I could certainly connect with her love of nature and the need to create something abstract from it whether that is painting or photography. After a coffee break a little shopping. Found an antique map and antiquarian book dealer and bought a lovely 18th century map of the coast of NW America from Monterey Bay to Washington State passing though some of the places we love. On the way back to the hotel for some relaxation and planning for tomorrow’s drive to Albuquerque, we popped into a mall for some supplies. James found a music/books/video store and while he was looking at music I discovered the extensive periodical section. I used to love Borders because they had a great selection of magazines and miss their store on Oxford St which was a regular stopping off point when in London. This surpassed even Borders. There was a whole section on magazines devoted to shooting every critter that you can think of, large and small. Another whole section on quilting and even ‘Weed World’ and ‘Skunk – the how-to issue’. In the book section was the equivalent of our ‘Idiot’s Guides’ – this one being for the AR15 rifle. And I thought Santa Fe was a fairly civilised place. Enjoying the mountain scenery and now off to decide on our route down the Turquoise Trail tomorrow.
Last night I was hoping to get out to photograph the numerous neon signs around town but we had a huge thunderstorm just after we got back from dinner. It poured for several hours but had stopped by the morning. Breakfast was at Kix on 66 which is popular with locals as well as tourists judging by the pickups in the car park and stetsons inside. The porridge was great and the pancakes huge. When we set off from Hotel Safari and got back on the road it was not long before we had to divert from old R66 on the frontage road due to flooding and get on the interstate. Not for too long and we were soon back on the old road as it headed north into the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Glorieta Mesa was on our left but on the way we diverted into the Pecos National Historical Site. This has the remains of an old pueblo dating from 1200 and the Spanish mission. There was a short walk around it which was very welcome in the cooler mountain air and after so many hours on the road. We had left our boots in the car so that we could stick them on when needed but when James put his on, the soles fell off. Mine are leather and composite soles so were fine but I had not realised that as the temperature was in triple figures, his rubber soles had perished. After passing over the Glorieta Pass (2,286m so a bit more than Shap or Beattock) and getting into Santa Fe, the priority was new boots so that they could be broken in before the Canyons. Managed to find some and they were even in the sale! Now having a bit of culture shock after cowboy country, we are in a town with museums, galleries, restaurants and staying at the Hilton. James enjoyed having something other than beef or chicken this evening. Will explore Santa Fe tomorrow – it has at least 3 or 4 bookshops that I have spotted already