With our friends here, we are able to be find a combination of new activities and repeat activities so everyone can have fun in Santa Fe these last few precious days.
Wednesday night, we climb up to the Cross of the Martyrs at Fort Marcy Park to watch the sunset. We haven’t seen one the entire month we’ve been in Santa Fe. Thanks to our friends we make the effort!
Up early the next day to go back to Bandelier National Monument. Road work still going on and so is repairing of the parking lot; lots of preparation before the winter snow arrives. Today is the last of the palindrome dates of this century. Quick, take a picture on my phone!
The loop trail is the best way to see the cliff dwellings.
Continuing along the trail to the Alcove House, it is the best. You have to climb up three ladders to get to the cliff area where there was a house, kiva and certainly protection from the elements, enemies and whatever else back in the 1200’s. Great views too! We remember this climb in 2002 and the small alcoves for fun pictures.
Thank you Mr. Bandelier and the National Park system for perserving this amazing place.
Back to Santa Fe after our adventures and lunch at a Venezuelan restaurant called Santarepa Cafe. Interesting flavored corn bread-like pizza and sandwiches stuffed with meat mixtures. Tasty Venezuelan-inspired flavors.
The afternoon is free for everyone to do whatever they want. Our “whatever” is packing. Figuring out if everything will fit into our bags and what do we really need to take and what can be pitched.
Dinner at Geronimo – the best restaurant in Santa Fe. We’ve been saving this meal for sharing with our friends. An outstanding dinner with interesting foods and tastes. I had the New Mexican Four Corners Grilled Rack of Lamb. I was intrigued since having been to Four Corners, my questions to the waitress is who is raising sheep there? She said the lamb came from a Native American farm in Northwest New Mexico near the Four Corners. Truly the lamb was tender and delicious – the best I’ve ever tasted. Everyone’s dinners were excellent as well. Plus, the desserts were nicely presented and yummy. Great meal!
On Friday, we load the car, have breakfast at The Plaza Cafe one last time (and our friends have now experienced the Santa Fe Breakfast Triple Play – The Plaza, Pasquales, and Tia Sophia’s) and start the drive to Albuquerque. We decide to take the Turquoise Trail, a National Scenic Byway – State Route 14.
The various towns along the Turquoise Trail are former mining towns. Each of the towns – Carrillo’s, Madrid and Golden – have something to offer. Quirky shops, museums and restaurants. We drive slowly through these towns but didn’t make any stops. The scenery is beautiful along the way.
Once we reach Cedar Crest, there is a turn off to the Sandia Peak. A drive up to 10,678 on the road winding its way through the Cibola National Forest will bring you to the top at Sandia Crest. We see trails where you could stop and hike, the Ski Area (not open) and bicyclists making the climb.
At the top is a spectacular view of Albuquerque and all the surrounding area. The sign says on a clear day you can see up to 100 miles away. Of course there is also the Steel Forest – radio and communication towers.
We drive back down the mountain on to the Turquoise Trail again. Our next challenge is to find the ‘singing road.’ This section of road is on the Old Route 66 Highway. We attempt to find this section of road and discover (thank you Ms. Google) it is on the side of the road heading north not south. We turn around and come back and find it. It is a very short segment of road where if you drive correctly over the ridges you do hear a segment of the song “America the Beautiful.” Strange things in America!
A nice way to cap off our New Mexico adventure. Dropping our friends at the Albuquerque airport before we head down the road to Amarillo to spend the night and of course eat at The Big Texan.