Tag Archives: New Mexico

Picture Post: Taos and LA

My blog is quickly becoming the place where I am going to save all of the pictures of my trip.  Here are 4 of Taos that got left out, followed by 3 of the train trip from Albuquerque to Taos on the South West Chief.  My guess would be that they are also of New Mexico, but it could be Arizona.  More posts later today that will actually be about PERU.

Taosity-taos

Taosity-taos

Tacos

 

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Scenes from the South West Chief

Table Top

Table Top

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Hey Santa Fe

Santa Fe Food

Santa Fe Food

That’s what’s currently wending its way through my digestive track as I write this.  It was delicious.  Scrambled eggs with green chili, organic thick cut bacon and cheese on a garlic bagel.  I ate it all very quickly.

Green chilies, as it turns out, is a major part of the Santa Fe flare, and I’m loving it.  Everywhere I go, even when Rita’s fantastic roommate is cooking for me at her home, green chills are in my food.  Green chili burritos, eggs, quinoa, calzones.  For the rest of my life, whenever I get that cold heat in my nose from slicing open a green chili, I will think of this city.

Santa Fe feels like practice for Peru.  It’s high up in the mountains, and I can feel the altitude when I’m walking around.  Due to some strict building codes and a reputation, all buildings in Santa Fe are built adobe style.  Everything, from liquor stores to consignment shops are red clay and stucco.  Every morning, as I walk to the cafe where I’m writing this, one or two hawks fly right over my head.  Little black ones, dad, but definitely hawks.  It makes it feel like someone reshuffled the American/Mexican border.  Lovely.

Of course, the most lovely part of this whole place is the person that lives here, the one and only Rita “Yee-Haw” O’Connell.

Here’s where she lives, and where I am staying:

The Rita Casita

The Rita Casita

It’s a little bungalow, old and low to the ground, with excellent shag carpets and strange but beautiful paintings by one of her roommates’ grandmother.

Rita works every day from 8:30 to 2pm, so most of my days are spent relaxing in her house.  She taught me to play chess the other day in a laundry mat, and since then I have spent my mornings practicing the game with her roommate, Jack, the one that cooks.  In fact, we usually are eating eggs, green chili and crispy hash browns while we play.  I can say usually, because it’s happened twice and I’ve only been here for 3 mornings.

After a nice quiet, relaxing morning in her house (I deserve it; a bed and a shower were very missed and will be missed again), I usually set out to walking around Santa Fe.  It has been in the 40s and windy, so today I have succumbed to just hanging out in this awesome coffee shop only a few blocks from Rita’s house and drinking too much coffee.  But here are some things I saw while walking around:

Two Cathedrals

Two Cathedrals

Los Montanas

Los Montanas

The Mighty Santa Fe River, Once The Most Endagered River in the US

The Mighty Santa Fe River, Once The Most Endagered River in the US

Sorry…still don’t know how to flip…

A Woman Restores Some Flowers At St. Guadlupe's Feet

A Woman Restores Some Flowers At St. Guadlupe's Feet

Rita Came to Pick Me Up at the Train Station

Rita Came to Pick Me Up at the Train Station

Soon Rita will be out of work and we’ll head a few towns over to Taos, where Rita used to live.  Can’t wait!  Then…LA here I come.  Rumors of Disneyland as my final act in America.

*Note:  Last night I saw the movie Dr. Strangelove.  I strangeloved it.

A List of People I Met and Things I Saw/Did While Taking a Train From Chicago to Lamy, NM

Most of this happened in the observation car of the Southwest Chief, or in the car directly behind it.

  • A gold miner from Colorado.  He was on the way back from his grandmother’s funeral.  He runs heavy machinery and works only 14 days a year.  He said I was wise to do what I was doing, and not get married and have a daughter and divorce, like he did when he was my age.  So, I guess points for me.  Apparently, there actually is gold in them thar hills.
  • Lost my iPod.
  • Searched for my iPod with the help of a surly Amtrak steward.
  • Never found my iPod.
  • The sunrise over Colorado planes.  It went from pink to tangerine to blue seamlessly.
  • A female correction’s officer from a maximum security prison in Kansas.  She worked there because she lost her job at General Motors.
  • Her autistic 10 year old son who taught himself how to play the piano and has perfect pitch.
  • Little red towns with names like Las Vegas and Raton.
  • Mountains!  Mountains!
  • Icy edged rivers, no more than a trickle.
  • Tumbleweed, twice.
  • Kaleb, a hillbilly from West Virginia.  He sold everything he owned except for a sweatshirt, hat, gloves, brown overalls and a jacket.  He is trying to go all the way around the world.  He has never been out of the US except for one trip to Niagara Falls.  He has no money left, and just that morning had eaten his first meal out of a dumpster (the left behind half of a Hardee’s potato hash and egg scramble).  His favorite bible story is the one where King David pretends to lose his mind.  He believes that the flood of Noah formed the Grand Canyon.
  • A little old woman on a platform selling playing cards, mittens, earrings, toothbrushes and the like in the vicious cold of the Colorado morning.  She made no sales on our train.
  • Many Amish people, two of whom I talked with for a few hours.  They were on their way to a picture framing convention in Las Vegas.  Still, days later, I’m pondering what that would be like.
  • A bagel that, when I asked for its variety, was described as “a brown one” and when I asked for it toasted it was microwaved.  It cost $3.50.
  • Rita, sweet sweet Rita.