Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Leaving Las Vegas and Arriving Santa Fe

Life in Las Vegas, New Mexico treated us very well. Yesterday, the kids got to stay home from school after seven inches of heavy snow fell throughout the night from Sunday to Monday. We all reveled in the joys of a snow day, with pancakes for breakfast, a snowball fight, and an afternoon movie followed by a walk down the snowy and muddy road with the horses in tow.

Today we (somewhat reluctantly) took our leave of Las Vegas after seven days and nights on the Ruge Ranch. It was a glorious week of horses, hot tubs, nature, fun, and relaxation in the country. Not driving at all for seven days was like heaven, the rig sitting quietly in the driveway like a forlorn beast of burden. Our dear friends treated us like family, and our time on the ranch was restful and healing in many ways, and for this we are so very grateful.

Driving through the mud and snow this morning, Mary handled the rig like a pro as we fishtailed our way up and down the curvy country roads. Once on the highway, we made good time to Santa Fe where we had a RV technician look at our malfunctioning refrigerator and furnace. Magically, both appliances are now working like a charm, and we drove away grateful that no costly repairs were needed.

Downtown Santa Fe was bustling with tourists and locals alike this afternoon, with many people in t-shirts soaking up the sun despite temperatures in the upper 40s and lower 50s. We wandered through the central plaza, observed the local Native American merchants selling their wares, and ducked into the library to buy a few one dollar novels for the road. Speaking to one of the librarians, I learned that the library once served as the city jail, and I also learned that New Mexico has one of the highest rates of food insecurity and child hunger in the country. The irony was not lost on me as I observed wealthy tourists emerge from high end shops with expensive trinkets whose value could purchase school lunches for entire classrooms.

At any rate, coming to the city after a week in the country is indeed somewhat shocking. After not having heard a vehicle for a week, the hustle and bustle and exhaust of the urban landscape is a notable change. However, as always we are grateful for friends and connections who consistently make our trip so special. We are now parked in front of an old friend's house just outside of the center of town, and a number of other friends and acquaintances who we plan to see will certainly help to make our visit here interesting and fun.

Leaving Las Vegas was definitely difficult to do after such a dreamy week of rural luxury, but we have many more places to go and people to see, and we are certainly gathering no moss as we continue to roll along our merry way.

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