Alas! We made it to Shiprock, NM and its a lot different that I thought it would be. I guess I secretly imagined it’ll be a hospital in the middle of some sand right next to a giant rock but its actually a little town with fast food restaurants and grocery stores so its not exactly out in the middle of nowhere. Maybe just a little bit.
MAY 19, 2012 –
Anyways, last time I checked in here, we ended with horse back riding at Palo Duro Canyon which was just alright. The next morning we took a jeep tour of Palo Duro that lasted about an hour and a half. Due to the rain, none of the other trails were available so we didn’t get to go on the longer tours, but it was still worth it. One of the reviews gave this place (Elkins Ranch) a one star exclaiming “The roads are so bumpy! These trails are not meant to be ridden on – they seem so dangerous and close to the edge!” Uhm. That sounds AWESOME. So we went and it was awesome. The parts of the canyon we saw from this tour went up to 800 feet and the tour guide was pretty great with all her stories.
Elkins Ranch had the jeep tours
Palo Duro Canyon
In conclusion about extra things to do at Palo Duro Canyon:
jeep tour > horse back riding
The parts of the canyon you see with the horse back riding (the one outside the national park at least) was only about 200 feet deep so it wasn’t too awesome. Someone mentioned horse back riding within the park but I’m not too sure about that. We also didn’t drive into the park, but its suppose to be pretty spectacular.
After that, we finally headed to New Mexico
As we were in New Mexico, we would go off the freeway to go see some parts of the historic route 66. Its pretty cool to see all the old signs back from the day it was poppin’. Its hard to imagine that it was only over a little 50 years ago that this place was a hustlin’ and bustlin’ yet its so dilapidated now. This was probably our longest stretch of continuous driving though we did stop in Tucamcari to eat at Rockin Ys and it was delicious. Lauren got the chicken fried steak and I got the chicken fried chicken and they were both divine. But next stop was Madrid, NM.
So apparently this use to be a ghost town but local artists decided to take over. So now its considered a local arts community squeezed up in the mountains right on Turquoise Trail. (Turquoise discovered, lots of towns popped up, once turquoise was gone, lots of ghost towns). I mean, it was cute and worth a stop for most people, but everything was sorely over priced and not all original artists. The only good thing that came out of this place was I bought some really awesome boots.
Then we went to Santa Fe which is home of the oldest Catholic church and some famous staircase built by St. Joseph. Cute town with a nice downtown square, nice weather, and has a microbrewery. Very short stop, but its just another cute town with stuff to take pictures of[\. Speaking of which, we found this cool sculpture art thing and of course we had to stop.
MAY 20, 2012
Functional art – that is one of my new goals in life. I mean EVERYBODY needs a mailbox, right?
I look so happy…
Giant Lizards! Not so functional
And that was the start of day 3 – more weird sculpture picture taking.
Then we went to the Shidoni Foundry which was just a nice, outdoor sculpture gallery. On Saturdays you can see them pour metal so that would be worth a stop.
And off we went to the Flea Market which was about 10 minutes outside of Santa Fe. So there we met this cool guy who goes by the name of Jimmy Hornfeather. READ THIS PART OF THE STORY.
So Jimmy is nomad who hails from California. One day Jimmy was fishing and pulled out to what he believes is some type of horn that is kinda in a shape of a feather. So he finds something sharp and kinda defines it more and shapes it to a feather. One day someone sees his feather necklace he is wearing and asks him to make him one. Jimmy said no, how in the world am I going to get more horn. So this guy comes back with a whole rack of horn and tells him if he carves him a feather, he can have the whole rack. And this is how he started his feather carving business. Now Jimmy travels all around the states, no cell phone, no website, and teaches people how to carve these feathers. And of course Lauren asks if he’ll teach her and soon she walked away with a half made feather and a file for her to finish on her spiritual journey. And there’s a song about him! That we found! That I can’t get to right now because there’s no internet…
We then headed to Chimayo which is known as the Lourdes of America. Note – remember to take the scenic route because the view is amazing. The internet isn’t working right now, but from what I remember, I believe a priest discovered a cross in the dirt then this dirt had healing powers. So people all over come to be healed, either physically or spiritually. There’s a little spot where people have left their crutches and casts that they didn’t need anymore and also a wall of pictures of loved ones that you want to be prayed for. They also let you bring containers or baggies to take some of the dirt back home (like bringing water home from Lourdes) so I brought some home for my mom! Right when we got there, mass was about to start so we stayed and it was beautiful. I mean, look at this place – this is where mass is held over there.
So after that, we took a slighter longer route to go find the Echo Amphitheater which is off 54 N, right above Abiquiu. The drive was worth it – this part of the drive, including getting to Chimayo was just breath taking. So for those going to Shiprock, head 54 N and take the long way! But don’t go to CO, you have to head west at some point too. I mean, check this out.
Anyways, the Echo Amphitheather – its this beautiful, natural amphitheater and a great pit stop. You just stop by and take some stairs up to it. You can also take the off beaten path to the side which is we did to take those pictures of us.
The off beaten path led us to this side of it
And then we FINALLY headed to Shiprock, our final destination. We will eventually visit the actual Shiprock later. Internet is horrible so as I post this, I actually just got back from a day trip in Colorado so expect more soon :)