Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Santa Fe and Los Alamos

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Started the day off with breakfast again at the Sage Inn – they have all the usual hotel breakfast fare including waffles.  If you want to pay $5 there is a nice guy there who will make an omelet to your liking – with all kinds of ingredients. 

Today we had 3 goals – Farmer’s Market, Los Alamos Manhattan Project Museum and Bandelier National Monument.  Writing this at 7 PM I can say we accomplished all 3!

The Farmer’s Market is very close to our hotel – the Rail Road area has undergone lots of upgrades in recent years.  The light rail from Alburque comes in and there have been lots of galleries and shops opened.  The Farmer’s Market is open on Saturdays and Tuesdays.  It was very nice with loads of veggies and food and crafts.  We bought some green chilies, some fingerling potatoes, and a loaf of whole grain bread that looked awesome.  Also an apple tart. Some of the veggies were quite unusual and some were just normal veggies but very nice looking. Jane was disappointed the few people who were selling chili pepper ristas were making them too fancy – so passed them by.

We headed north towards Los Alamos – 4 lane road all the way.  It is only about 20 miles north of Santa Fe. Crossed the Rio Grande River again and began seeing lovely yellow on the mountains again.  We found the Bradbury Science Museum which has become a part of the National Park Service recently.  They also have a driving tour with a few of the original 1939-45 era buildings. We opted to tour the museum and it was very interesting.  They had two films one on the history of the Manhattan Project and a second one telling about the role of the Los Alamos Facility today. Well worth the time but not much in the way of photos.  Los Alamos was as remote and secret an operation as Oak Ridge was. The people who lived and worked there used a Box # in Santa Fe for their address and it even appeared on birth certificates for infants born there!
Rio Grande

The Mountains around Los Alamos

Bradbury Science Museum

We then headed towards Bandelier National Monument – The GPS took us up a road and we came to a number of guard stations – we were going to drive through the Los Alamos National Laboratories.  One of the main roads in the area passes right beside the huge buildings and to drive down the road you had to show ID and promise to take no photos for 5 miles.  Interesting!
We finally arrived at Bandelier to discover you had to take a shuttle into the park.  We came in the park and were directed to the Camp Ground Parking area nearby to wait for the shuttle.  The main shuttle parking is in White Top a town about 8 miles away and the shuttle runs every 30 milutes….so we ate a great lunch of delicious bread, butter, cheese, some fruit and the apple tart.  We were just finishing when the shuttle bus came by.

When we arrived at the Visitor Center area we understood why they needed the shuttle.  There were probably 20 parking places.  We watched the movie, took about a ½ mile walk down the canyon to see the ruins.  This Puebloan settlement was about 2,000 years later than Aztec and Chaco.  Some of the ruins and kiva were on the canyon floor but the majority of the living dwellings were high on a south facing wall.  We went as far as the kiva and ground structures but did not climb up to the wall dwellings.  Many children and others were having a great time climbing the ladders into the various cliff dwellings. 
Bandelier National Monument

Frioles Canyon

Ben talks with Ranger

Homes in the Cliffs

We waited about 5 minutes after our walk for a shuttle bus that whisked us back to our van – good system because we did not ever wait more than a few minutes for a bus. 

Ben pulled off the road on the way back to Santa Fe on an Indian Reservation and bought gas for 10 cents less per gallon than in Santa Fe.  Taxes maybe different?

We stopped at one of the shops along the street selling the chili pepper ristas and Jane bought what she had been wanting. We headed back to the Sage Inn to do some research on where to eat dinner! 

Trip Advisor really recommended a winner tonight!  We were again not wanting more Mexican/Southwest food – sure hate not to take advantage of Santa Fe but we just wanted something else.  We headed to the best Chinese in town – LuLu’s.  Wow was the food great and to make it even better we have enough for dinner tomorrow night too.  We had Hot and Sour Soup; Beef Chow Fun which is beef with wide rice noodles, onions, bok choy, and bean sprouts; and Orange Beef.  The Orange Beef was the best we have ever had – real orange taste not little pieces of orange rind as is often the case.
Orange Beef

Beef Chow Fun

Back to the Sage Inn and do a little packing so we can leave early tomorrow a

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