early the next morning in cimarron we bid our farewells to the bsa, and i forgot to look over my shoulder as we parted ways with philmont. philmont's mountain range includes an arrow shape in the rocks, from which philmont gets its trademark arrow badge. legend has it that if you look over your shoulder as you leave and you see the arrow, you will one day return to philmont; if you don't see the arrow, you won't return. like i said, i didn't look, so who knows what the future will hold.
we made it in to santa fe just in time for lunch and we unknowingly hit up a very popular place, thomasina's, as we had a 30 minute wait to be seated. the food wasn't spectacular, but did begin to sate my immediate need for some real new mexican cuisine. i had vegetarian enchiladas and when given the new mexican choice between "green or red," i went green. the question refers to which color of hatch chile (a local variety of chile pepper roasted/simmered to a sauce) you want piled on top. green is the local's choice, or so i heard.
we stopped by our lady of guadalupe church, the new mexico history museum and governor's palace, and strolled through countless stores selling "indian goods," and turquoise/silver jewlery, (or places like kowboyz). it felt like santa fe embodied the old west spirit more than any place we had visited thus far.
after parting ways with emily and we settled into our hotel, the sage inn (which was luckily only a few blocks from downtown).
the next day we headed to loretto chapel to see its famed staircase whose properties apparently defy the laws of architectural physics (above). the previous day i spotted an ad for a scooter rental and we decided to look into this alternate mode of transport. though i was technically more experienced with scooters than dan (i was a passenger in japan and vietnam), i supposed his motorcycle license gave him a slight advantage at two-wheeled driving. we took turns at the wheel (handlebars?) and checked out some of the nicer houses just outside of town, as well as the war veteran's cemetery.
after getting back on our feet, we stopped for lunch at the blue corn cafe where we had what i thought was one of the best meals of the entire trip. huevos rancheros with green chile sauce, pinto beans, and fried potatoes. messy, cheesy, and gooey, they were serious comfort food and one plato was more than enough for the two of us.
we made our way back to the hotel, stopping in several galleries along the way. taos and santa fe both have vast art communities, though most of the art seems to be based on western nature-motifs and/or native american motifs. the works are sometimes unfortunately unintentionally cheesy, like they should be airbrushed on t-shirts and mudflaps at the mall. look hard enough though and you can find some interesting stuff, including a huge chuck jones gallery with hundreds of looney tunes cels. apparently, jones spent a lot of time in santa fe, thus the connection. random, yes, but i had recently watched the one where the coyote shrinks to 1/100th the size of roadrunner and tries toslice into his foot with a teensy knife. there was the original cel for that scene right before my eyes. it was called "the one where coyote catches roadrunner."
we continued our coyote fueled evening by dining at the coyote cafe downtown, where i had a horrible glass of wine and delicious veggie tacos and dan had a delicious chile margarita and not-so-awe inspiring cuban sandwich. we ended the night in santa fe sampling our way down the line at second street brewing company, toasting to our sunburns.
- we stopped by r.e.i. (outdoors sports megastore) where i found revenge on the overpriced patagonia stuff in boulder. got a patagonia longsleeve pullover (i had failed to pack any jackets, forgetting that it can get cold in the desert at night) on super sale.
- the next morning in santa fe was spent figuring out that when the hotel shuttle says "anywhere within a 2 mile radius," they didn't actually mean a radius. they meant "anywhere within 2 miles towards downtown." alas they wouldn't take us to the rental car store (and we later found out that hertz would've picked us up for free) so we took a $12 cab ride about 1.5 miles down the road. the cab ride came back to us twofold as we were upgraded from our cheapo chevy aveo to a toyota corolla for free. so white corolla, dan, and i got the heck out of new mexico...