We arrived at the Santa Fe skies RV Park which turned out to be a lovely location and facility. We could have stayed a few days more but were looking forward to our stay at the Hilton in the historic plaza. This was our chance to get some elbow room after a month on the road and tour the beautiful offerings of this magical city.
As has been our luck it snowed the next day as we ventured out. The locals call it “corn snow” which is more like hail. We thought it would pass but it started coming down in heavier flakes! It was relatively quiet as many of the galleries and museums were closed on Monday. Regardless, we browsed the shops and galleries and had some warm soup for lunch as the snow turned to slush.
We decided to have dinner at La Plazuela restaurant in the La Fonda – the beautiful historic hotel right on the plaza. The adobe style structure lends itself beautifully to the substance of the downtown area with its inviting curves and warm stucco. Our meal was fabulous; I had the green chili enchilada which did not disappoint – I had been waiting a long time to get a Hatch green chili fix on!
The next day we woke up to an inch of snow – it was set to warm up and melt off but still….we could use some warm sunshine! Well New Mexico delivered as the skies cleared and the warm sun beckoned us outside, eventually melting and evaporating into the high desert air.
We ventured to the Canyon Road art district with some outstanding sculptures and paintings. The whole area had a distinct aesthetic that spilled into the streets; fireplaces were emitting a lovely pinion fragrance and the stone and adobe studios blended into the artwork itself.
I picked up a vibrant watercolor print of a buffalo; I liked the boldness of lines and blending of the palette and the artist was busy working on this next painting. He processed my purchase with paint smudged hands.
The real treat for the day was meeting up with Nevada Wier, National Geographic photographer and member of the Explorer’s Club. She is exhibiting at the Obscura Gallery which also houses some original Ansel Adams which was an eye-opener! Nevada’s infrared photography is extraordinary. I had attended her photo workshops in the 90’s and she has always been an inspiration to me; it was great to come full circle and bond as artists. I picked up a signed limited edition print and we committed to catching up in the future and I’m excited by the prospect!
I have collected some pieces that will always remind me of Santa Fe with its curved, timeless structures that hug the winding streets, much like exploring back alleys on the hunt for treasure.
We had one last happy hour and I slumbered easily after walking 18000 steps. Then….we woke up to several inches of snow which shut down Route 66 due to an icy pile up: Suffice it to say we are ready for White Sands National Park – white but warm!
As we left Santa Fe the sun burst through and illuminated the snow giving the city a magical glow. Highway 54 eventually opened up into a vista of endless beauty as the clouds created their own snow angels across the sugar-coated adobe homes and high desert fauna. What started off as dismay and worry about driving in icy conditions unfolded into another mesmerizing leg in the Land of Enchantment.