Road Trip Day 5… Destination Santa Fe, NM July 4, 2010

Today is Independence Day for our nation and thus my mind ran its course naturally.   As I drove north from Albuquerque to Santa Fe, I looked across the land and wondered….  Since leaving Texas on this month or so long journey, I will come to contemplate many times over about the harsh conditions of the land and what would possess someone to try to make a new life in an environment that is so harsh and cruel.  The land around Albuquerque and Santa Fe lays in the shadows of the mountains and the land is littered with rock and hard earth.  Santa Fe is bordered on the east side by the Sangrede Cristo Mountains which can be clearly seen from Santa Fe proper.    The drive up to Santa Fe was an easy hour drive.  Just south of Sante Fe is the Coronado State Monument (park) along a section of the Rio Grande River.

Corondao is a small park with several archaeological digs in process.   Here the river is not that wide and the embankment is relatively low thus providing an excellent stop for Coronado.   Coronado is the Francisco Vasquez de Coronado y Lujan whom everyone probably read about in history class at some point.   Coronado was a true Spanish conquistador who traveled thru this part of the country between 1540 – 1542.   Although Coronado did camp here, the site is best known for ruins of the Kuana pueblo who lived here around the 1300s.    There are several small archaeological digs going on as well as copies of the murals that were recovered dating back to pre-1492 ear.    Lucky for us the park was almost deserted except for the two park rangers who so kindly allowed Lucy inside the visitor center.

Although incredibly hot, Lucy and I embarked on a quick 15 minute tour of the site (it is very small).  I had to make especially sure that Lucy stayed on the path as there was lots of vegetation that would be dangerous to her paws.   After much persuading aimed at Lucy, we made it to the little path that led down to the river.    Because of the heat and the hot sand on river bank, I had to carry Lucy to the waters edge – believe me 50 lbs gets very tiring especially in the heat.   We took quick pictures and I bagged some sand (i collect sand from important places).   Small problem came when I could not locate the actual trail to get us back up the embankment.  Lots of tall grass over my head.   Why was this an issue… because there are rattlesnake warnings everywhere.   In the end, I did locate it barely and just by taking chance and barging thru the grass.  My instincts proved accurate thank goodness.    Back in the truck, we quickly headed to Santa Fe.   Evening was spent in hotel room watching fireworks on tv while Lucy and I shared a plate of various barbecue meat from local restaurant called Cowgirls.    Our hotel of choice was the Lodge at Santa Fe (extremely dog friendly) with great view of the mountains in the distance.