Thank you for your patience with my absence. I enjoyed my first non-working vacation visiting Santa Fe, Patagonia, and the Mojave between Palm Springs and 29er Palms. No itinerary beyond moving around and seeing the people and places and trying to get the vibe of each place. Thanksgiving was spent in the desert with family – a non-chaotic affair that was thoroughly enjoyable.
And no T.V.
And almost no internet, mostly maps.
Using B-n-Bs instead of hotels is a really good choice. When one is tired of the restaurants there is the option of a home-cooked meal. The B-n-B in Santa Fe was a few minutes walk from the central plaza. Three places to eat that you will enjoy are The Shed, Ecco Gelato & Espresso Shop, and the Plaza Diner. Sites to see are Meow Wolf and the Turquoise Trail. I wasn’t too happy with the Cibola National Forest for two reasons: 1) I was hoping to skirt north of Sandia Mountain and avoid Albuquerque, but the road stopped at the crest of the mountain so I had to backtrack; and 2) lots of unharvested deadfall that created significant fuel for forest fires. What was worth the money was BLM’s partnership with Pueblo de Cochiti that permitted a drive up to view the Tent Rocks National Monument. I normally wouldn’t give BLM the time of day, but they did so much better than Smokey’s people that it deserves mention.
Patagonia is just north of Nogales and our border with Mexico. The B-n-B was a casita in Green Valley. One place to eat is Wisdom’s in Tumacacori. Just look for the giant chicken! Patagonia is artsy, but the area around it – Elgin and Sonoita are cattle and wine country. Lots of cattle (my kind of people!) and lots of wineries. There’s a brewery going in, too. Green Valley is different in that it bills itself as a retirement community, and it is. The climate is very dry and ranged from the 70s during the day to the 40s at night. With Green Valley Recreation, there is plenty to do. Arizona is California’s Florida, just like Florida is New York-Michigan-Canada’s Florida.
There were two day trips: through the Coronado National Forest and through the grasslands of Elgin, and to Tombstone. Given a choice, go with the forest and the grasslands. Tombstone was interesting but kitschy. Very touristy and I get it. Big Nose Kate’s served some good food, and among the memorabilia is VMI brass used on the choker collar on the cadets’ white uniform. The pistol range was fun, as was the tour of the Birdcage Theater and the O.K. Corral museum. Lots of tools of the cowboy trade that are still in use today, if glitzier.
While I was away from the news it seems a lot happened. Zimbabwe overthrew Mugabe finally. Maybe they can take care of their 90% unemployment and unbelievably high rate of inflation. McConnell’s hit on Judge Moore in Alabama has been effective. Why McConnell and not the Dems? No Gloria Allred leading the charge. And lots of navel gazing at past hypocrisies, but only with politicos who are no longer young enough to carry the revolution forward. More on that another time.
I recommend the Southwest, and taking time away from the T.V., the news, and as much of the internet as you can and vacate your life for a couple of weeks each year. Back to the blogging tomorrow – see you there!