Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Monday, 1 October

We have a problem. We found a minimal campsite last night --- in a overflow area. This weekend is the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, and there's hardly a campsite available for 100 miles. We decided we needed to get out early and move fast to get clear of the area. That means probably no sight-seeing today.

First problem. We could get online to write last night's blog entry, but it was slooooow! At least as bad as dial-up, maybe worse. By the time we had the blog up and Jean did some necessary banking, we had spent over an hour. Then we had to dump tanks (stand in line) and get more propane. Nights are cold here and we have been running the furnace part of the time. Plus, we needed to get some groceries. End result, we didn't leave Gallup until 1:00 --- and we still had to find the right kind of dog food.

Jean had tracked some down to a Petco in Albuquerque, so off we went. The countryside heading toward Albuquerque featured an endless series of high, steep bluffs on the north side of the road. They were flat on the top, and were varying red and grey sandstone. At about Grants we ran through several miles of lava fields. Then through the hills to Albuquerque.

Thanks to the GPS, we found the pet food store on the north side of town. While Jean was getting the dog food, Gene tried to see if he could get a campsite in Santa Fe. Success! there was a space available at a KOA south of town. Good, we wanted to go to Santa Fe anyway. So off we went.

Santa Fe is a very old town; there is a Trading Post there that claims to have been there since 1603. The town was formally founded in 1609/10. We drove in to the town center and found a parking place outside of the main drag. Gene put two quarters into a parking meter before he discovered it was broken. Being 5:30 at that time, we gambled that no one would check, and walked into the center of the old town.

It certainly has that Colonial Spanish feel. All the buildings look old, mostly adobe types. The shops in them are quite modern (and expensive).

There is a plaza, and down the street the requisite church.

Along the side of the plaza is the old Governor's Mansion (very early 17th century).

After walking around and looking in a couple of shops, we had dinner in an eatery along the plaza; Indian fry-bread tacos.  Then it was time to find our campground in the dark. We were 13 miles south of town. Finding our campsite in the dark was a challenge, including backing into a steel post. One more dent in the back (but just a little one). Next stop, Texas.

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