Our final stop in the Land of Enchantment on this little tour was Santa Fe, the one place I had the most recommendations for. Hooray! We camped overnight in what can best be described as a patch of flying dust in the desert outside town, which left us very dirty but provided a beautiful sunset. The next morning we took a brief detour south to visit two small towns known for looking like (and occasionally acting as) a movie set- Los Cerrillos and Madrid. Between the two we saw old west style buildings, a diner that was not a diner but rather a gift shop about the movie Wild Hogs that I guess had scenes filemed here, which I was sad to find being in need of coffee, a park with an abundance of wooden scenes to take photos in, and a park I was excited to see but was closed that has giant origami-like sculptures… we glimpsed a few from the gate but that was a bummer.

We rolled into Santa Fe very hungry thanks to the non-diner travesty, and went directly to a cafe on the main plaza that had been recommended, and proceeded to eat dinner entrees of enchaladas and meatloaf at 11am. So good. Kevin and I wandered through the plaza and more shops than I care to recall, and I bought a turquoise ring because this was my goal for thie state, and little else thank goodness for my bank account.

I love how so many of the buildings embrace and have kept the adobe/pueblo feel, and the many planters and gardens filled with colorful flowers. Such a pretty town! We walked through a few church gardens, and stopped in at a former church that boasts a magical set of spiral stairs constructed without nails and architecturally speaking shouldn’t stand but do. The original steps didn’t have a railing, so you couldn’t have paid me to go up there in that case. There’s a myth that the carpemter who made them appeared mysteriously without leaving a full name or accepting payment, but some say this was a story spread by a powerful family who killed the guy so no one would ask about him so… who knows. In any case, pretty!

After leaving the plaza area we stopped by the (closed) state capitol building, a local college where there was a giant whale made of garbage plastic to raise awareness or something (named Ethyl because she’s made of polyethylene), and walked up and down a street filled with art galleries. I was delighted to find a gallery we were drawn to was almost all filled with smaller versions of the same artist’s origami inspired sculptures as the closed park- hooray! If I were super loaded I’d build a garden decorated with these awesome pieces.

We had some margaritas at a place recommended on the way out of town and debated whether to stay another day to visit a dormant volcano you can drive up, but decided to head back to Golden that night. It was a long drive, but happy to have had a day to recombobulate and relax before we headed our separate ways. With so much closed I’ll have to go back for sure, but my first foray into this lovely state was amazing.

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