by John L. Fuhring

Sightseeing in Old Santa Fe

     After seeing to the horses, we purchased a stronger ball for our improved hitch and some adequate safety chain hardware.  We then went into Santa Fe for a little sight seeing.  Santa Fe is a very unique place and has not been transformed (yet) into that ubiquitous mess of strip malls and Carl Jr.’s that characterizes Anyplace USA.

     The city of The Holy Faith (Santa Fe) has very strong local character and is full of (European) history that extends back into the early 17’th century.  We visited downtown and toured the Palace of the Governors, saw where General Lew Wallace wrote Ben Hur while military governor after the Civil War, relics and objects de art from early American cultures and Spanish times.  While in a rather upscale store, a young sales girl recognized from my accent that I was not a local and believe it or not, guessed correctly that I had lived in Northern Nevada where she was originally from (that never happened to me before).  She was from Round Mountain and we had a really nice time talking about Nevada and New Mexico.  We did talk for a long time and I sure hope she didn’t get into any trouble for spending so much time with a guy that ended up not buying anything.

     We also visited the Gothic Cathedral that the famous Bishop Lami built during the last half of the 19’th century.  A French Gothic building in the midst of all the Spanish Colonial architecture was somewhat incongruous, but not in any way an ‘ugyfication’.  Bishop Lami is the historical character that the book "Death Comes to the Archbishop" was based on and who featured large in the history of this region from before the Civil War to the turn of the century.  The Bishop’s bronze statue is in front of the cathedral and he looks like the kind of cleric you would not want to cross!  Keith is a very intelligent guy and he was obviously knowledgeable and interested in that portion of Western American history.

     By the way, New Mexico is not completely dry, but it is amazingly difficult to find a bar or any alcoholic beverages for sale anywhere.  After noon we started looking around for a "watering hole" and perhaps a little lunch.  We did find a bar in Santa Fe, but it was way in the back of one of the restaurant we went into.  We would have never known it was there except Bob insisted that we vacate the non-smoking section of the restaurant because there was a baby crying nearby (such a sweet guy).  We spent a very nice  hour or so tucked away in that little bar eating nachos and sipping icy margaritas.

     Unfortunately, we didn’t have nearly as much time as we wanted and really didn’t get to see very much.  We had to call it a day early so we could drive the 25 miles down to feed the horses and the 40 more miles back to Moriarty before its one and only New Mexican restaurant closed for the evening.

     When we got to the "stables" we found that the horses were fine.  Gave everyone’s horse the "Lite Salt treatment," fed them their alfalfa and made sure they had water for the night.

     Later when we had dinner in Moriarty, we were shocked and disappointed to learn that no alcohol was allowed to be served in Moriarty’s county on Sunday.  There were no margaritas for us that evening.  What a bummer!