This morning we headed downtown and began our on-foot exploration of the Plaza and the area around it. The Plaza denotes the end of the Santa Fe Trail, some 900 miles from Franklin, Missouri. After walking for 4 ½ hours, except for a stop to have lunch at a Mexican restaurant, we are pooped. We shopped but didn’t help the downtown economy much since we only spent $4.64 on merchandise. Our lunch plus $10 for ice cream cones and $9 in parking helped out a bit. Some of the pottery was quite attractive but we are surprised vendors allow shoppers to pick up these fragile pieces since the shock from seeing the price on the bottom could easily cause a heart attack followed by dropping the object. One small (6 inches across) black piece we liked was $367! Yikes! We had to decide between buying pottery and putting gas in the motorhome. The pottery lost. We don’t care how you slice it $367 is a lot of money for something that you would put on a shelf and just collect dust.
We went inside the huge Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. A sign just inside the door provided a list of Do’s and Don’ts for visitors-including a request to not throw coins into the Baptismal Font. (They didn’t say anything about washing your hands. Some people sure get excited easily.) We also went into the San Miguel Mission which was closed when we were there two days ago. It claims to have been built circa 1610 and to be the oldest church structure in the US. A huge bell, 6 ft tall including the clapper, on a stand just inside the door was cast in 1356 and the docent said the priest rings it as he enters the church to say Mass. It is LOUD and would definitely wake up anyone snoozing in the pews. The Palace of the Governors is a fortress and castle built by order of the Spanish crown 1610-1612 and a sign on the building claims it is the oldest public building in the United States. It has been the seat of government under three flags – Spanish, Mexican and American. From 1610 to 1910 it was the residence of over a hundred Governors and Captains General. The Loretto Chapel features a 22 foot tall circular staircase built in 1878 without apparent support. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, TV specials, and movies including “Unsolved Mysteries” and the television movie titled “The Staircase.”
We found 6 geocaches along the way bringing our total finds to 600.
In the early 1900’s Santa Fe decided that all new buildings would be done in adobe using southwest architecture. Even McDonalds….
Last night when we went to bed there was a lot of smoke coming from two fires not far away to the east of us. This morning – no smoke at all. Some firefighters must have earned some overtime during the night. The Denver area has been having 4 inch hail, a tornado that touched down near their airport and flooding. Hope it gets it all out of its system before we get to Colorado Springs on Saturday.
Geocache total for the trip 88
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