Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. God, how I love Sante Fe!
Santa Fe, NM
Population 62,203 (2000 census). Full proper name: La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asis. Capital of New Mexico and seat of Santa Fe County. Founded by Don Pedro de Peralta in 1609-1610, and thus the oldest state capital, the oldest capital city in North America, and the oldest European-founded city west of the Mississippi. Also (at 6996 feet), Steve points out, the highest-altitude state capital.
Steve has a lot more worth saying about Santa Fe than I do, but I will say that the place is genuinely enchanting, and in a way I never expected it to be. I expected picturesqueness, but I never expected picturesqueness in quite the way I encountered it: in the bewitching way the light looks in Santa Fe when the sun sets and the dusk takes over; in the way the old town manages to look resolutely ancient, resolutely everlasting, and resolutely itself even with a thousand trend-seeking tourists coursing through its alleyways; in the way the hills and canyons around the county defy you to leave; in the way the whole area, street corners and bookstores and the extravagance of adobe, exude history and livedness like so few other places in the US can.
Our hotel was comfortable. The weather was mild. Steve thought I would dislike Cerrillos Road because I had gotten antsy about Albuquerque’s Central Avenue, which was a little too rowdy-looking for my comfort. But Cerrillos didn’t bother me. The only hint of anything nasty was the restaurant incident that Steve mentioned, but as I told Steve, if that was the worst thing that will happen to us on this trip, we should consider ourselves lucky. I admit that the incident rattled me, probably more than it should have. But that does not take away from the perfection of Santa Fe.
—Posted by Frank at 22:00:43 | 17-Aug-03
Also, here are the photos from Day Four of the trip: Views of Santa Fe: