The Adventure Begins in '10' (2010) travel blog

Here we are parked at the Sandia Casino and Resort, Albuquerque NM

A view of the Sandia Casino and Resort

Our site at the Santa Fe KOA campground

Inside the Loretto Chapel (Famous for it's spiral staircase)

The spiral staircase of the Loretto Chapel

The outside of the Loretto Chapel

St Francis of Assissi Chapel at the end of the street

Inside St Francis of Assisi Chapel (which still serves as a church)

The "Square" in downtown Santa Fe, NM

Even the Hotels and Inns are designed to blend in

A view of one of the streets as we sat on a...

The exterior of the Oldest Church Structure in the U.S.

Here's the sign about the oldest church

One of the entries to the "Round House"; New Mexico's State Capital...

Just ONE of the hundreds of pieces of art in the capital...

Look closely - it's made of all kinds of things

We left Albuquerque on Monday headed for the Indian Casino for one night of dry camping, then on to Santa Fe on Tuesday. The Sandia Casino and Resort was only about 4 miles away, but it was a free night of camping. In Santa Fe we chose the KOA campground which is about 11 miles northeast of the state's capital city. It was a nice, small campground only a half mile from the interstate exit.

After wondering Santa Fe's downtown area for two days, we were able to see most of the historic sites including the Loretta Chapel (known for its spiral staircase that has no center support), St. Francis of Assissi Chapel, the Oldest Church structure in the U.S., the marker at the end of the Old Santa Fe Trail, the Original Hitching Post where travelers would hitch their horses and many shops and side streets of Santa Fe's downtown area. We searched high and low for the Capital Building, assuming that there were be signs and that it would be easy to spot. To the contrary; it is snuggled in amongst mature trees and is only three stories above ground. It is called the "Round House". It is the fourth capital building for New Mexico and it is the third newest capital building in the US. Upon entering there was no security (cameras yes, guards no and metal detectors?-not a one). We walked right into the Senate and House Galleries, other offices and wondered the entire building without ever being challenged or even looked at funny. What a change from our trip to Washington DC and New York City!

Downtown Santa Fe is an interesting place that is rich in history and has countless art studios and galleries, however, the entire place closes down at five p.m. with the exception of the eateries and bars.

Building dates range from the 1400's to the late 1800's. It's wonderful that the city has preserved so many original buildings and streets. It was a good thing that we chose to park in a lot near the visitors center because the streets became so narrow after that we would have had a heck of a time getting around with the big dually truck. Downtown Santa Fe is a good place to get out and walk.

We decided to extend one more night so we could drive up to Espanola where President Clinton was speaking for Diane Denish, who is running for Governor of New Mexico. She is currently Lieutenant Governor. After driving the forty miles north and driving through the small city twice, we could not find the "Plaza" where they were holding the gathering. We made a quick stop at Walmart and headed back to Santa Fe.

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