Day 32: (23 miles) After spending a relaxing morning at the B&B, we continued heading north on the Turquoise Trail (also known as route 14). Today would be short in miles since we were planning on meeting up with Jen and Dwight (the nice couple we met in Winslow, AZ) who live on the eastern outskirts of Santa Fe. We arrived in the area around 1:30pm, but stopped at Starbucks for some food and a rest. We then headed to their place in the ‘old’ part of Santa Fe along the Camino Real Road. Jen must have intuitively known we arrived because no sooner than our wheels stopped rolling, she had the gate open for us. She and Susie enthusiastically greeted us, we exchanged hugs, and checked into the Airstream for the night. They gave us a tour of their wonderful home. An original adobe building from the 1800s, they remodeled it in 2009. It was more modern than most adobe homes and artistically beautiful! Of course we didn’t expect anything less from these two creative souls. Interesting art pieces were strategically placed throughout, the living room had floor to ceiling bookshelves, and character radiating every where you looked. Since moving to the property they’ve built a garden, planted all sorts of fruit trees, built a separate yoga studio, and turned a shipping container into an office. It was impressive and inspiring. We chatted and caught up on where the last week and a half had taken us both, and they took us downtown for a tour. It was wonderful to see Santa Fe with the help of local eyes and be given the local history. They treated us to the most delicious meal we’ve had on this trip at a place called Pasqual’s- a restaurant serving fresh organic food. The ambiance was great with colorful pennants hung from wall to wall, wall paintings, and the perfect lighting. It is so well liked that walk-ins face a 4-5-hour wait. Being a group of hopeful walk-in ourselves, we were fortunate that they took our number in case of a cancellation, and within a 20-minute walk, they had called us to say they could squeeze us in. After filling our bellies to the brim and enjoying the good company, we happily departed back to their adobe home. Being so full and happy, I think it took us a whole ten minutes to pass out after our bodies hit the bed.
Day 33: (17 miles) Awaking without an alarm in the comfort of the Airstream, after a quality nights’ rest, we slowly made our way to the house. Jen was in the kitchen and coffee was already percolating on the stove. Following Dwight into the living room, we greeted the morning talking about the news and sharing stories over tasty coffee. They also continued to spoil us by making a yummy breakfast of eggs and toast with homemade cherry jam. Energized for the day, we headed down to get packed. Dwight and Jen were expecting a friend later that morning to help with the garden. Not wanting to postpone their day, we offered our immeasurable gratitude, shared hugs, and open invitations, and said good bye to our new friends. Trusting Google maps to get us back to our route, we twisted and turned our way through southern Santa Fe, up the rolling hills, past bustling cafes, eventually reaching the Santa Fe KOA where we set up camp at site #9 and laid down to rest and stay out of the wind which had picked up to 25 mph. After an hour or two as the wind had settled down we took a walk around the park and stopped at their general store were we picked up some skittles and borrowed the Disney Pixar movie “Cars”. The rest of our night was spent eating dinner and enjoying an animated motorized version our journey along the forgotten highway.
Day 34: (53 miles) After sipping on our complementary coffee from the KOA, we packed up and headed out. The beginning of our day took us through Glorieta Pass which we learned hosted the battle known as the “Gettysburg of the west”. Although the confederates ‘won’ the battle, their hopes and intentions to advance and claim New Mexico were foiled by Union soldiers and “Colorado Volunteers’ that destroyed their supplies, forcing their retreat to Texas while the Union retained control of the state. Next we ventured through Pecos National Park where we again got a history lesson on the Spanish Settlement of the area dating back to the 1600s. Most of our day not only followed Historic Route 66, but also what is known as the Santa Fe Trail. A trail that ran from Missouri to Santa Fe which assisted in the trade amongst the states. The railroad would later follow this rutted horse and buggy path. It was nice having a few historic markers to break up the trip because most of the route consisted of challenging rolling hills. Although the last few days had been short in mileage, we were starting to feel the climbing toll on our bodies. We trudged on until we made it to Romeoville which hosted the Las Vegas KOA where we set up for the night.