Friday, June 09, 2006

Day Six

I woke up at 7:00 this morning, took a shower and wandered out to the dining room to join Dan and our fellow guests for breakfast. It was a simple meal of eggs, toast and bacon, but it was plenty for me and there was plenty of good coffee. One of the guests was a woman from Groton, MA, who had an amazing story to tell about how she had once been a trainer for industrial workers until the chemicals in a factory sickened her to the point where she was given less than a year to live. That was fifteen years ago and she doesn’t work in factories any more. In fact, she works as a personal chef and part-time seer, helping people with ghosts and such. Weird, but no more so, I suppose, than anything else I’d encountered so far on this trip.

She told us that our innkeeper had once been a tenured sociology professor before he decided there had to be more to life than the classroom and took off to travel the Santa Fe trail on horseback. He wrote a book about it, bought the Rancho Arriba property in Truchas, added on to it and opened the B&B. The movie The Milagro Beanfield War was shot on his property. It looks like it’s been a good life for him since leaving his professorship. He seems so content. It’s enough to make me want to go home, quit my job and just see where things lead.

I talked to the ghost-chaser lady for a long time, then Dan and I loaded up and hit the road once more, taking a few pictures of the local Penitente church on our way out. Penitentes are part of a local Hispano tradition of hyper-Catholic men who engage in secret rituals around high holy days.

We headed into Santa Fe and up to Hyde Park and Big Tesuque, where we did some hiking. It was a trail we had done the previous year, but this time there was no snow. On the way down we became concerned that we might get caught in a storm because a lot of gray clouds were rolling in, but it passed us by, fortunately.

We went back into the city and met Dan’s friend Matt and Matt’s mother for dinner. I had some nice little calabazitas (squash) tacos, which were a lot better than they sound. We all lingered over coffee for awhile, but then Dan and I had to go. It was getting dark and we had decided to go back down to my dad’s place rather than stay in Santa Fe for the night.

The drive felt longer than it was because it was dark and we were tired. My father was gone when we got to the house because he had work to do (he travels a lot) but we let ourselves into the house and did a little laundry. I had hoped to do some writing on my novel tonight but it’s getting late and I had a lot of catching up to do online. So I think I’ll turn in.

Our plan for tomorrow is to see one of the Salinas pueblos (the one we missed last year) and maybe eat or visit the strange little shop in Mountainair. Or just see how the day unfolds. My father will be home on Sunday, so we have tomorrow all to ourselves. And we’re thinking of heading south on Monday or Tuesday to do a little sightseeing around Silver City and the Black Range. There’s supposed to be a good ghost town near Kingston, so I’ll be doing a bit of research between now and then.

For at least the immediate 48 hours, it looks like I’ve got internet access, so look for a new post late tomorrow night or on Sunday morning, if you’re an early-to-bed type!

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