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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Monday, February 29, 2016

Wandering the Santa Fe-Taos,New Mexico Area

After another good night's sleep we watched the sheep next door follow the leader to one little corner of a rather large pasture. Headed down to breakfast and hit the road by 8:17 am, passed through Sunday morning Albuquerque and on through Santa Fe to Los Alamos. The road out there is not as bad as I anticipated except for the last mile or so--then one travels on a twisty, turning knife edge between two chasms. Not really my cup of tea. Although it was Bill's desire to visit here, he wasn't interested in exploring at all. I'm afraid that, just like the rest of this part of the State, Los Alamos has been Boutique-ified and Galleried and Art Studioed to death. Whatever trace that may still exist of the three years the town was the Manhattan Project HQ has long ago been dwarfed by the rich bohemian vibe. There is a museum but neither of us needed a refresher course on the development of the bomb. I had not known that there was a Ranch School in town that J. Robert Oppenheimer had attended as a kid--for summer vacation. He remembered the area and decided to locate the Manhattan Project Lab there--as a matter of fact the buildings of the School became the homes for him and several other of the high ranking scientists. The Historical Society is in the process of making exhibits for the public to see. They might be interesting when ready. I had the most awful time breathing --every time I walked any distance at all, I was winded. The combination of high altitude and nasopharynx congestion just made it impossible to do much walking at all. We visited with the man, a teacher, who was covering the Visitors' Center. He is retiring and although from Oregan originally and having lived in Los Alamos for 27 years--his wife is a native--they are moving to Missouri. Said it is a seller's market in Los Alamos now so hopes to be able to bank some of the sale price even after buying in Missouri. Bill was starved and wanted something fast so we went to Sonic and then headed back to Santa Fe where we had our reservation. I think I got overtired because I had a terrible night. Went to bed at 1030 after the Oscars--one of the best I've seen in years--and at 2 I was still awake. Must have gone out around 230 but was awake by 615 and though I stayed in bed til 8, don't think I slept very much. While lying awake last night I tried to figure out why I really don't like Taos or Santa Fe. I think there are several reasons--one the privileged pseudo bohemians drive me nuts. But one can easily avoid them so what else is it? I decided that in most cases the history of the area has been totally ignored or minimized in order to provide high priced items--outrageously high priced items --in the guise of art, high fashion, etc for affluent folks. Gallery after gallery line up and are interspersed with fancy dancy restaurants and ridiculously self conscious watering holes abutting clothing and jewelry shops. I think the reason none of that appeals is because I grew up in Manhattan, surrounded by all that and much more. I had favorite shops, knew where the best book shops were, the neatest museums, fabulous stores of all kinds and restaurants and bars as good or better than these. This all seems just too precious to me and presented as something above and beyond any other place. Not what I need and it is very small in selection and very large in price. All that said, the surrounding country is magnificent and the small towns of New Mexican natives are very interesting . I love the Spanish architectural features of the buildings--the adobe homes and churches. The high road between Santa Fe and Taos goes up into the mountains and the evergreen forest covered with snow. The drop-offs are gradual though high and the vistas are magnificent. We have gone in both directions on this road but today we went North. In Santa Fe we ate in a small diner on the outskirts of the " historical" district. Then we headed back South along the Rio Grande River on the Low Road. We stopped at Black Mesa Winery where I picked up some of their delicious chocolate sauce along with some wine. Then we went into CVS and I spoke to the pharmacist who said to take Mucinex-D for this head thing. We'll see how that goes. But our day was finished and tomorrow we head to Belen where we will spend some time with our good friends, Gloria and Bud. There is going to be a blog/pix suspension until we move on to Gallup. So, enjoy the pictures and will be back in touch in a few days. Later, The Valley Vagabonds KandB

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