June 21-Santa Fe NM Day 1

I slept OK last night, not great but mostly through the night. In the morning, I got up around 8, had a little breakfast, putzed around, did some more writing and packed up the car.

Before I left, David gave me a check because apparently PayPal had charged me twice for the same reservation. I told him about my AirBnb refund situation and how I was still waiting on a response from them. I thanked him for his honesty and for making things right. I was still waiting for AirBnB to respond to my request for a refund. I didn’t want to deposit the check until I heard back from Airbnb because it wasn’t David’s fault or problem. Anyway, we agree that I would deposit the check later that day, after I tried again to get Airbnb to respond to my inquiries.

I left for Santa Fe around 11:15am. There are at least two roads between Santa Fe and Taos, the High Road and the Low Road. I read that the Low Road followed a valley floor through farmland. I decided to take the High Road because it sounded like there might be more views from a perspective above part of the landscape.

I was not disappointed. The High Road had some spectacular views.

View of forested mountains along High Road from Taos to Santa Fe outside of Taso New Mexico

View from scenic overlook along the High Road from Taos to Santa Fe outside of Taos New Mexico

I also got some good ambient sound at a viewpoint along Highway 515.

Hwy 515 NM scenic overlook.m4a

I pulled over and took a short cat nap on Highway 76, and got a few good pictures along that road.

Expansive view of desert forest near Truchas New Mexico

View of desert with scrub vegetation near Chimayo New Mexico

VIew of vast desert landscape with scrub vegetation near Chimayo New Mexico

It is very hard to convey the scale and beauty of the New Mexican landscapes from these pictures, which is frustrating to me. I don’t know how to solve that problem with my gear and skill level. I love landscape photography. It can be so peaceful and meditative, and challenging. I’m doing my best to muddle through.

Again driving through the small communities I was struck by each one having a very small post office. Part of the High Road goes through some towns that have artist’s studios and galleries. I did not stop for any of those but there were many along the way, especially as I got closer to Santa Fe.

Once I got onto Highway 295, the pace picked up. It’s a much larger road than the rest of the way from Taos. There was also a lot more traffic. I was going the speed limit and passed some cars with Mexican license plates who were going much slower.

Santa Fe is bigger than I expected geographically and sprawl-wise. It is an interesting urban environment. It reminds me a little of Montreal the way it has an Old Town with government functions and touristy areas that is surrounded by more contemporary North American urban landscapes. It seems to be largely a one- to two-story city, with a lot of buildings in the styles that are typical of this region.

View down sidewalk with posts in downtown Santa Fe New Mexico

View of wooden posts supporting upper story along sidewalk in downtown Santa Fe New Mexico

I am planning on visiting the Capitol and nearby Plaza.

On David’s recommendation, I got a reservation for two days at a nice hotel right downtown. I was starving when I got to town and tried to go to the New Mexican place nearby that the hotel staffer and David both recommended but they were booked up until 9:30pm. So I made a reservation for one for 9:30pm and went to the sushi place down the block. It was OK-better than anticipated and reasonably quick even though they were moderately busy and there were only two people on staff who were doing All The Things including cooking, preparing the sushi and serving tables.

The hotel was nice. I settled in and took a nap. When I got up, I did a couple hours worth of writing, took another nap, and went to dinner at 9:30pm

Dinner was delicious. I had a tamale and a bison burger with some salad. They were both fantastic. By the time I finished up and walked the 50 feet back to my hotel, it was 10:30pm and I crashed.

Jacob M Brostoff @roadtrip