Sunday, March 20, 2011


On top of Atayla Mountain east of Santa Fe. 

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We are off from Baker City, following a brief snowstorm and gusty cold winds, around 5 pm bound for Boise and an 11 am departure in the morning.  I am soooo ready for a break and a chance to soak up a little sunshine!  When I checked the weather tonight at 8pm Boise time, it was 37 degrees in Baker City and 74 degrees in Socorro (at 8pm at night!)  Aaahhhh!  We have packed shorts and sandals and tried to ignore the rain and snow and cold of the week.  

Boise night at the Sleep Inn - comfortable and relatively cheap with free wireless, breakfast, and parking for 7 days for the car.  We ended up having to pay an extra $3 for the additional night parking.  Still cheaper than the airport parking!  We can spend a relaxed morning and be ready to take off at 11 for Phoenix and then on to Albuquerque.  Jed is suppose to meet us at 4:30 pm.  He has been up at Randy's the past few days enjoying HIS spring break which was this week.  

Smooth sailing for the most part, except it is windy in the southwest and EVERY one of our three landings was NOT smooth! We stopped first in Las Vegas, but didn't get off the plane.  We could see the pyramid and the sphinx in the distance.  Then over to Phoenix - which is in the process of rennovation and a huge airport!  By the time we got to Albuquerque,  Rick was definitely ready to be off a plane.  We were running late all day due to a snowstorm in Denver, but made connections fine.  Jed was there to pick us up around 5.  I told Rick it took us exactly 24 hours to get to Albuquerque - same as driving!  We left Baker at 5 pm last night!  Much more rested this way, however.  

Up into town to pick up Mom at the Fountains and go out to dinner at Papa Felipe's Mexican restaurant.  Mom and Rick enjoyed fish as part of the Lenten menu and I tried out a California Tosada - loaded with avocado!  I don't even want to guess the point value on my diet!  We enjoyed the time, but then dropped Mom back off and headed north to Santa Fe. The setting sun makes a great vista with the storm clouds in the west as we leave Albuquerque.   
Western sky

We have reservations at a fairly NICE motel for the Rembold clan, but we got a good deal! This will be nice!  Relax in the room and check out hiking options for Saturday.  Eventually, Jed and I play a game of cribbage which he wins with a ridiculous hand at the end!  

A beautiful morning - crisp and sunny.  We enjoy a great "healthy smart" breakfast compliments of the hotel (Don't ask me, that's how they advertised it!  It was a good buffet of choices!) and head out to find the Atayla Mountain trail near St. John's College.  A coyote crossed the road right in front of us as we were driving up.  Turns out that was the only wildlife we saw all day! 
View toward Santa Fe from our rendezvous spot with Jed. 
Too late in the morning to get a parking place at the upper trailhead, so Jed drives back down to the lower trailhead at the college and highballs it up the extra mile and a half to meet up with us.  I appreciated it as it is still a good 1600' climb to the peak from the UPPER trailhead - the lower would have added another 500' to the trail.  Too much for this lady!  Jed met up with us much sooner than I expected, however!  

Three of us on top of Atayla
We wind through pinon and ponderosa forest with occasional juniper and cactus type plants.  Not much new growth showing yet, and we even pass a few snow patches here and there.  The peak is at 9127 feet - not alot of snow on top, but you could tell some of it had recently melted. The view from the top of the peak is awesome - south down to Sandias and Rio Grande valley, west to Santa Fe area, and east to more mountains of the Sangre Cristo range.  A cool breeze up on top, but the rest of the time we were hiking in shirt sleeves.  Overall, ended up 7 miles RT for Jed, and about 5.8 miles for Rick and I.  A good climb, but perfect temperatures!  

St. Francis Basillica
Back to town to shower and ready to head into town for some shops and dinner.    We haven't had enough exercise yet today, so we walk.  Part of the reason we chose this motel was the close proximity to the Plaza area.  We walk toward the Railway area, past numerous galleries and shops, and check out the two restaurants Jed had picked.  We end up at Zias out on the patio.  A little cool as the sun is started to sink lower and the breeze is still strong, but we were the only ones out there so it was nice and quiet!  I ordered from the "small plates" - a smoked salmon quesadilla with avocado and asadero cheese.  It was wonderful and just the right amount.  Jed had a Buffalo burger with sweet potato fries.  And Rick blue corn enchiladas!  All of us thoroughly enjoyed the meal, and then the opportunity to "walk it off"!  We basically spent the next hour and half wandering around downtown Santa Fe, visiting more shops than Jed probably wanted, but I am looking for something appropriate for the boat christening!  I wasn't sure how many places would be open on Saturday evenings, but quite a few were open at least until 7ish!  Also enjoyed checking out the old Catholic churches - St. Francis Basillica, Loretta Chapel, etc.  The latter had an amazing kinetic sculpture garden outside of it.  Fun to watch in the wind.  Most open back up tomorrow morning around 11.  We are also hoping to visit the Museum of International Folk Art tomorrow.  Jed said he wasn't in any hurry to get back down to Socorro, so that was the go ahead to stay a little longer!  
Kinetic sculpture

Rest of evening spent in room watching March Madness basketball, downloading pictures, writing, and grading papers!  

Up around 7:30 to Bible study by the light coming in the window from the east.  Jed and Rick are sound asleep and I didn't want to turn on a light!  It is a beautiful day outside!  
After breakfast in the lounge (which was packed with people today!) and some time outside reading the paper, Jed joins us for a bite to eat.  We get checked out around 10:30 and take off for downtown Santa Fe.  Will finish our shopping and then head out of town to the Folk Art Museum. 

Paper Cuts flutter in the breeze outside a downtown shop.
A successful morning of noseying into a variety of shops, and time spent back at Lucille's where I bought two things last night.  We were successful today in finding an appropriate dressy flowing jacket to wear with my black pants!  Also found a new t-shirt top all sparkly on the neckline!  Also visited the Blue Moon Toy store which was fun.  Jed spent time in a bookstore while I was shopping at Lucille's. 

We decide a bite to eat is in order before the museum, so go to the grocery store, Whole Foods Market, which advertised a deli bar.  What a spread!  I get a spinach salad, Jed a sandwich, and Rick Chicken Postle, which was a really good soup he said.  Then it is off to the "museum hill" where three of Santa Fe's museums are located.  We are going to visit the International Museum of Folk Art.  
Entrance to main gallery at Folk Art Museum

This museum is largely the efforts of one man who donated his entire collection of over 100,000 pieces of folk art from around the world to New Mexico.  He also set up all the displays just as he wanted them arranged - like multiple little dioramas from all over the world.  Much of it is from South America and India/Persia area.  Fascinating stuff!  Also a section dedicated to "Winter Arts" which had pictures as well as nativities from around the world.  I have to say I have as good a nativity collection, however!  Some of his are just bigger!  
Detail on one of MANY dioramas filled with folk art figurines.

A whimsical look at the Last Supper
Another section of the museum featured textiles and clothing and finally a section called "Empowering Women"  which highlighted many of the folk art cooperatives started in developing nations to help women make a living wage and support their families.  

At 3:30 ish we leave the museum and head south toward Albuquerque and dinner with Grandma!  Arrive at 4:45 and I head over to the Wal-Mart next door while Rick and Jed take our bags upstairs to the apartment.  Pizza and fruit for dinner and Jed takes off around 7 to head back to Socorro.  We will see him again on Thursday as we drive back up from Tucson.  

Quiet evening with Grandma getting ready to leave in the morning.  The next portion of our blog will be from Tucson!  See you then!  

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