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The Must See Miracle

The Must See Miracle

 

The Miracle Stairway of Loretto

A Walking tour group and the Loretto Chapel Miracle Stairway.

For visitors to Santa Fe the Miracle Stairway of Loretto Chapel is a MUST SEE.

The Chapel choir loft is 22 feet above the floor, but with no way to get there. Legend says that to find a solution to this problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and a toolbox looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed. Then carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. So, was this mystery man St. Joseph himself? Had he come in answer to the sisters’ prayers?

The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. The staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs.

Santa Fe Footprints Historic Walking Tour fills in the details and provides a discount admission to wonder at the Miracle Stairway.

The Santa Fe Trail

The Santa Fe Trail

Wagon Train Arriving in Santa Fe

The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route that connected  Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe , New Mexico. Pioneered in 1821 by William Becknell, the trail served as a vital commercial highway until the introduction of the Railroad to Santa Fe in 1880.

Comanche raiding farther south in Mexico isolated New Mexico. This made it more dependent on the American trade. It also provided the Comanches with a steady supply of horses for sale. By the 1840s, trail traffic along the Arkansas Valley was so heavy that bison herds could not reach important seasonal grazing land. This contributing to their collapse. The loss of the bison hastened the decline of Comanche power in the region.

After the U.S. acquisition of the New Mexico, the trail helped open the region to U.S. economic development and settlement. The trail played a vital role in the expansion of the U.S. into the lands it had acquired.

The story of the Santa Fe trail is one of the numerous features guest will enjoy when taking Santa Fe Footprints  Historic Walking Tour.

Blooming Cactus

Blooming Cactus

Blooming Yacca

Blooming Yacca

Now is the time to get out and hike the trails around Santa Fe. For the next few weeks the varieties of cactus from Claret Cup to Tree Cholla will be blooming. Yes, cactus does flower and when they do it is a sight not to be missed. In addition to the splendid cactus there are many colors of wildflowers lighting up the hillsides.

Sign up for one of the Santa Fe Footprints hiking tours and experience the flowering magic.

it’s time to stop shopping, put away the credit card and head for the hills. Natures beauty is unparalleled and best of all, it’s free!

Blue Flux

Blue Flux

Low & Slow!

Low & Slow!

Lowrider season has begun in Santa Fe. What’s lowrider? They are incredible pieces of movable and functional art. These customized cars are individually painted with intricate and very colorful designs. They have created an entire sub category of painting called lowrider art.

In addition to the super cool colors and mural art, they rise, lower and even jump up and down. Hydraulic or air bag systems allow the driver to make these cars come alive.

Kids in the 50s who could not afford a high-powered muscle car opted to go ‘Low & Slow’. To differentiate their cars, they began to murals, then to add hydraulic to lower and raise their rides. One ups men ship took hold and the creative race was on.

On several weekends this summer the guys and gals will be bringing their lowriders to Santa Fe for shows. These are in the Santa Fe Railyard or around the Plaza. These shows are one of many free public events which makes summer in Santa Fe not to be missed.

Santa Fe Footprints offers historic walking and hiking tours. After a fun day of touring, relax in one of the restaurants overlooking the Plaza, sip a local brew and watch a lowrider or two cruise the Plaza.

Canyon Road Historic Area

Canyon Road Historic Area

Adobe Wall with tile window

After walking on Canyon Road and taking in the art galleries walk down Garcia Street. Here you will encounter many of the charming old abobe houses that make up the Historic District. Stop and admire the unique walls, doors and windows. Stop in and have a coffee at Downtown Subscription.  After your refreshment, browse Garcia Street Books for an interesting book about Santa Fe.  Proceed up Acequia Madre street. View the  Mother Ditch irrigation cannel which provided life giving water to the old city of Santa Fe. Turn left on to Delgado Street and stole back to Canyon Road.

 

Bandelier Waterfall Hike

Bandelier Waterfall Hike

It’s spring and that means the record snow fall is melting. A wet spring and the melting snow means the rivers and creek are raging. A perfect time to hike the Bandelier National Monument Falls Trail. Sunday was a sunny day. Not too warm and not cool. In short, just right for a hike.

I had heard from a guest on a Historic Tour that the Bandelier Fall were raging. Last year I twice tried to hike to the falls. The first attempt was stopped by rain and lighting. It’s not a good idea to be hiking in Frijoles canyon with heavy rain in the mountains behind you. Evidence of flash floods are plainly visible. The second attempt was frustrated by a lack of water. Frijoles Creek was almost dry so there was no point in hiking to the falls.

This trip the water was roaring over the falls. First and 80 foot drop followed by a 40 foot drop. Quite a spectacular sight! On the hike back the cool waters looks so inviting I just had to take off my boots and dip my toes in the cool refreshing waters.

Bandelier National Monument is just one of the many delights that are only 30 minutes from Santa Fe. It’s just one of the items that make this city a great place to live or visit.