On our way to Santa Fe

10/14-10/16~Here we go now!

Camel Camel got up too early, after going to sleep too late, and was a grouch all morning.

The road lay out in front of us seeminly forever, it’s going to be a 358 mile day and Camel Camel is now in time out for a bad attitude.

The drive was longer than normal for us but Paul was in the mood for a “long haul”, lol We saw a lot of fun things along Route 66, here are a few I managed to get pictures of…

That’s what happens to your car when you try to take home a chunk of petrified wood! lol

Traveling down Route 66 we saw the famous or infamous, lol, Wigwam Motel. The teepees are the motel rooms for rent, there were so many old cars around too! (you might have to enlarge the pictures to see)

We are actually spending two nights at Rodeo de Santa Fe, in New Mexico. We could have stayed any number of places but this place had FHU for $25 a night, it was quite a steal. When you just need a place to unhook the car and keep the MH safe while you’re out exploring all day, what better place than a rodeo field with a locked gate.

So off we went for a day in Old Town Santa Fe!

Let me just say, if you are going to Old Town Santa Fe, you want to be rested. The roads are all one way, usually the wrong way and very narrow. Parking is hard to find, we tried to figure out the Meter system, but it was lost on us. We finially found a lot to park in for $10 for the day.

These roads were used when donkey’s carried handmade items to the market which was the central market area on the Santa Fe trade trail.

Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the US, founded around 1607 and it’s America’s second oldest city.

New Mexico is the “Chili Capital of the World”

These long strands of red chili peppers were found all over the Plaza. Shops sold all different lengths of them.

Once we found a place to park, we went to the information center and got a map of the area and found out that we could go into the Oldest house and Oldest Church in Santa Fe for free. We also learned about The Miraculous Staircase at Loretto Chapel.

So we took off down the Old Santa Fe Trail…

Of course the blue door and window frame were not cira 1600 but now defined the entrance into a gift shop as part of the oldest house.

We went left on entering, we were in the orginal house. It consisted of two rooms, both had adobe fireplaces. They were very small and mostly used for cooking but did provide some heat as well. The rooms were small, dark and had thatched wood ceilings. There was a ladder but no opening, we thought perhaps at one time bedrooms were on the second level, now closed off. It was certainly amazing to be in a house of this age, we could feel its’ history.

The Chapel was simple and small but well maintained. Enlarge the picture with the sign, it’s interesting.

There were several artists sitting in front painting or sketching, it was inspiring, but I didn’t have a sketch book with me…

Further down the road we came to The Loretto Chapel which housed The Miraculous Staircase.

For more than 100 years the Loretto Chapel is best known for the legend about its “miraculous staircase”. As you sit in the Chapel you hear the story behind the staircase.

The Loretto Chapel, fashioned after Sainte-Chapelle in Paris, was built in the 1870’s to serve the Loretto Academy, operated by the Sisters of Loretto. It’s believed to be the first Gothic structure west of the Missisippi. But the Chapel had a design flaw: there was no way to get to the choir loft from the chapel. Many carpenters were called in for advice, but all came up with the same answer: because of the height of the loft, a conventional staircase would take up too much room in the chapel below. It was a question of using a ladder or rebuilding the balacony. A ladder would prove too difficult for the Sisters, with their long robes, and rebuilding would be too costly.

Seeking divine guidance, the Sisters made a Novena to their patron saint, Saint Joseph the Carpenter. As legend has it, on the ninth and final day, a mysterious carpenter arrived to design and construct a circular staircase to the choir loft. The tools on his donkey were just a saw, carpenter’s square, a hammer and tubs in which to soak the wood.

His “miraculous staircase” contains 33 steps in two full 360-degree turns. The staircase has no center support, nor is it held up from its sides.

(At the time it was built it didn’t have a railing. The railing was added at a later date by another carpenter.)

When the staircase was complete, the carpenter disappeared without seeking payment.

It was stunning…

As we walked down the streets and headed back to the Plaza there were people selling all kinds of things, it’s a very colorful and active place.

And of course we had to have some chocolate! I thought these signs were a hoot!

I loved the architecture of the city, I just had to take some pictures along our way.

Santa Fe was fun, but now… down the road we must go

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