Friday, June 03, 2005

Enchanted Circle

Dan shook me awake at 8 am. What happened to the alarm clock? I had meant to be up at 7! Well, no time to worry about that now. I jumped out of bed, threw on the running clothes I had laid out the night before and took off. I wasn't entirely sure where I would run, so I wore my GPS. I found a tiny bit of trail near the apartments on the other side of the parking lot, but within less than half a mile I realized I was going to have to cross the main drag and look for the trail Dan said he thought was over there. Hey, if I didn't find anything I could at least run through the residential neighborhood. So I crossed the busy 6 lane road and found the trail almost immediately. Hooray!

It was a lovely trail, asphalted and running along the railroad at first before curving around at Santa Fe High School and continuing along an arroyo. There was a profusion of desert plants everywhere I looked-- pinon, yucca, various grasses and thistles, and flowers in every color I could think of-- purple, blue, white, yellow and red. With the mountains off in the distance and blue sky overhead, it was like running in heaven.

I could've gone on forever, but I had promised Dan I was only doing 3 miles, so I didn't want to worry him by being out longer. After I came back to the trail head, I crossed the street again, bought some decent Kleenex at a Walgreen's on the corner (why do hotels always give you those thin, sandpaper Kleenex?), bought some coffee at the coffee shop across from our hotel, then went back to our room. After a hot shower, I had a breakfast of yogurt and granola and then we headed out for the mountains.

We went up to Espanola first, stopping in at the Black Mesa golf course to visit a friend of Dan's. Then we continued up a long winding mountain road, through over-busy, over-hyped Taos and made a little circuit of tiny mountain towns and valleys. They call the route the Enchanted Circle, although I'm not entirely sure why. I suppose it's a reference to the beauty of the area. It took all afternoon, but it was just one stunning view after another. On our way down, we stopped at a little restaurant by a river outside of Espanola and had some tea and salads by the water. Then we continued into Espanola and stopped at an internet cafe owned by another of Dan's friends, who unfortunately wasn't in at the time. It was a cute, funky place with a warren of rooms that seemed never to end, full of old sofas and chairs for lounging, books to read, snakes in terrariums and the obligatory funky art photos on the walls. We settled on the porch to sip our coffee, but being the restless sort, especially after spending all day sitting in the car, I went and checked out the trift store next door. You just can't stop me from visiting the thrifts!

Back in Santa Fe, we went for a walk on the trail I'd run that morning, then went for Indian food again. This restaurant had totally incredible saag paneer, but the waitstaff was a bit English-impaired, because they made several mistakes with our order. But it was all good food, so who cares? By then it was after 9 and I was surprisingly tired, for having done so little. So we went back to the hotel and tried to get online, but the wireless network was down. I set out some running clothes for the morning and did some preliminary packing while hoping the wireless would come back up, but no luck. So finally I decided to call it a day. A very nice day, at that.

1 comment:

Wil said...

"distant blue sky overhead..." you're killing me! pictures, PLEASE!

Sounds awesome! I can't wait until the kids are old enough to go cross country like this.