As we leave Elephant Butte Lake State Park, there is little evidence of the driving wind and snow from the day before. We wait until 9:30 a.m. before hitting the road. We want to make sure any snow and ice further to the north has had an opportunity to melt. Near as we can tell, Elephant Butte received a fraction of snow fall in comparison to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Seems like we were at the southern end of this massive storm reaching north into Colorado and Wyoming.
After two hours of travel, we pass through Albuquerque, New Mexico, and past the Sandia Casino. With as many times as we travel between our home in Colorado and our son’s home in Arizona, the Sandia Casino is usually a favorite overnight boondock spot for us. During this trip, we’ll just wave as we pass. The Sandia Casino has a huge parking lot dedicated for RV’s….no trucks. The casino offers a couple of good restaurants, nice bar, RV parking next to the golf course, and a beautiful view of Sandia Peak. Feeling lazy? There’s even a shuttle bus roaming the parking lot.
We continue our drive north of Albuquerque. After an hour, we arrive in Santa Fe. We pull into the Santa Fe Skies RV Park and are assigned a nice pull-thru site. There’s barely a hand full of us camped here, and I appreciate management spreading us out so none of us are in the same row – no neighbors. The park is very conveniently located; just one mile off Interstate 25 and close to just about everything. Even though they offer FULL hook-ups year round, we just hook up to electric. We have plenty of water in our holding tank that we’ll use. I’ll have to do another post on our winter camping routine.
After a quick-lunch, Al and I head back over to the office to scour the racks of literature and brochures on the Santa Fe area. With an arm full of propaganda we return to the rig and make a plan for the following day. The weather forecast is iffy….oh, joy! So I want to make sure we prioritize.
If there is only one thing I am able to see during this stay in Santa Fe, it is the Loretto Chapel. I’ve seen this Chapel featured on numerous TV shows over the years. I believe it’s the former “homebuilder” in me that puts this particular Chapel at the top of my list.
The Loretto Chapel is formerly a Roman Catholic church, but today functions as a museum and wedding chapel. The chapel’s “miraculous” spiral staircase is an architectural wonder; its construction is the subject of a lot of speculation. Two mysteries surround the spiral staircase in the Loretto Chapel; the identity of its builder and the physics of its construction.
Al and I were both moved by this visit. The craftsmanship and spirit are beyond words. We were fortunate to have visited this amazing structure with very few other visitors. We found it simply breathtaking; the marble altar, the stained glass, the statues, the overall structure, and then of course the staircase…..stunning!
If we weren’t able to see anything else that day, Al and I would have been just fine. But alas, the weather held out just long enough for us to see a few more sites…..
For now I’ll leave you with more images of the Loretto Chapel. Click on any photo to view a slide show in a larger format.