16 March 2015

road trip 2015: on to New Mexico

Back to blue (and purple) highways. I spent the night in Trinidad, Colorado, and took Interstate 25 over Raton Pass (elevation 7798 feet) and exited on U.S. 64 (Santa Fe Trail) toward Taos, New Mexico. The first part is across the arid rolling landscape.
Those little dark spots are buffalo. I also saw a couple mountain deer grazing near the highway, and audacious small rodents who kept at their roadkill in spite of the passing vehicles. Well, one had itself become roadkill.

From the relative flats into some significant mountainous territory about halfway between Raton and Taos. The snow was still along the edges of the highway.

When you study art history, Taos is one of those places that stands tall, especially for the American modernists that spent time there in the early 20th century and for its connection with Georgia O'Keeffe. It was quaint and touristic and lovely and warm. I stopped for a coffee, and wifi, and had a pistachio muffin which looked rather like it was costumed for Saint Patrick's Day.

Vagner reacted to my Facebook status posting from Taos plaza to say that I should go to Ojo Caliente, not so far away. Sounds good. He didn't mention about the glorious drive along the Rio Grande del Norte to the top of the gorge, about 800 feet higher.

Breathtaking, awe-inspiring. Fantabulous.

Ojo Caliente is known for its hot springs but I didn't indulge ... this trip. I did have lunch at the Mesa Vista Cafe and took off for Santa Fe. It was about 4 pm when I got to the Santa Fe plaza which meant about a half hour at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Certainly not a lot of time but I did enjoy the O'Keeffes as well as the works in the modernism show.

Checking wifi again at a Starbucks on the plaza, I had a message from Karen Meizner that it was fine to come on to Albuquerque, that the guest room (or Emily's bedroom, actually) was ready for company. Karen and I haven't seen each other for 20 years when I stopped at their house in West Virginia on my way from Texas to New York State. We've been having a lot of fun, catching up and progressing. So now I'm doing some laundry and Karen is off at some meeting for a couple hours.

What an incredible mix of driving yesterday was. I'll take the blue, dark blue, and purple highways any day over the interstates but when you're anxious to get from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, those interstates can be speedy.

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