2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

Santa Fe Trip 1 - The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of...

Santa Fe Trip 2 - from the front

Santa Fe Trip 3 - the Old Santa Fe Plaza

Santa Fe Trip 4 - also a flea market today on the...

Santa Fe Trip 5

Santa Fe Trip 6 - lots of people here for a Friday...

Santa Fe Trip 7 - one of the side streets around the...

Santa Fe Trip 8 - another side street

Santa Fe Trip 9 - some of the adobe homes in Santa...

Santa Fe Trip 10 - one of the main thoroughfares

Santa Fe Trip 11

Santa Fe Trip 12 - a few red peppers hanging to dry

Santa Fe Trip 13

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 1 - as we start the trail, notice...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 2 - closer shot on the tent rocks...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 3

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 4

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 5 - the start of the Canyon Trail...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 6

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 7

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 8

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 9

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 10

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 11

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 12

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 13

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 14

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 15 - definitely a slot canyon

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 16

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 17

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 18

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 19 - did I say it was difficult?

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 20 - the trail ahead - I guess...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 21 - one of our travelmates

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 22

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 23

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 24

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 25

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 26 - some more scrambling

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 27 - and ducking

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 28 - a huge Ponderosa Pine in a...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 29 - the roots are badly washed out

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 30 - now we are out of the...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 31 - the cave from a distance

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 32

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 33

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 34 - you can still see the soot...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 35 - the dedication plaque at the Veteran's...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 36 - and the view from the overlook

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 37

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 38 - a close up of some of...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 39

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 40 - scenes from the road to the...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 41

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 42

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 43 - the pavement runs out and Libby...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 44

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 45 - climbing up to the overlook

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 46 - some Horno ovens located behind a...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 47 - notice the firewood stacked for use...

Tent Rocks Nat'l Mnmt 48 - the mission in Cochiti Pueblo

Lake Cochiti 1 - the lake and dam from the overlook

Lake Cochiti 2 - the larger portion of the lake

Lake Cochiti 3 - the upper portion of the lake where the...


Friday, the 30th, we headed for Santa Fe bright and early to try and avoid the crowds - nice try but no cigar. We mainly just wanted to go to the plaza and stroll around it. I cannot imagine how crowded this place is during the regular season as it was very busy the morning we went. Of course some of the crowd is due to the balloon festival being held in Albuquerque since it is less than an hour away. The Santa Fe Plaza is a small plaza with many shops around it on the side streets radiating out from the plaza center. We spent a couple of hours walking the streets and seeing what the shops had to offer. We found the main offering was high prices. I guess it is because many of the items are one-of-a-kind but with prices going up to several thousand dollars we will just spend our money on the Mothership - it's a lot more fun!

Saturday and Sunday were football days but Monday we got our hiking gear on and went to the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument where we hiked the two trails available there. The first was the canyon trail which weaves it way up a slot canyon. It was a hike with fantastic scenery as we walked beneath the tall walls of contrasting stone layers. Of course a slot canyon by definition is very narrow and we found many obstacles had washed into the bottom of the canyon that we had to climb over. In our younger days it would not have been so difficult but both of us have fallen enough that we are very careful now as we traverse rough terrain. One of the hardest parts was going over areas where the bottom of the canyon had washed out the stone so that there was just a small "V" in the rock to walk in. It was just wide enough at the bottom for one shoe width and the walls were not wide enough to allow you to bring your back foot forward over the front foot. We finally developed the technique of skipping so that we would take a large step with the front foot and then bring the back foot up directly behind the front foot and then repeat. It was a great hike of about two miles and though difficult the views were well worth it.

We then walked the cave trail up around the tent rock base. It involved a pretty good climb on the rising terrain so that we got a good look at the valley around us. The caves themselves were man-made a long time ago by the same peoples that occupied the Bandelier National Monument - the Cochiti people are the descendants of those early people. After the two trails we took another drive up to the Veteran's Overlook which gave us an even better look at the countryside, including the tent rock area. Libby liked it because she got to ride down another gravel road. That road had been closed until that morning due to being washed out by flooding waters.

Tuesday we worked on the Mothership inside and out, doing a deep cleaning she sorely needed. Of course since I washed her, it started raining in the afternoon and continued all night.

We head for Albuquerque tomorrow for a four night stay to see the Balloon Fiesta before beginning our trek back East.

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