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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Night 2 and 3: Jane and the Santa Fe Opera House

Tonight we sleep in Santa Fe New Mexico. A beautiful town for those who haven't visited before. I've never been a particular fan of certain Spanish style architecture, in particular Spanish tile roofing, but I love the adobe style of Santa Fe. We came in from the North, staying in Alamosa last evening, and got a bird's eye view of the entire valley by perching up in the parking lot of the Santa Fe Opera House.

The Santa Fe Opera House sits on a significant rise outside of town. A beautiful adobe architecture with a sweeping gull like white roof open on the backside to the beautiful summer night air. Their season runs rather short from July 4th to August 29th but the reputation of quality extends way beyond the borders of New Mexico. My companion, a Canadian and very knowledgeable fan, designated it as a must stop. And of course, being a true gentleman, then gave me a good historic overview of the operas coming up the next season. Puccini's Madam Butterfly, and Mozart's Magic Flute will begin the festival in repertoire next season and I am hoping for a return run south to catch it after being caught up in the magic. My companion has an entire year to fill me in on the story details so I can catch his enthusiasm because I certainly do not have his affinity for multi-languages.

We started out this morning back tracking a bit to the Great Sand Dunes north of Alamosa Colorado along with the San Luis Valley Reservoir. The desert plains are beautiful in their bareness and at this time of year the place is truly barren of the human life types. I made more than one wrong turn or two along the way however and now I am pretty sure I know at least one town off the track where the economy is truly a "green" economy.

We covered a lot of ground today across the dry plains and dropped into New Mexico about noonish. We stopped at the Rio Grande Gorge outside of Taos to look at the local vendors' polished stones and jewelry and to stand, queasy, looking off the bridge to the famed river below. Personally I prefer the Black Canyon Gorge outside of Paonia Colorado for raw beauty and majestic cuts in the Earth yet this Gorge is still impressive.

The architecture around Taos is simply outstanding. If there weren't more tourists than ants in the town I would have loved to just stop and stare at more than a few precious examples. Taos reminds me of home a bit. It is the first time I've seen tie-dye on a thirty-plus since I moved to Greeley.

We pushed through Taos and into the beautiful canyons of color on the way to Santa Fe. I snapped a few good shots below. I love the contrasts and the simplicity of the beauty.

Okay, to finish off, the latest foodie place worth mentioning would be the Thai Restaurant we happened upon last evening in Alamosa. In the middle of the old town, western style like most Colorado districts, it was an unexpected jewel. We were tired from driving and just looking for something tasty.

Well we got it. My companion had a plate of crispy duck and I had a megalithic plate called Eight-Knight's Delight. It had every type of meat possible. Squid, Calamari, Crab, Oysters, Beef, Chicken, and a few things I have yet to identify. Along with fresh crunchy green beans, Chinese cabbage, carrots, and eggplant the meat was tossed into a nice spicy Thai sauce. It was wonderful.

But my favorite was a fresh crab spring roll stuffed with cilantro--yum. A wonderful treat totally unexpected in town that makes Greeley's economic development planning look stellar.

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