Settling In

Sometimes you need a little serendipity when you travel, you know? So I booked this little casita in Santa Fe, knowing only that it was close to a Whole Foods, which I figured would be a good thing – especially when I decided to eschew a car for most of the trip and take the train from ABQ to here. Turns out I’m very close – less than half-a-mile – from the train station, which is a really good thing, because there were no taxis waiting outside the station when I arrived, after one of the longest travel days I’ve had in ages. So even with four – yes, count ‘em, four – pieces of luggage, I was able to walk here very quickly and settle in.

Yes, a good thing, because I was exhausted. Up at 4 am this morning to catch a 6:40 flight, layover at BWI, then a multi-hour wait for the train, since it basically stops running during midday. If I had rented a car, I would have been here in Santa Fe hours earlier. But then I would have paid for a car I basically don’t need until I go to Taos next week. And I would have missed the new perspective I got on this part of the state by taking the train.

Nothing like the scenery I couldn't photograph...

I didn’t expect much in the way of fall color, but there was one particular species of tree that had turned a deep yellow, and it jumped out against the brown background of the hills and mountains around it. Then, about half way to Santa Fe, we entered one of the pueblo’s tribal lands, and the conductor asked us not to take photos. I obliged of course, but I cringed with self-denial the whole way. The scenery was now more rural, without the trailers and simple adobe homes that dotted the landscape before this point. And the angle of the sun made the yellow trees explode with gold. Among the trees, the odd horse or cattle grazed, and I wanted to get off the train and just walk amidst that beautiful scenery, taking as many pictures as I could. But it was not to be. And when we left the tribal area, the landscape turned brown, the yellow trees mostly disappeared. Bummer.

Train kept a rollin'

But my casita is cozy (pics to follow) if slightly too cobwebbed  for my taste. And in another round of serendipity, a mighty fine brewpub is at the station, a mere 10-minute (if that) walk away. After a day-long traveler’s diet of a bagel, nuts, and a Clif Bar, I had a wonderful vegan flat bread sandwich (jicama, daikon sprouts, red peppers, onions, cucumbers, and green chiles – everything has green chile here. Even the bagel I got for breakfast and the hummus for lunch), great house-made fries, and some fine IPA. I will be back, oh, you can count on that.

Now the long day is coming to an end. My watch says it’s not even 9, but my body thinks it’s almost 11, some 19 hours after I started this latest adventure. Tomorrow, I will rise and start the new projects. Here’s hoping the day is fruitful. And if not, at least I’m in a corner of the world that I truly love.

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~ by mburgan on November 4, 2010.

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