Having arrived in Santa Fe Friday night, I spent Saturday catching up with myself and visiting with the cousins. Hans is retired; Peggy on her way to that condition. And in the afternoon friends from home came in; then we were five. Sunday – Easter – we celebrated by having a leisurely waffle breakfast, then heading a little way out of town to hike up a short distance to the top of this hill in search of petroglyphs:
And here’s a representative sample of the rock carvings we found:
The reflecting birds remind me of many of the photos I’ve taken kayaking with reflections in the water.
Maybe the bird on the right is Thanksgiving dinner?
Back to the house for lunch, and then Charlene, George and I headed downtown to walk around, visiting Loretto Chapel, famed for its floating spiral staircase:
Picture this staircase without the railings. That is how it was originally built! It accesses the choir loft, and apparently someone decided that having nuns and their students tromping up daily with no barriers was trusting too much in God. It also was designed and built without that scroll shaped support holding it to the column. And there was lots of other artwork; I liked the mosaics that were slightly above head height around the walls.
We also wandered the Plaza, sticking our heads into various shops, exploring. Back to the house, and supper, and an evening of hanging out.
Monday, April 17: Hans drove the three out-of-staters touring to the north. We took the “high road” up to Taos, stopping to admire vistas and rock formations:
and on to Chimayo, where they were cleaning up after the Good Friday pilgrimage. Everyone, it seems, carries some kind of cross, and leaves them behind when they get to the church. They varied in size from about five feet to tiny; the smaller ones were hung on the fence.
We walked up to see the Santuario de Chimayo church and its grounds.
Then on to Taos and Mexican food for lunch, and then Taos Pueblo. We had a young and enthusiastic young man as our guide, and after the tour, walked around to see the tribal crafts, and more of the buildings. This was the second of the churches built at the Pueblo; it was destroyed in a hail of cannon fire with many of the women and children who had taken refuge inside about 1848, in retribution for the murder of the governor.
Then on to the Rio Grande Gorge, and the steel bridge there, over 500 feet above the river. Built in the mid-60s, it is a spectacular piece of engineering.
We walked out on it. Fortunately, in spite of many suicides, they haven’t mucked up the view with barriers and fencing. Looking down, Charlene spotted some big horn sheep:
We eventually spotted seven, far far below, some on each side of the river. And then Hans saw some moving in a grassy area near the river, almost out of sight downstream. Again, there were some on each side of the river. They are so much more surefooted than us older and clumsier humans! Although someone (presumably human) had carefully placed a stop sign about 2/3 of the way down the canyon:
I have no desire to run that stop sign! We started our return to Santa Fe, taking the low road this time, and stopping along the Rio Grande to admire the rushing water, and talk about Hans’ adventures canoeing that area. Interesting, the perspective – what he calls flat water, most would consider at least quick water if not Class I.