The Longdogs

The Longdogs
Willy, Harley (back center), and Gretchen

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument

The last place we visited while we were at Cochiti Recreation Area was Kasha-Katuewe Tent Rocks National Monument which was only about 5 miles away.

Kasha-Katuwe means "white cliffs" in the traditional Keresan of the Cochiti Pueblo and is considered a significant place.

It is always interesting to see how natural processes change the rocks of an area.

The cone-shaped tent rock formations are the products of volcanic eruptions that occurred 5 to 6 million years ago. The eruptions left pumice, ash, and tuff deposits over 1000 feets thick. Precariously perched on many of the tapering hoodoos are boulder caps that protect the softer pumice and tuff.

Some of the formations have lost their protective caps and are deteriorating.

These formations are found here and in Turkey.

There are two trails here that you can follow. These people appeared to be off-trail.

This is an interesting place to visit. Keep in mind that there is no water available here although there is a vault toilet. Also, dogs are not allowed in the area at all with a significant fine if you bring one in.

I wanted to include some photos of Cochiti Recreation Area before we left. You can see my rig on the left with Mary Jane's next to it and Birdie's still further to the right.

This lake is actually created by damming up the Rio Grande River......yes, the same one that divides Texas from Mexico.

We were up on a hill by an observation outlook in the previous picture. Somebody had created these little statues along the walkway. They were all quite small but interesting.

Sashaying Through Santa Fe, NM

We actually made it into Santa Fe proper the next day.....and again the day after that. This is just one of the many fancy hotels available right downtown.

The shops are colorful with lots of outdoor displays.

The Plaza is right in the middle of things. It is actually a square park surrounded by shops.

Under the huge porch overhang of a very old government building, Indians had their goods spread out for sale on blankets. Most of it was jewelry.

In another little park, there was a market day in progress both days we were there.

Another view of the Plaza. You can definitely see that fall is here even though we still have summer in Central Texas.

The San Miguel Church is the oldest church structure in the U.S.

Just around the corner is the Oldest House in the U.S. At one time, 12 families lived in the oldest house but there are only a couple of rooms left now. It was also occupied by the Spanish Territorial Governor in 1709. It was occupied by different cultures represented in Santa Fe until 1920.

The next day we came back to Santa Fe to take a tour on the Loretto Line. We figured we would get to see a lot more that way. While we waited our tour bus, we went into a hotel next door and looked at the shops as it was cold outside. This is actually a coffee shop but art is everywhere in Santa Fe.

Once on the open air tour bus tucked into blankets and padded seats, we were off. Santa Fe is home to many churches.

And sculptures.....

One of the high lights of the tour was the ride down Canyon Road. It is a long narrow street the winds up the hill with galleries and shops all along the way.

I love the architecture in Santa Fe. The buildings in this area are all old but even new buildings look very similar. Our guide told us that any deviation from the Santa Fe style of architecture has to receive special approval before any building can occur. This makes Santa Fe look very unique and memorable.

Most everyone knows who Georgia OKeefe the famous artist is. While she lived out of town, this house is where her caterer and family lived. She fixed all the meals for visitor's to OKeefe's house. Our guide was friends with her son and visited here often when he was young.

We saw so much on this tour that we would have otherwise missed so we thought it was very worthwhile.

At the end of our tour, we went next door to the Loretto Chapel. It is now privately owned. It is famous for the "Miraculous Stairway". I remember reading about this in an architecture class I took in college a long time ago.

It truly is unique as there are no nails or fasteners of any kind nor is there any center support post. It is also famous because the building was built and there was no more money or space for a staircase at the time. Many builders said there was no way a stairs could be built in the available space. One day, a simple carpenter appeared and said he could build a staircase. The building was closed and he labored for many months. When he was done, a beautiful staircase was in place. It originally did not have a railing around it....that was added much later. The carpenter disappeared right after he finished before he was paid and he was never heard from again.  So the staircase is a miracle in more than one way.
This is the staircase before the railings were added. Everything is perfectly fitted together.
We really enjoyed our time in Santa Fe and I can't wait until I can come back another time.

Madrid NM......Wild Hogs!.....The Turquoise Trail

On Thursday morning, we headed north to Santa Fe but we ended up detouring south from Santa Fe on Hwy 14. Our family from Grandpa down to the Grandkids love the movie "The Wild Hogs" and when I saw Madrid on the map, I knew I had to go there. The movie is about four middle age guys heading out on a motorcycle trip to get their youth back. It is hilarious.
Maggie's Diner is prominently featured in the movie. We thought we would have lunch there but, alas, it is not a real diner as it was in the movie. Instead they have memorabilia from the movie but it was still fun. 

Right next store, you can get "the cheapest silver west of the Pecos".

This is when we realized that Madrid was a busy tourist place before the movie was made here in about 2007. It is actually located on the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway that runs from I-40 just east of Albuquerque up to I-25 in Santa Fe. 

Madrid has a rich history dating from the mid-1800's discovery of coal to a mining town to today's artist's community. Both hard and soft coal was mined here with shafts as deep as 2500'. It was a booming town when it supplied coal to the Santa Fe railroad and the U.S. Government as well as locals. When the use of coal declined, Madrid became a ghost town. In the early 1970's, artists and craftspeople arrived and started converting old company stores and houses into quality shops and galleries. It is a fun place to visit.

There are about 3 blocks of shops in Madrid alone.

We had lunch at The Hollar on the outdoor patio.

There is also a coffee shop serving locally roasted coffee and featuring a Bed and Breakfast on the second floor.

These interesting sculptures were located on a large patio in front of several stores.

Right next store to The Old Boarding House Mercantile is where the Chile Festival in the movie was held.

Mary Jane and I had to pose as cyclists in the spirit of the movie. These look more like the bikes the Del Fuegos gang rode. We never did see the Del Fuegos bar but it might have been south of town and we didn't go that way. Maybe next time......