Santa Fe Trip 24 April
This year for Sally's "end of tax season - birthday trip", we took a
long drive to Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This was going to be a long driving trip (it turned out to be about
2200 miles). We started out north on I-15 to Riverside where we took
I-10. We headed out through the high desert toward Indio. Our gas tank
was was about 1/3 full around Indio but we saw a sign saying gas in 83
miles at a small town in the desert. Well that town was gone when we
got there and our gas tank was getting pretty empty. Blythe was 40
miles away and we had 2 gallons of gas left. We dropped our speed down
to about 60mph where the gas mileage was better than at 75mph and we
limped into Blythe. The gas was $2.399/gallon, the highest on our trip.
The lowest was $1.759 in Lemitar, New Mexico.
In Phoenix, we took I-17 north to our first stop in Flagstaff, AZ. We
reservations so we just drove around until we found a place that looked
ok. It was right next to the BNSF rail line east from Los Angeles. I
thought it would be a great place to watch trains.
It was - unfortunately! The train ran every 10 minutes TWENTY-FOUR
A DAY! And we were right next to a grade crossing. Trains are required
to blow their whistle as they enter the grade crossing TWENTY-FOUR
HOURS A DAY! The accepted sequence is long-long-short-long with the
last long toot held as the engine enters the crossing. Around 3 AM, I
got pretty good at telling if the train was eastbound or westbound.
|The Worst Western King's House in
|BNSF Grade Crossing
|Eastbound loaded (5 engines) from
|Westbound Empties to LA (only two
The Lowell Observatory is located in Flagstaff because of its altitude
(over 7000 feet). This is where Pluto was discovered. We checked
to see if tours were available (which there were) but we couldn't fit
them into our
The next day, we continued on I-40 to Albuquerque, New Mexico. I-40
follows the old Route 66 and we saw a lot of old diners and stores
along what was now just the frontage road. We turned north on I-25 to
Santa Fe. We stayed at the Casa
Pacifica Bed & Breakfast about a mile
from the downtown Plaza. It was a very nice place - we even had our own
steam room and private patio. This is the off season in Santa Fe so
things were not very crowded. For two of the nights, we were the only
people at the B&B. For the other two nights, one other room was
||The large room had a couch and
chair which many B&B don't have.
It had a refrigerator and microwave.
Below, you can see the steam room and the patio.
On Tuesday, we took a walk to downtown Santa Fe. We saw
the Saint Francis Cathedral and a lot of old buildings (which look
surprisingly new) many of which are museums and stores.
||Saint Francis Cathedral (above
Native American Vendors Program of the Palace of the Governors (above).
Santa Fe River (left).
There is a railroad spur line to Santa Fe. The Acheson, Topeka and
(AT&SF) Railroad never ran through Santa Fe. We were told that when
railroad was being built, a group of land speculators bought up all the
land around Santa Fe. When the railroad balked at paying their asking
price for the land, the railroad executives moved the line to go
through Albuquerque. Eventually, a short spur line was built from the
AT&SF line at Lamy, New Mexico
to Santa Fe.
That line is now run as a tourist train from Santa Fe. We didn't have
time to take it on this trip (maybe next time).
|Santa Fe Station
|Mark and Sally posing in front of
a Santa Fe Southern Engine.
Two long time friends of Sally moved to Santa Fe from San Diego several
years ago. Dick and Barbara Davis were church friends that Sally has
known from her childhood. They live in Pecos, New Mexico. We had lunch
with them on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, we took a drive to Raton and Dawson, New Mexico to visit
two graveyards. This was part of my effort to trace the genealogy of my
family. My great great uncle Teridano
diTella lived and died in Dawson
and is buried in Raton. Click on these two links for photos from the
Calvary Cemetery in Raton.
On the way back, we drove through Taos. Taos is a big ski town. We were
told that there still was snow at the ski area.
All of New Mexico has barely 2
million residents, 75% of them in Albuquerque, 20% in Santa Fe
and 5% in Taos. The remaining 0% live in the rest of the state.
On Thursday, we took a bus tour of the city. We saw a lot of art and a
lot of buildings. We were told that Santa Fe has the third largest art
business in the country, behind New York and Los Angeles. Canyon Road
is the street where all the art action takes place.
We visited the Loretto Chapel, were the legend is that St. Joseph (a
carpenter) built the free standing staircase to the choir loft.
|Staircase in Loretto Chapel
|The Chapel is no longer an active
church and is privately owned.
||Saint Francis of Assisi
On Thursday afternoon we drove to Bandelier National Monument.
Bandelier is similar to Mesa Verde National Park. It is a long
abandoned home of Native Americans.
|Sally just loved those ladders!
||When occupied, there were adobe buildings in
front of these caves. The holes in the walls were where the "vegas" or
roof beams were anchored. The caves were dug out as storage since they
stayed cooler than the buildings. From the holes, we could tell that
some of the buildings were 3 stories high. The buildings were gone
except for some that have been reconstructed.
Friday, we started our drive home. We went south on I-25 to where it
connects to I-10 then we headed west. We spent Friday night in Tucson,
and we got home Saturday afternoon via I-8 through El Centro.
Mark and Sally
This site prepared and maintained by Mark DiVecchio
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