A slow rising this morning, but DH wanted to see the Chapel of Loretto again. We had seen it years ago, and he never believed the staircase in the chapel was a miracle. But he wanted to check it out again as he is amazed by the carpenter’s craftsmanship. Oh, it is a beautiful place!
Since we had another good parking place, I took another turn at the vendors under the portal. I was glad I looked again because I found several nice things with vendors different from the day before.
About noon, we got some crackers and a drink to eat on the road north. We took our time, took some side roads again, and visited Abiqui where Georgia O’Keefe painted. We got tied up with a local storyteller who was a dandy. His stories will be shared another day. He told us how to drive the mile path that O’Keefe walked while she lived in the village. It was interesting to see.
The rest of the afternoon was moseying through O’Keefe country. We did not make it very far, coming into Chama about 4:30. But we had had nothing to eat other than crackers so we were quite hungry! We stopped at a small grocery where we found cooked chops, potato salad, bread, and paper plates we took to a motel room for our lunch/supper.
We are wearing down earlier now. In the mornings we start the day a little later, go a few less miles. It is okay. This trip was intended to be slow and full of leisure. So far, our travel has been true to plan.
This morning we got up and hung around Chama. We have ridden the steam train here a few years ago. It was a wonderful ride, my favorite steam ride yet. The main part of town is maybe three blocks. We found a sweet train shirt for Baby Simon, had a glass of iced tea, and headed up the road.
I had marked Dulce as a next stop. Dulce is the headquarters of the Jicarilla Apache nation. Their reservation is somewhat different than the pueblos south of them. A Plains Indian, they did not use the high rise rock and adobe homes. Those on this reservation live in traditional homes now; their schools are beautiful. A sharp young Apache mother invited me to apply for a teaching position with the tribal schools. She had reared three children as a single mom and had two in college and one in sixth grade. She was proud of her mothering and rightly so!
This woman guided us to a 17 mile gravel road to Pagosa Springs. We took it and the land held its own beauty but was rough. The Apache reservation is one more example of how an indigenous people was pushed on to worthless land to live. About halfway through the back road, we pulled over and ate a picnic lunch. There was not one sound…silence was beautiful.
Then we pulled in to Pagosa where we were so tired we registered at something akin to the infamous Bates Motel! Knowing the room was not going to be very comfortable, we took a dash into town. We visited a couple of antique stores, a wonderful independent book store (and no, I could not leave without a book in hand!), visited a park with a stream running through it, and then stopped at a local joint for an icy Coors and onion rings. Neither of us wanted a meal. Then back to the rough but cheap room for sleep as both were tired.