Saturday, July 24, 2021

Santa Fe

 We have spent the past week in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  We have been coming here for more than 50 years and really enjoy it.

It was founded as a Spanish colony in 1610 and has at its heart the traditional Plaza. The buildings are made of adobe and often the windows and doors are brightly painted.

Grill work like this covers many old windows.

We walked along Canyon Road, lined with artists’ galleries.  I really like this sculpture of children playing.  We have seen similar creations—made by they same artist?—in other places.

I wanted to go touch these horses to see if they were sculptures or made of folded paper.  They were sculptures.

These horses were made by a different artist.

This sweet girl is playing her violin.

This sculpture of an American Bald Eagle was nearby.

This sweet girl is reading a book.

These creations outside were almost the only “normal” artistic creations we saw along Canyon Road.  Most were really weird, at least to our uneducated eyes.

The next day we drove to central Santa Fe for lunch at LaFonda Hotel on the plaza.  The hotel is old and historic and the food is always delicious.  We each had the beef enchilada plate with posole, black beans and Christmas (red and green) chili.

This is a view of the dining room.

Many of the windows surrounding the restaurant have these painted panels.

One of the lights hanging in the hotel lobby.

We saw these paintings in one of the galleries.  I wonder if this is where Hunter gets his inspiration?

Today we visited this the Traditional Spanish Market that has been held on the plaza since 1926.

Much of the art here was also traditional, not modern.  This is done in some kind of needlework.

We saw lots of jewelry and many santos paintings.  There was a Spanish band and we saw a mother dancing with her young daughter

and a white-haired mother dancing with her daughter.

It was a fun way to finish out our stay in Santa Fe.  We are glad we went to the market this morning.  As I write this blog at 2:30 pm, there is thunder, lightning and heavy rain at our RV park.

Santa Fe

Friday, July 16, 2021

A Beautiful Trip!

 Thursday, we left Alamosa for a fairly short and beautiful drive to Chama, New Mexico.  We have been coming to this area off and on for probably 50 years.  Not only is it cooler here (almost 7900 ft altitude), but there is a tourist train pulled by old steam engines. Steam trains, and even diesel trains, are something we have  been interested in all of our married lives.

 We saw pine and fir trees, as well as aspen.

In places, we saw lots of wild flowers.

Then, we saw something exciting in the distance! Look carefully at the center left hand side of the photo.  Smoke!

As we approached the top of the pass, we saw the daily Cumbres and Toltec train.  We couldn't have timed it better if we had tried.

After the train stopped long enough for the passengers to take a few photos, it was off to it's lunch stop at Osier, 

The steam train is always followed by this small car--called a speeder--that checks to see that no fires start up in the wake of the train spewing smoke and cinders.  

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Alamosa and Creede

 The past few days we have been enjoying Creede and Alamosa, Colorado.  We used to come to Alamosa to ride and Rio Grande Scenic Railroad trip up to LaVeta Pass.  The train was pulled by an old steam engine and a fun ride through scenic areas.  It has become one of the many casualties of the Corona virus pandemic.  The owners are looking for someone to buy the train cars and start the rides again.

This is pretty country.  

The highway follows the Rio Grande River much of the way.

On our way to Alamosa, we drove through Monte Vista. Sand Hill Cranes migrate through the San Luis Valley, which includes Alamosa.  About 20,000 cranes make a stop in the valley.  Monte Vista pays tribute to the cranes with a number of images of the birds on the main street.

Monday we drove to Creede.  The annual Woodcarvers Rendezvous was in progress.  I didn't take any photos there, but we did see interesting sights in the town of Creede.

We passed on old train station along the way. 

Creede is in a narrow canyon.  Shops line the main street and the carving show is held in the underground community center, located in old mine shafts.

Here is a scene in town showing a old home and yard.

This mural shows images of nearby scenery.

It was a fun excursion.

Today we drove to a trail near the golf course.  Along the way we saw these train cars.

There were several tiny houses in one place.  Don't know if the are individually owned, for rent, or displayed for sale.

I took a picture of this primrose along our trail.

And we enjoyed this peaceful view.

This was the only wildlife we saw.  The sign below warns of other critters but we didn't see any of them. 


Thursday, July 08, 2021

So Many Memories

We first came to Southern Colorado to work on genealogy.  I knew that my great grandfather George Polhill had homesteaded in the area and I wanted to learn more about him and this part of our state.  Since then we have returned to Trinidad State Park once and more than a dozen times stayed in Lathrop State Park, including three times as volunteers.

This week, we are staying in LaVeta, a small town about 20 miles away.  But we returned to Lathrop to walk on the trail around Martin Lake on Tuesday.

We saw many of the wildflowers we had become accustomed to in years past.


We also saw a snake--probably a bull snake.  One year we came on a rattlesnake as we were showing our granddaughter Kylie around.  Both Kylie and our grandson John spent time with us here.  Sometimes, they even brought their parents, our son Eric and his wife Liz.

I don't know much about geology or geography.  I do know that is thin rock walls are caused by motion in the earth.  Here they show up all over the area.

At  one location, this rock formation called Profile Rock can be seen from mile marker 9 on the Highway of Legends (Hwy 12).  It is said to show profiles of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, as well as a train on the trestle.  I don't see the former presidents, I do see the train.

We saw this old barn with a rock wall in the background.

These signs certainly reflect a highway through rural Colorado.

These vistas are part of what made our many stays in the area so appealing.  No wonder my ancestor chose to settle here.

We went over Cuchara Pass at 9995 feet above sea level.

This shows how thin the walls of rock are.

 Of course, we had to go to Charlie's Market in nearby LaVeta.  I always enjoy an ice cream cone there.

Our retirement has included many volunteer assignments in towns in Colorado, Utah, Arkansas, Texas  and Montana. Lathrop State Park in Walsenburg was one of our favorite.  What a trip down memory lane we have had this week.