Leaving New Mexico and heading to Arizona

 New Mexico was difficult for me to leave.


santa fe skies

I was not ready to leave.  The Southwest had taken me by surprise.  The mountains had allured me.  Saying good-bye to The Land of Enchantment, New Mexico, was difficult for me.

Gary was ready to move on.  However, even my Knight commented several times
how much he has enjoyed our temporary home in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the views, the clean air, and the blue-blue skies.

santa fe skies

Our family rated Santa Fe Skies as one of our top 5 campgrounds, thus far,
on our road trip adventure across the USA.

In preparation for Travel Day # 43,

Gary and I mapped a route and double-checked our chosen course.  We had 275 miles to travel from Santa Fe to our first scheduled stop.  This translated into a 4+ hour ride in the dually.  Our course took us down I-25 and across I-40.  With primarily an interstate route,  we anticipated an uneventful travel day.

Finding diesel was proving to be difficult but not impossible. The price of diesel had risen, but remained within our budget.

You may find it odd that I often mention the price of diesel.  You may tire of hearing about us staying within budget.  However, when I researched the possibility of this year-long adventure, I discovered that the primary reason families don’t complete their goal of traveling across the USA is that they run out of money.  Since My Knight and I were determined to continue and to complete a once in a lifetime opportunity of traveling across America, we kept a close eye on our expenses and our budget.

Travel Day # 43 – Heading to the Grand Canyon

nm to az

nm landscape

new mexiconew mexico


new mexiconew mexico

road trip across america

new mexico to arizona





price of diesel in nm

Gary spotted diesel for $4.21 (which is a steal), before our scheduled fuel stop. He made an immediate detour from our planned route for fuel.

At the fuel station, we followed all the signs
and proceeded to the pumps designated for cars and RVs. As Gary slowly advanced forward, he suddenly stopped. I looked at my Knight and shook my head in the negative.

Gary jumped out of the dually to investigate.

Upon his return, he reported that we did have clearance to pull forward and fuel up. However, there was not room to pull forward and exit the gas station.  My Knight would have to back our 18 foot long dually and our 43 foot long big rig out of the station while avoiding pumps, poles, pedestrians, cars, and curbs.

We decided to ignore the signs for fuel up for RVs and follow the signs for semi-trucks.  We followed the truckers, waited our turn, and fueled-up the dually without difficulty.

big rigs fuel up with semi trucksHowever, the cashier did ask my Knight, “What company?”.  Gary had to explain that he wasn’t driving a semi; that he wasn’t working for a company; that our rig was privately owned; and that our home on wheels wasn’t the typical size RV and couldn’t fuel up with the cars and other RVs.



signs highway signs

landscape of new mexico the continental divide new mexico

new mexico

welcome to arizona visitor center

Welcome to Arizona!
A quick stop at the Visitor Center

road trip across america arizona

on way to the grand canyon

On our way to the Grand Canyon, our family scheduled two stops
to break up the 462 miles from Santa Fe to the Grand Canyon.


petrfied forest national park


petrfifed forest national park

Our first scheduled stop was a sightseeing adventure
at the Petrified Forest National Park.

Knowing our family’s preference for national parks and sharing an interest in geology with his granddaughter, my Dad recommended a stop a the Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert before we ever hit the road.  When deciding where we wanted to go next, I noticed that this national park was en route to the Grand Canyon.

I found a campground near the Petrified Forest National Park in Sun Valley, Arizona.

sun valley campground in sun valley, AZ



On Travel Day # 43, we stopped in Sun Valley for our first scheduled sightseeing adventure en route to the Grand Canyon.

Deciding Where to Go Next after leaving Santa Fe

Deciding where to go next after extending our stay in Santa Fe  required many family discussions. It was difficult for us to imagine how our adventure could  continue to amaze us after spending a week and extending our stay in Santa Fe.


Since we had traveled to and checked off the states of Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas, our next logical state destination was either Utah or Arizona.  Our family hadn’t made a decision as to what we wanted to see and where we wanted to go
in Utah, but we knew we wanted to see the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

Since we couldn’t travel the 462 miles from Santa Fe to the Grand Canyon while towing our home on wheels, we needed to break up this Travel Day.  Since we needed to break up this Travel Day, we might as well plan a sightseeing adventure at our scheduled stop.

When I asked Belle and Buddy what they wanted to see and where they wanted to go in this area, both suggested a stop at the Four Corners Monument.

I researched a sightseeing adventure at Four Corners Monument and discovered a couple of problems with a stop in Navajo Country.

First, this sightseeing adventure would be expensive.  Not only was there an admission fee, but there was also a fee for parking and for taking A photo.
(A photo.  On any giving sightseeing adventure, I take 200 pictures
at a minimum.  What would that cost?)

Secondly, finding us a temporary place to park our home on wheels in Navajo Country was next to impossible.  With persistence, I finally found two campgrounds that could accommodate our big rig.  However, both campgrounds were located over 45 miles away from Four Corners Monument.  I called and spoke to a worker at each campground and Gary found and evaluated the location of each campground on google.maps.  Then we decided we didn’t want to stay at either one of the campgrounds for several reasons.

I agreed with Belle and Buddy that the opportunity to stand in 4 states at the same time would be amazing.

However, Gary and I didn’t think it was worth the additional miles and fuel dollars that it would cost to get us there.  Neither Gary nor I wanted to park our home on wheels at either of the less than ideal and far-away campgrounds.  We just didn’t feel that a maximum of 30 minutes of fun at Four Corners Monument was worth
the effort or the expense.

Since I knew that Belle and Buddy were going to be disappointed about not stopping
at Four Corners Monument, I researched an alternative before giving them the disappointing news.

As I mapped the route from Santa Fe to the Grand Canyon, I realized we could stop twice and schedule two different sightseeing adventures on the way to the Grand Canyon.

Since these two scheduled stops only added 1 mile to our route, these two sightseeing adventures wouldn’t affect our fuel budget.

Since I found things to do and sites to see which were reasonably priced or Free,
these two stops wouldn’t break our sightseeing budget.

When I shared the disappointing news about not stopping at Four Corners Monument with Belle and Buddy, they were disappointed.  However, when I shared the exciting news of our next two sightseeing adventures with our children, they were excited.

After spending a week and extending our stay in Santa Fe, it was time for our family
to leave New Mexico.

After researching our options and making a decision as to where we wanted to go next, it was time for our family of four and Fannie to hit the road again and continue our Road Trip Adventure across America.

Snow Skiing in Santa Fe


To summarize my trios snow skiing in Santa Fe adventure on March 27, 2011, I asked each of my family members for a sentence or two describing their day at Ski Santa Fe.

From Gary,

Just getting to the road to the mountain was a feat.  We drove and drove and drove and then had 15 miles to go to reach the top of the mountain.  The good news is the BMW had difficulty keeping up with us.  The road was more hilly and curvy than driving up Pikes Peak.  Once we arrived, we had almost an hour to get our gear and get into class.  Before obtaining our gear, we had to fill out paperwork, lots of paperwork; it seemed like more paperwork than when we had kids.  We needed every minute to go to the bathroom, get geared-up, and cram all of our stuff in a tiny locker.  Then it took several minutes to figure out how to get the locker key out.  We made it to class and realized that we would not be in the same class.  Belle and Buddy went to the Never-Ever Ski Class and I went to the Green Slopes Class.  My morning session was spent waiting on two young boys who attended the Never-Ever Ski Class yesterday.  The instructor realized I needed a higher level class and arranged for a different class for me in the afternoon. I made arrangements with Belle and Buddy to meet at the base of the slopes after class.  We had about 2 hours before the afternoon class to eat lunch and hopefully ski.  We did both.  It took me three times not to lose my balance getting onto the bunny-slope conveyer.  Things have changed a lot since I was last on the bunny slopes 30 years ago.  As we waited for the afternoon class, the instructors were discussing where to put me.  I ended up with a private lesson with an art history major.  A light bulb moment for me was when I learned to point by belly-button down the hill during turns.  I was able to ski blue slopes and Aspen Heights at about 11,000 ft.  Had a good time and came back in one piece, per Robin’s instructions.

From Buddy, Things I Already Knew about Skiing Before my Lessons

  1. Don’t eat the yellow snow.
  2. Don’t run into trees.
  3. You can’t ski uphill.
  4. My mum says, “Drink lots of water!”
  5. Skiing looks like fun.

From Belle, Things I Learned in Never-Ever Skied Class

  1. When you put on your skis, make sure your skiis are perpendicular to the slopes.  If not, you will slide down hill with only one ski on.
  2. Make sure you have the ability to stop at all times.
  3. When you ride the ski-lift, be prepared to be picked up by the ski-lift chair and be carried aloft.
  4. in  Our instructor warned us that if we did, everyone riding the ski-lift would yell “Yard Sale” and shout “How much do you want for you ski over here and your pole over there?”.  Thankfully, no one had a major wipe-out and we had a safe and fun time.

Obviously, my family had more than a sentence or two to say about their snow skiing adventure at Ski Santa Fe.  They had so much fun that Gary and I agreed to extend our stay in Santa Fe, so the trio can ski again tomorrow.

Here are a few photos from my trios snow skiing adventure.

paperwork before skiing paperwork

donning ski boots donning ski boots

ski class

conveyor ski conveyor lunch

ski lift ski lift

ski lift

ski santa fe

ski santa fe

where to next skiing is fun

ski lift

two trails diverged on top of a mountain

snow skiing

11,000 ft elevation

a okay

Santa Fe Walking Tour – Part 2

Our Santa Fe Walking Tour continued for the second day. We began by learning about the Territory of New Mexico.

In 1848, the Territory of New Mexico became part of the United States.


Padre Gallegos House
at 227-237 Washington Avenue

padre house in santa fe santa fe

This house was built by Padre Gallegos in 1857 in the Territorial Style.
Padre Gallegos was “a colorful and controversial priest and politician”.

Before we found Padre Gallegos House,

luxx hotel horse sculpture

Belle found a horse sculpture she liked at 215 Washington Avenue.

The Oliver P. Hovey House
at 136 Griffin Street was constructed between 1857 and 1859.

oliver p house

oliver p house oliver p house

This adobe building is unique because the bricks are hand painted.
Who knew that bricks were a rare commodity?


The Pony Express was in service from April 1860 to October 1861.


Pony Express, oil on canvas

First Presbyterian Church
at 208 Grant Avenue

first presbyterian church

first pres church in santa fe

This church dates to 1867 making it the oldest protestant church in NM.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
at 131 Cathedral Place 

cathedral basiclica st francis of assisi

This cathedral was built between 1869 and 1886
under the direction of Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy.
Archbishop Lamy chose the Romanesque style popular in his native home, France.  Saint Francis is the Patron Saint of Santa Fe.
Santa Fe’s actual name is La Villa de Santa Fe de St. Francisco de Assisi
(the Royal City of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi).
We stopped by this cathedral to see the stained glass windows imported from France and the labyrinth.

labyrinth at st francis basilcia

Labyrinths can be dated to 2000 BC and have been built around the world.   Labyrinths were commonly built in medieval cathedrals.

The labyrinth at Cathedral Basilica
of St. Francis of Assisi is modeled after the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France.



The path of a labyrinth symbolizes the path of life.  The path of life as the path of a labyrinth involves twists and turns.  At times in life and in a labyrinth, you may feel or even get lost.



On the path of life, one encounters others.
In a labyrinth when you reach the center as in life when you reach a goal,
you experience the thrill of accomplishment.
As on the path of life and in a labyrinth,
we should take the time to reflect
before exiting the labyrinth or changing your path in life.


In the 1870s, cattle was driven along the Rio Grande River to the railroad in Kansas.


a ceramic painting.






Bergere House at 135 Grant Avenue was built around 1870.


When Ulysses S. Grant and his wife were in Santa Fe in 1880,
they stopped by this house.
Today, this building is home to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum Research.


Loretto Chapel
at 207 Old Santa Fe Trail

DSCN9274 DSCN9210

 Loretto Chapel was constructed between 1873 and 1878. This chapel was designed after Sainte-Chapelle in Paris and displays Gothic-Revival Style architecture.
Loretto Chapel is best known for its choir loft staircase
and the legend of its construction.
This 33 step spiral staircase has no center or side supports
and was constructed without nails.


The Indian Wars began after the colonization of America and continued until 1890.

war party

War Party,
acrylic on board





Santiago E. Campos United States Courthouse
on Federal Place

federal courthouse

Construction of this building began in 1853 and the proposed territorial capital of NM. Native stone was used in its construction.  It was completed in 1889.
Reportedly, this building is a rare example of Greek Revival architecture in the SW.  After our walking tour, I discovered a memorial, a sandstone obelisk,
to Kit Carson located at the main entrance.

Prince Plaza 115 E Plaza Avenue

 prince plaza

the shed

This Territorial-Style structure served as the Territorial Governor’s home
from 1889 to 1893

DSCN9376 DSCN9374

Today, this building houses shops, galleries, and restaurants.


When the Spanish-American War ended in 1898, the era of Spanish colonization in America also ended.


NM state in 1912In 1912, New Mexico became the 47th state admitted to the Union.






New Mexico Museum of Arts
at 107 W Palace Avenue

art museum in NM

This building was built in 1917
and its construction is a fine example of Pueblo-Revival Style architecture.
This art museum focuses on paintings and sculptures of artists from the Southwest.

 Museum of Contemporary Native American Arts
at 108 Cathedral Place

art museum in santa fe museum

 This structure was built in 1912 and is another example of Pueblo-Revival Style architecture.  This building originally served as the post office but in 1991 it opened its doors as the Museum of Contemporary Native American Arts.

La Fonda Hotel at 100 E San Francisco Street


 The La Fonda Hotel was a Harvey House Hotel when it was built in 1922.
The Fred Harvey Company helped transform the city of Santa Fe
into a tourist destination.
The Harvey House Hotel was built on site of an earlier hotel
which was located at the end of the Santa Fe Trail.


Historic Route 66 ran for 487 miles across New Mexico.


Manitou Galleries at 107 E Palace


 The address, 107 E Palace, is historical known as the check-in point
for those who worked on The Manhattan Project.
From January 1943, until the end of World War II,
military personnel would first enter these doors
and then be directed to “the secret atomic city of Los Alamos”.
(Our family learned about the Manhattan Project
when we visited the Secret City in Tennessee.)


Georgia O’Keefe Museum 217 Johnson Street

I was so excited to visit the Georgia O’Keefe Museum
that I forgot to snap a photo of the building.  (photos weren’t allowed inside)
The Georgia O’Keefe museum opened in 1997
and is the only museum in the US dedicated to the artwork of one woman.
Georgia O’Keefe (1887-1986) devoted her life to creating art
that expressed the “wilderness and wonder of the world” in which she lived.

New Mexico State Capitol
(our walking tour turned into a driving tour to reach the NM State Capitol)


 The New Mexico State Capitol was built in 1966.
It was designed in the shape of Zia, which is the Pueblo emblem for the sun.  Reportedly, not only is Santa Fe the oldest capital in North American
but it is also the capital located at the highest elevation.

DSCN9595 DSCN9599 DSCN9598

We took a self-guided tour of the building and spent some time admiring the artwork
in the Governor’s Gallery and Capitol Art Collection.  The goal of the Capital Art Foundation is “to build a permanent collection of New Mexican master artworks that reflect New Mexico’s rich and diverse cultural and artistic traditions”.
The artwork that I have shared with you in this post can be seen in this building.


 Worrell Gallery at 103 Washington Avenue

worrell gallery

 I didn’t find the Worrell Gallery on any list for a walking tour of Santa Fe,
but this gallery is worth stepping into if you find yourself in Santa Fe.
Bill Worrell is a sculptor, painter, writer, and songwriter with a passion for archaeology.  Worrell made his debut in Santa Fe in 1986.  It is said that Bill Worrell is
“a master of melding modern metalwork and Native American culture”.


Inn of the Anasazi at 113 Washington Avenue


 This world class retreat is reportedly one of the 1000 places to see before you die.

Our family of four ended our self-guided walking tour
with a drive to Kakawa Chocolate House.

kakawa choc house

choc house choc house


I hope you enjoyed this virtual walking tour through Santa Fe
and this unique chronological walk through the history of City Different.

Walking Tour of Santa Fe History

Before we leave our virtual self=guided walking tour of Santa Fe history,I thought I would share our haphazard Self-Guided Walk through City  as a Chronological Walk through the history of Santa Fe. For your virtual tour of Santa Fe, I have arranged the artwork, the churches, and historic buildings we saw in chronological order in order the share the history of Santa Fe with you.

Native Americans in Santa Fe







earth mother earth mother

Earth Mother, 1992, bronze

sculpture on capitol grounds in NM


Spanish Colonization of Americas

 The Colonization of the Americans began in 1492 when Christopher Columbus arrived in the New World and this era ended after the Spanish-American War in 1898. Spanish conquistadors came to the Americas to find treasures, claim land for Spain, establish trade, and spread the Christian faith. The Spanish conquistador Francisco Vasquez de Coronado explored the Southwest and arrived in present day New Mexico during his 1539-1541 expedition. In present day Kansas, Coronado realized he had been deceived by the Native Americans.  The Seven Cities of Gold did not exist in the Southwest. (if you missed our sightseeing adventures in Kansas, click here to see and read about Coronado Historic Park.)


Los Conquistadores,
oil on board





Founding of Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico

Believing as Coronado, Don Juan de Onate led an expedition in search of gold and arrived in present day Santa Fe in 1598. The Santa Fe Cathedral Park and Monument commemorates the arrival of the Spanish in 1598 and the establishment of a colony in 1607 by Spanish conquistador Don Pedro de Peralta.

cathedral park cathdral park

cathedral park cathedral park

The first colonists to present day Santa Fe included European soldiers, priests, farmers, families, and Mexican Indians.   The colonists brought horses, oxen, sheep, and chickens with them.  They introduced not only European crops but also religion to the Native Americans.  The colonists endured and persevered through environmental and cultural challenges and coexisted with the Native Americans until the Pueblo Revolt in 1680.

sculpture of horse

Can you imagine what the Native Americans felt and thought
when they saw horses for the first time?

my wild horsesMy Wild Horses, 1992,
tempera on canvas by Pop Chalee.

Interesting tidbit:

Chalee was known for her paintings of mythical animals and enchanted forests.  When Walt Disney saw her work, he invited Chalee to be the cartoonist for Bambi.


The Plaza and the Palace of the Governors

In a Spanish colonial city, the plaza was the commercial site and gathering place for the colonists. (Remember the plaza in St. Augustine, Florida. Click here if you missed the walking tour in St. Augustine.)

For Santa Fe, the Plaza is the oldest part of town.  The Plaza has been the heart of the city for over 400 years.

palace of the governors palace of the governors

The Palace of the Governors was built in 1610 to serve as the first capital. With its one story, massive adobe walls, flat roof, and covered porch, the Palace of the Governors  is a fine example of Spanish Colonial style architecture.  Under the U.S. Native American Vendors Program, Pueblo Indians spread out their crafts under the porch each day to sell to tourist.   Inside the Palace of the Governors, a museum chronicles the history of Santa Fe.

San Miguel Missions
at 41 Old Santa Fe Trail

san miguel mission




Under the guidance of Fray Alonso de Benavides, the San Miguel Missions was built by the Tlaxcala Indians in 1610.   Not only is this mission considered to be one of the oldest missions in the United States, but also this church is reportedly the oldest standing church structure in the United States. (Click here if you missed our sightseeing adventure of the Spanish Missions in Texas.)

During the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, the San Miguel Mission was badly damaged and promptly abandoned when the Pueblos drove out the Spanish.

Spanish Reconquest

The Pueblo Indians were able to keep the Spanish out of this area for 12 years.

stone buttresses
But the Spanish did return and once again took over.

The San Miguel Mission was reestablished in 1694 and the chapel was rebuilt in 1710.

Over the years, this church has undergone many restorations.  These massive stone buttresses were added for support in 1887.




The Oldest House in Santa Fe
at 215 E De Vargas Street
dates to 1646.


The Oldest House is open for a self-guided look.

the oldest house the oldest house



Santa Fe’s Nickname of City Different

Nuestra Senorguadalupea de Guadalupe stands as a symbol in the New World and New Mexico.
She is a blend of two cultures, the Native Americans and the Spanish.

Santa Fe is nicknamed City Different because New Mexico is a unique blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo-American people.




Just a fun fact.  In 1807, the American explorer Zebulon Pike “was imprisoned in Santa Fe for violating trade agreements”. (click here if you missed our trip to Pikes Peak.)

In 1821, Mexico declared independence from Spain and the Santa Fe Trail opened.

Mexico opened the Santa Fe trail as a commercial route to replace its commerce with Spain. (click here if you missed our sightseeing adventure in Kansas when we learned about the Santa Fe Trail.)

To increase trade between the new nation of Mexico and the United States,
the Chihuahua Trail opened in 1824.

old spanish trail
The Old Spanish Trail was in operation from 1829 to 1848.

In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War and the territory of New Mexico (present day NM, AZ, and parts of CO, UT, NV, and CA) became part of the United States.

santa fe plaza

burro alley


Plaza of Santa Fe in 1800s,
buon fresco





Burro Alley was named for the burros who carried commercial goods, construction materials, and firewood through the streets of Santa Fe.

Since we’ve completed only half of our Chronological Walk through the history
of Santa Fe, I’ll end this post at Burro Alley
and we will continue our walking tour
through City Different tomorrow.

%d bloggers like this: