Archives For #NewMexicoTrue

 

ristraAfter laying low for a little while to recuperate and recharge, on Day 28 we left Los Alamos to continue west.

I was bummed that we didn’t get to see as much of New Mexico as I’d hoped. Thankfully, Kelly and Grant suggested we check out the galleries on Canyon Road in Santa Fe on our way back to Route 40.

I was so glad we did; I got a good dose of Southwestern art and lifestyle. If it was just me on the trip, there’d be a lot more art museums on the itinerary. But Mtuseni isn’t big on art, feeling intimidated by it. I told him all you really need to know about art is that it’s personal and subjective: Some things you’ll like, and some things you don’t.

With the pressure off, he was able to relax and just browse as we went from one gallery to the next. He found some “paintings” made of thin slices of wood that he really liked. I’ll take that as a victory.

bb

santa fe goddess

 

santa fe koko

 

love head 2

 

santa fe chimes

bb

Many pieces caught my eye. We both were enchanted by the outdoor gallery of wind sculptures whirling in the sunshine. And though I’m not a jewelry person, I was enticed by a handsome gentleman with white hair and sun-burnished skin to buy a stone bracelet that was too expensive and too big for my skinny writer’s wrists. Maybe I need to go back and have him resize it — and we’ll see where things go from there!

Check out the wind sculptures in action on our Instagram!

bb

santa fe sunflowers

bb

It was such a beautiful morning, with the perfect dry air, vibrant colors, and casual Southwest vibe. I would have loved to hang out at one of the outdoor cafes for lunch and a glass of wine — or two — but we had a long drive ahead and I still felt tired from my epic cold.

As we sped down the highway toward Arizona, I felt my energy shift. I must have lived in the Southwest in a past life. It just takes hold of me and I feel awed and peaceful and content. The sight of a freight train chugging across the desert in the distance gives me chills and gets me a little teary. I don’t know why. There’s an epic loneliness and beauty to it. 

Outside of Albuquerque we came upon a massive mound of pink cliffs, glowing in the afternoon light. Museni was impressed. But I knew this was just a taste of the wonders that lie ahead in the next couple days.

bb

gallup cliffs

bb

That night we pulled into a motel just off the highway in Arizona — its calling card being the closest lodging to the Petrified Forest. Mtuseni hated the place; he ranked it in his bottom three of the entire trip. Maybe even the worst. I liked it. Sitting by itself in the middle of nowhere. Just a place for weary truckers and travelers to stop for the night. The little attached restaurant seemed frozen in time to the early 1970s, but it had a surprisingly ambitious menu. bb

 

Chamber Inn3

bb

My grouchy mate just wanted to sleep, so I sat by myself in a booth watching the cars zoom back and forth along Route 40. The place was brightly lit and nearly empty; it felt like I was sitting in a desert version of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. I had a decent chicken Caesar salad and some hot water with lemon for my throat.

The place, the meal, it was nothing special, not at all. But I was totally happy. Something about the Southwest… 

bb

ristra mgb

I sooo wanted to buy a ristra in New Mexico. But it would never have survived the trip.