Up to the 5th of June
So we stayed in Santa Fe at the Trailer Ranch RV site - what is it about 'trailer' that apparently excites me this time? Previously, if the name said 'trailer' I would have driven away or through the barricaded obstructions as fast as possible - and used the site's proximity to Downtown to explore a bit.
Santa Fe is, perhaps quite expectedly, a rather simulated town; or rather let Sarah say it best: "a bastard place full or arty people who felt as if they owned the place". Not to say we didn't like it, we just recognised the clash with the rest of New Mexico.
Santa Fe street
The rest of New Mexico
We in turn stood out here; not just our English accents (even if all but one stranger thought that we were Australian) but more the fact that we tried to dress relatively smartly and wash occasionally. Casual is the new arty cool apparently.
We had some nice coffees and meals in the many restaurants. Including the Indian restaurant I mentioned earlier, where although acceptable, the food was not very exciting nor spicy. "Be careful," the waiter said, "Vindaloo is very hot!"
Right. We've seen hotter chipmunks on this trip. Which is okay, if you have a chipmunk fettish, but when the food is not particularly daring or different either, a weak Vindaloo - like a weak chipmunk - is frustrating. You know what I mean? You feel me, right?
What did happen however, that was quite impactful, was Ansel Adams. Sarah saw an advert for a photography gallery with a collection of Ansel Adams' work, very close to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. She dragged me by the arm....
"You have to see this, Robin."
"Ow get off! Yeah, I'm sure - you know, I really want to go and see the Ansel Adams exhibition, but I can't."
"Oh, why not?"
"Well, it's a long story, let me tell you about it over a coffee? A really nice, strong, black coffee?"
I saw the hesitation for a moment.... "....emmm. Great, let's have that coffee after we've seen the exhibition. It'll be really sweet, we can sit and talk about the experience!"
"Oh really? Yeah. That would be really good. That sounds perfect. But unfortunately, impossible."
"Ansel Adams is dead, isn't she? And that makes me very sad. I can't possibly discuss her without welling up."
"She is a he. You don't want to go, do you?"
"What?? Of course I do. Brilliant idea, it's just.... oooh. Look! Chipmunk! Squirrel!!"
We went in to see the Ansel Adams exhibition.
Wow. Very, very impressive. In fact, so much so, that I got a little bit motivated, and went out to buy some extra bits and pieces for the camera. A great shop -
The store manager was very helpful, and also somewhat motivational. Time that I had a go at improving my photos (yes, most of the good photos in this blog are Sarah's :) )! I even went out and bought a few books, including a history of photography. No, I did not need a new firm pillow; I actually found it quite fascinating, and read it end to end (600 pages) over the next couple of days.
Of course, nothing was going to save me from the Georgia O'Keefe experience. I knew that Sarah was excited to go and explore the art and the story. So we posted our packages and postcards back home at the Santa Fe Post Office (incredible - posting stuff at a Post Office...), and O'Keefed it.
A violent Santa Fe street gang that hunt innocent chipmunks
After the Santa Fe part of the O'Keefe circus, we headed North, planning to see the landscapes that so inspired her for much of her 98 years - so we headed initially just up the road for Los Alamos.
(I'm not supposed to repeat this, so don't tell her I told you, but as we planned to leave on June 5th am, Sarah and I had the following conversation:
Sarah: "Los Alamos? I always wanted to go there."
Me: "Really, why?"
"Well, there was that big fight there."
"It wasn't a fight, it's where they built the bomb that finished the fight!"
"But there was.. lots of Mexicans and Americans and Indians and stuff. A big gun battle where some guy with a chipmunk fettish (complete with chipmunk hat) saved everybody."
"You mean The Alamo?"
"Yeah, that's it! Told you."