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I Need Fresh Air

I Need Fresh Air

I need fresh air. We are still locked down. The NYT has published stories that sun, warm temperatures MAY not kill this virus. Never mind that it kills all known viruses and fresh air and sunshine has been good for people for centuries.

Where to Go?
A beautiful day to be on a trail

A beautiful day to be on a trail in the Galisteo Basin. You can see for 50 miles.

The main question I had was where to go. Last week I had led a group up into the mountains and hiked among the trees. This week I wanted semi flat and wide-open terrain. I knew the trails at Galisteo Basin were just the ticket. The Galisteo Basin is only a fifteen-minute drive south of Santa Fe.

The Hike.
Old windmill stand silent

Old windmill stand silent along a trail in the Galisteo Basin.

I began the hike at 8:30 am. I need fresh air and it was plentiful. The temperature was just right. Not to cool and not to hot. The sky was clear and the sun was shining bright. The views extended for 50 miles in all direction. I like these trails because as I said they are fairly flat. At least they start out that way. The view is un-interrupted for 360 degrees around you. Starting a hike on this fairly flat terrain allows your mussels to flex and stretch.  You fill your lungs with fresh clean air and spirts begin to lift.

Going up.

The trails at Galisteo Basin are not all flat. After you get your legs working and you breath in copious amounts of fresh Santa Fe air you begin to go up hill. The ridges are not too high. Just enough to work the legs a bit more. The climb makes me take some deep breaths. I take more deep breaths. I need fresh air! I’m getting that fresh air!

On Top

The ridges are certainly not the top of the world here around Santa Fe but they do provide and unobstructed view for miles around.  I never get tired of these fantastic views which hiking around Santa Fe provide.

Finish

Three hours on the trial has revived my spirts and given me hope for the future.

A hike with Santa Fe Footprints is just the ticket for you.

Get out and snowshoe

Get out and snowshoe

Quarantine! Yes, we all must but I could take no more. I had to get out and snowshoe. Walking and hiking were fine but I just had to do something different. The question was what? I have already written about the up side of Coronavirus. That blog was about discovering new walking trails around Santa Fe. The river trail is interesting and it has taken me to new areas of the city but I needed something else. That something else was snowshoeing.

Why snowshoe?

I had received a pair of snowshoes for Christmas and they were still unused. I ski during the winter and was not sure when and where to try out these interesting gifts. Then the virus hit. Ski Santa Fe valiantly stayed open for a few days but finally gave in and announced the end of their season. A few days later a thought occurred to me. Now that you can no longer ski, why not get out and snowshoe. It seemed like the perfect solution.

Where to snowshoe?

The next question to be answered was where. The Valles Caldera is nice and flat but it is about an hour away. I was sure it still had snow but how much? Of course, I could look out my window and see that Ski Santa Fe had plenty of snow. Ski Santa Fe is was the obvious choice.

On the mountain

I reached the parking lot at about 10:00. No need to hurry. I was surprised by the number of cars in the lot. Being on the mountain was not a novel idea. There were quite a few people with skies. Other were just hiking with boots only. The bottom area was covered by about an inch of snow but I could see up the bunny slope and it looked good. I snowshoed my way up to Totemoff’s. Unfortunately, it was closed so no beer.

Top of the mountain Ma !!!

The question now was do I go back down or head on up. I was here to get out and snowshoe so it was head on up! It was up Thunderbird to Crossover and to the top of Tesuque! It was a hard slog but I made it! I took in the view and headed down. Snowshoeing down is much easier than up. Would I do it again? Yes! The snow still looks good so next time I will go all the way to the antennas.

Want to go snowshoeing? Contact Santa Fe Footprints.

 

 

The Upside of Coronavirus

The Upside of Coronavirus

In a strange turn of fate, I have discovered the upside of coronavirus. First of all, my tour business, Santa Fe Footprints, has been destroyed. At least for now. All bookings from March 14th through the end of April have been cancelled. One hardy group with a booking for May 1st is still hanging on. Hang in there guys!!! The dark night will pass! Morning will come! Easter may bring resurrection in more ways that one!

Start of the Upside

You may be saying; Bob I’m not quite seeing the upside. Once I accepted the situation I found I was sleeping like a rock. My mind had been full of tour issues. How to schedule the bus. New bookings for the historic walking tour. Arrange transportation for the shopping tour. What shops will the ladies enjoy most? Which trail is best for a group of hikers?  Now all of those issues are gone. At least for now and hopefully not for long.

Now I must admit I am luckier than many. I will survive without the income from Santa Fe Footprints but it did provide a very nice supplement.

The Upside

Now for the real upside. Being unable to just stay inside I have begun taking long walks. I have hiked and walked the city before but the coronavirus has given me time to discover much more of the city. It appears many others have been unable to stay inside and have taken to the trails. I pass many others, at a safe distance of course, on these trails.

The River Walk

One of the most enjoyable city trails that I have discovered is the El Comino Real Walking Trail. This is a paved trail along the Santa Fe River. The pavement is wide enough for good social distancing. Bikers are generally courteous and let you know they coming. I enjoy watching the big machines working in the river bed setting up dikes and falls to repair the damage from the thousand-year flood of a few years back.

Murals

I found the most enjoyable and surprising part of the trail was heading east from Ricardo Rd. Murals have been painted on the walls along the trail. They were painted by a youth group and they are incredible. I discovered John F Ray Griego Park with its moving Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A little further down the trail is Bicentennial Alto Park. A lovely place I plan to visit more even after the coronavirus is just a memory.

The winding road muralRolling down the highway.Hope for the future during coronavirusTeepee, painting or real?Tecolote looking for coronavirusThe river runs through it.Building a zuni bowl

The coronavirus panic has caused much pain and loss but it has force me and I hope others to reconnect with the little pleasures of life. Remember, morning will come.

Death Valley Road Trip

When a friend asked if I would like to do a road trip to Death Valley this past January, how could I refuse.

This was the best time to experience Death Valley due to the temperatures. In the summer it is the hottest place in the USA. Temp should range from 38 to 65 so we had to bring warm and light clothes. We weren’t sure what to bring, but we are guys a pair of jeans, hiking pants, couple of shirts and warm jackets were all we needed. No need for four or five pairs of shoes !!

Off to Death Valley

We fly from Santa Fe to Las Vegas then our road trip begins as we drive toward Death Valley. The Nevada town of Pahrump was the last stop in Nevada before California and Death Valley. You just have to love a town called Pahrump!

We are in Death Valley. The lowest, hottest and driest place in the USA. This is truly a unique and odd place. I expected interesting scenery but I was taken aback by the incredible and uniqueness of the place. Only the pictures of the Artist Plate, The Devils Golf Course and Bad Water Basin can do Justus. They are in the slide show.  It is a truly incredible place.

The Devils Golf CourseSunset at Bad Water basinUbehebe creatorDarwin FallsSunset on the sand dunesThe Red Rock Cathedral

We had dinner at the Ranch Steak house which is quite the place. Lots of old west stuff on the walls. We were both a bit shocked at the prices. This is the only place for miles around and everything has to be shipped in but still, $48 for an ok steak. Well the beer was cold.

Day 2 in Death Valley

Today we started out on the Salt Marsh and it was cold. 30 some odd and windy. The little salt stream is supposed to have puppy fish. We saw none.

Next was the Keane Wonder Mine. A gold mine from the early 1900s. Fun to visit with an old mining engineer.

Then the Ubehebe crater. This is a volcano and the landscape is amazing. I was surprised that there were about 8 cars in the lot because we had seen none on the drive out. We hiked about half way around and up to Little Ubehebe. We had our  lunch, PBJ sandwiches made in the morning, as we sat overlooking this amazing sight.

Next stop was Darwin falls, the only water in Death Valley. We hiked up to the falls, which are not big, maybe 12 to 15 feet but still nice. We found a photographer from Santa Fe there with a pro camera. His studio is in Santa Fe but I have not stopped in to see his work or the picture he took of the fall. On the way back, I wondered what happens to the river, stream actually. We followed it and eventually is just disappears into the sand.

Day 3 in Death Valley

The Mosaic Canyon trail leads up a canyon with many colored rock formations. A nice hike up a fairly flat canyon. We climb a bit then decided that it was late and well we didn’t want to climb the big rocks. One interesting thing is we kept running into the same groups of people at each stop. All nice folks and we all headed to the Mesquite Sand Dunes for a sunset docent tour.

The docent pointed out various tracks of the little critter that live on the dunes. Beatles, Kangaroo rats and other stuff. We saw a bug but no rats. We stayed until after sunset. With the setting sun the mountains become purple.  Purple mountains, majesty.

Final Day in Death Valley

The final stop in Death Valley was the Golden Canyon trail. Again, we run into several groups from the day before. The trail leads up a canyon to the Red Rock Cathedral. Impressive sight. We got to the base and climb up a bit but decided we didn’t have time to go to the top. Also, it looked really hard. All the young kids did it so more power to them !!!!

An excellent road trip. It was colder than I had expected and I sort of would like to experience Death Valley in July when temperatures can reach 120 degrees. Then you would know you were in Death Valley !!!

Click for information about Tours of Santa Fe.

Stop over in New York City.

Stop over in New York City.

 

Window shop while doing a Stop over in New York City

Window shopping in New York

New York City. This no place like it in the world. We did a stop over in New York City for a few days there before our trip to South Africa. The big new thing is ‘The Vessel’ in Hudson Yards. The Vessel is a public art project meant to attract people to Hudson Yards. It worked !!

Hudson Yards is the new high end (this is New York after all) mixed use development. The Vessel is this amazing thing and you can climb to the top, if you dare. It is eleven stories tall but climb is easy and fun. There are many landing areas as you go up. Each area give you a different view of the city, the river (Hudson) and the surrounding area. The stores at Hudson Yards are the same old high end stuff and frankly, not that impressive but the Vessel is a must see item.

Walking Down Fifth Avenue.

We of course walked down Fifth Avenue and there the shopping is, well very New York. The picture above is a display window at Bergdorf-Goodman. Now, as I said, there is no place like New York but the same is true for Santa Fe. We lived in New York City, Brooklyn actually, for three years but when the time came to leave we had the entire country to chose from and we choose Santa Fe.

New York vs. Santa Fe

I like to say Santa Fe is just like New York minus the crowds and super high prices. Come see us this Christmas season. You will not be disappointed ! Of course, if you do get the chance, you must do a stop over in New York City!

While you are out here in Santa Fe and you need to take a day off from the fantastic skiing or the incredible shopping, consider a tour of this historic city. Click here for more information about a great Historic Walking Tour.