The Final Haul...Not a MiniFan
|Previous Moab Trip
Our plan was to take the East Gate of the Grand Canyon, AZ and head to Moab, UT. However, due to the fresher snow and due to short-handed staff over the Christmas Holiday, the roads were not plowed. Our only choice was to double back to Flagstaff, AZ. From there it’s 6-of-one and half-dozen-of-the-other to go to Grand Junction, CO or go to Santa Fe, NM. GJ route was estimating an hour less drive time than New Mexico but with the limitations of our stupid minivan the snowy roads were likely more dangerous via San Jaun/Sangre De Christo mountain ranges and we would likely lose any time gained. (Next trip: Suburban! Or better yet Syncro Vanagon!)
Nonetheless, our kids have been to Moab and Grand Junction so Santa Fe was a good opportunity to see something new. Our drive took us on I-40 and something I never realized existed in the southwest: ancient lava flows in a fairly intact state. There are plants, grasses and lichen but, even from the road, you could tell the fingerlings of a’a flow. The Spanish named this lava area Malpais for “bad lands”. It was nice to tie together the volcanoes of Hawaii, the formation of the Canyon and proof of volcanic deposition in the US.
|Hawaii A'a Flow
didn't take picture of NM,
imagine with scrubland and lichen
Our final night stay was in Santa Fe and the Wood Family Circus partook in the age-old tradition of finding a roadside hotel with a swimming pool for the kids and hot tub for the grown-ups. Again, no Christie Brinkley was spotted during our Holiday Road trip.
We had breakfast on the Plaza in Old Town Santa Fe at the Plaza Café. They offer really excellent SW tomatillo and chipotle salsa and Mexican mocha. Most the original buildings have been replaced with modern adobe building, but it has an authentic feeling in a very art-collector kind of way. This is also their hub of museums. From here we discovered Fort Marcy and Marcy Street. (At least Santa Fe spells it right.) Interesting story behind Fort Marcy – in the late 1800’s a local gal discovered a stash of silver coins under some bricks of the brick walls. We can assume these are the soft sandstone mud bricks characteristic of this area. Upon announcement many other “greedy-guts” (as my children called them) dug-up almost every square inch to no reward and at the destruction of the entire Fort.
With a desire to head home, we skipped the Georgia O-Keefe Museum and made our final leg back to Loveland and the return of our minivan. I have not been converted into a MiniFan I shall keep my Jeep!