Day 9 – The Santa Fe Trail

It was a nice change last night to stay in an RV park instead of a Walmart parking lot or a truck stop! We were able to settle in a little early and get laundry done, clean the “house” and take a little walk to snap some pictures. Stepping into the park office was like stepping back in time. There were a bunch of magazines from the mid-1960s that you could browse through while listening to the wobbly ceiling fan keeping its own rhythm.

We got going just after 10AM, stopping at the Santa Rosa travel center for a bit then returning to 66 on a pre-1937 route up to Las Vegas, NM. There was supposed to be an older hotel but when we got there the building had been changed and converted into an inter-modal station on the rail line with a little visitor’s center.

Leaving Las Vegas, we jumped on the Santa Fe Trail/Old 66 and skipped a couple small towns on our way to Santa Fe. We were aiming for the Miraculous Staircase, which was supposedly built by a “mysterious carpenter” back in 1870 inside the Loretto Chapel. He showed up with tools and a donkey built the staircase and then disappeared without pay or thanks.

Day 9 - Route 66 - Road Trip 2014Our adventure in Santa Fe was unique. After maneuvering the narrow one-way streets to find some place to park we ended up taking up two metered spots from where we wanted to be. Downtown Santa Fe had lots of great shops and vendors. The vendors set up on the common were all America Indians selling their crafts. All of the items were handmade and beautiful. One of the vendors we spoke to said that in order to get a permit to sell at that spot you had to be both the artist, Native American and your products had to be 110% hand made. Awesome!

Returning to Lady T, we had a classic J&J moment. Getting into our parking spot was tricky, as there was a tree with low hanging branches and Jasmine guided me in so we didn’t catch anything on the roof. Upon leaving, Jazz was paying attention to the branches and didn’t notice we were a little too close to a parking meter. Ouch!! We didn’t like the bumper cover anyway.

Luckily, the cover is still on and was already previously damaged. We pulled into a parking lot across from a Whole Foods so Jazz could get some food and we could tape up the bumper. While doing so, we ran into a nice older couple from California who travel in their RV to teach acupuncture all over the country. Dan, the gentlemen, spent a few moments looking at our atlas and recommended several nice spots along the Cali coast to visit.

On our way to Albuquerque, we stopped at a couple of small towns for photos and just enjoyed the scenic sunset over the New Mexico buttes, mesas and plateaus. Very beautiful lands out here… everything is either red dirt or brown with some green. There was also a pretty purple plant that we couldn’t identify and it was the only other color out there.

We finally crossed the Rio Grande and arrived in Albuquerque where we saw some cool neon signs on a part of the 18 mile Route 66 strip. Found ourselves a Flying J truck/RV stop just on the outskirts of the city and will be spending the night here overlooking the city lights below.

Tomorrow we should finish up New Mexico and get into Arizona. We have driven 2790 miles since we left home a week ago and Lady T is being worked hard so it’s almost time for an oil change. We plan to visit a Camping World in the next couple of days to have her looked at.

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~J&J

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