|Nice pose, Chief!|
The last few days in New Mexico and Arizona have not involved the camera-snapping, tourist-driving stuff we did earlier in the road trip. I think it is safe to describe Taos as an artist-centric spot, with a quaint plaza in the center of town catering to two groups: people who like native (and other local) arts and crafts and the others who like t-shirts and inexpensive jewelry.
In either case, we spent a couple of hours wandering around their picturesque plaza and only Shirley took out her camera. So the pictures from New Mexico at our travel site are courtesy of guest artist, Shirl. They're here.
LK continued her "I'm-in-retirement-but-I'm-not-giving-in-completely" adjustment to hew new life, buying some stuff but not as much as in her glory days. She picked up some quilt patches (and no, she has never made one for those wondering) and a little later she bought a small painting. But she is developing some important retired folk skills, and she actually haggled with the artist and got him to knock about 20% off the price.
It was a pretty uninteresting drive from Taos to Santa Fe. The landscape was pretty ordinary, even though for quite a while we drove alongside the Rio Grande. Which, at this point, quite frankly looked like the Rio Not So Grande. Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about the trip was the astounding number of casinos popping up in the middle of absolutely nothing. There must have been six or seven, and none of us could figure how they made any money. At least after our Vegas days, we weren't tempted to stop.
Santa Fe was a pleasant city. The state capital has a population of about 75,000 and a very attractive plaza. At least it looked that way as I drove through when we arrived in late afternoon. The next day I was just a little under the weather and skipped what was always going to be a shopping expedition for LK and Shirl. Their report was thumbs up, but that's about all I can tell you from personal experience. And the only pictures that we took in Santa Fe were some Shirl took of the casita we rented.
The next day was a long drive to Sedona. About 6 1/2 hours on interstate highways - not very interesting. But once we got to Sedona that changed. LK and I have been here before, but it didn't take away from the beautiful drive in as you come down the mountain from Flagstaff.
But the highlight had to be sitting on our deck at the Sky Ranch Lodge facing west and overlooking some of the most gorgeous scenery America has to offer. LK took lots of pictures and captured some lovely shots as the sun set, painting the red rocks and hills in all sorts of shades. Those pictures are at the same spot.
A quick drive yesterday to Scottsdale outside of Phoenix, where we are declaring it Pool Day in the 98 degree heat. Bound to be more great Mexican food for dinner tonight. Tomorrow we have another long drive to San Diego, where the road trip ends. On Monday we board the ship to head south, eventually going through the Panama Canal.