Saturday, September 22, 2017 – Traveling Route 66 is kind of like trying to find your way anywhere in the dark. Sometimes the only way to know is to see the sign to the right here every now and then along the route.
When Route 66 gets to Albuquerque from the west, it goes both eastward toward Oklahoma City, and northward towards Santa Fe. We are currently staying in Tijera, NM very near Albuquerque. Since Sante Fe is a fairly famous US city I decided we’d take a drive there one day. I really had nothing specific to see in Sante Fe and realized this the day before we went. I asked friends on Facebook (they always come through for me!) what we should do on our way there or in Sante Fe and got some great suggestions. Nancy Duvic said that downtown Sante Fe was great, BJ Smith said that Gabriel’s was a great restaurant and Deborah Thompson suggested we go through Madrid, NM because it was a cool little town with lots of neat shops. Those three stops made it to our list (it was really all on our list!) but we didn’t accomplish seeing downtown Sante Fe very much or getting to enjoy the shops in Madrid, NM though we did see the town.
We took Route 66 from Tijera west to Albuquerque to see Route 66 in that stretch. What we found were several Route 66 old signs and business signs in places where the businesses have long gone away.
Next on our way north I discovered a “must see” Restored Trading Post in Santo Domingo on our Route 66 New Mexico map.We put it in the GPS and two trading posts showed up so we set our course for the first. The more we drove the deeper into a really poor area we went. It was the poorest area I’ve ever been in. I felt really bad taking photos of the worst areas so the three are of an area that wasn’t the worst.
After seeing that and not finding the Trading Post we went to find the other Trading Post and didn’t find that. One very nice building stood out from the rest. We pulled over so I could get a photo of that and a man in another car jumped out and told me no photos of the church were allowed. I told him I didn’t know it was a church so I apologized and got back in the car. We rode around that area a bit more and decided that the information on the Route 66 map did not work well with our GPS so we didn’t find any trading post.
Then we made our way into Sante Fe and when I saw a Trader Joe’s sign I asked Roy to turn in there. My boss Curtis loves Trader Joe’s as do many other RVillagers. I’d never seen one and couldn’t imagine what was so special about it. As soon as you walk in you see it is different. Every single thing that I saw was made by Trader Joe’s. No Campbell’s soup, no soft drinks, and everything was healthy or organic. Most things in the store I’ve never seen before. Here’s some photos I took there
Everything was very reasonably priced for such a unique store. So many different types of food and even in this healthy organic place Roy and I found cookies and candies to buy. I will be looking for more Trader Joe’s as we travel!
I hid these rocks in the parking lot and didn’t realize a lady in her car saw me do it. She approached me in the store to ask what that was about. I told her and she loved the idea of putting a smile on someone else’s face by using something so simple as a rock.
At this point we’d had two detours, one the poor mexican area that took us way off the interstate and this amazing find of a Trader Joe’s which we walked each and every aisle checked each thing out!
Our GPS showed Gabriel’s to be almost 25 minutes away so we decided to head towards Gabriel’s for dinner which gave us very little time to visit downtown. We did get to see the University of New Mexico
Along the interstate (where there was no Route 66) we saw this cool roadside art.
We accomplished probably the most important which is eating!!! BJ Smith, a friend of ours from church recommended Gabriel’s Restaurant in Sante Fe. It is way, way out on the outskirts of Sante Fe and we thought surely we were lost but was delightfully happy when we found it and got to enjoy their delicious food. They made guacamole dip for our chips at our table to our preference. It’s on the menu as an appetizer and is well worth it.
We are not use to Real Mexican food but we did know to ask for no hot chilis. Roy and I eat at La Caretta’s in Amite and the one in Hammond when we are home. We always get the same things, a Grilled Shrimp Taco Salad for me and the LaCaretta’s Special for Roy. Gabriel’s menu was so big and had so much it took us a while but we wound up ordering the same type thing here. Roy ate every bite of his big plate of food with the same three items he got at LaCaretta. I loved my taco salad except that they didn’t have shrimp so I had chicken in my taco salad.
After being absolutely stuffed from eating all of this we headed back to our RV. We went a different way back because of a recommendation from our friend Deborah to see the small town of Madrid. After miles and miles of nothing but desert, all of a sudden there is this cool little town of house after house which are shops! Unfortunately by the time we got there it was 6 to 6:30 and the shops were closed. Also the sun was directly in our eyes so what was there we couldn’t see too well. This was the only photo that I got!
I really wish we could have visited this charming place, Roy not so much! I looked on the internet for Madrid, New Mexico photos and found a bunch. Here are a few that can give you an idea of what it’s like.
This day could have been a bomb for us but it turned out to be a great over all day. I had a great brain day and not having to do very much strenuous helped me not be totally wiped out when getting back home. Although I think the fact that I slept until 11 am today does show I needed that much rest but again today is a rest day so I’ve been blogging and rock painting all day. We will rest Saturday and travel Sunday to see a couple of things in Santa Rosa, NM and then on to Tucumcari, NM to see more Route 66 things for a couple of days.
From there we continue east on Route 66 ending in Oklahoma City before we head back south to go home.
Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!