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Mush & Alga's Adventure: Santa Fe, Taos, Enchanted Circle and Countryside
9-22-2010
We traveled by motor home to visit Santa Fe, enjoyed the historic downtown area and the old churches. Drove to Taos taking photos along the way and dicsovered the Enchanted Circle, a designated scenic byway. Worth checking out....beautiful drive.

Photo Posts from: Santa Fe, Taos, Enchanted Circle and Countryside
Old Town Santa Fe  1
Old Town Santa Fe  1
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Last 15 posts for: Santa Fe, Taos, Enchanted Circle and Countryside

Old Town Santa Fe 1Tuesday, September 25, 2012

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Merchants display their goods for sale....mostly handmade items.

Drive Thru Taos and the Enchanted CircleThursday, September 20, 2012
We headed for Taos from our RV park, the Rancheros de Santa Fe Campground which sits a little southeast of downtown.  The park was nice, clean and quiet and had all the things you want in a RV park.  As we headed toward Taos we passed a river that ran just below the highway where we watched some people float by on a raft, then we saw a piece of the Rio Grande Gorge which looks like the beginning of a Grand Canyon.  We came upon a pueblo, that  we didn't get the name of, sorry, that was just closing for the day.  The Indians live and work on this pueblo and there are many of these pueblos in the area.  We want to experience life on a pueblo but it will have to be at another time.

We drove through the high desert and as we approached Taos, you could see the mountains behind them.  We enjoyed lunch at a popular restaurant, Michael's Kitchen, Coffee Shop & Bakery.  While eating at the restaurant some other guests asked where we were from and asked if we had driven the Enchanted Circle yet.  Of course being new to the area we had not taken that road, so they loaded us up with information and we set off on our next adventure.

The drive through the Enchanted Circle is an 85 mile loop through mountains, valleys, mesa and national forest that has been designated a scenic byway.  It is centered around Wheeler Peak which is the highest point in the state of New Mexico.  We were there when the leaves were turning brilliant yellow....so pretty.  Our photos don't do it justice even though we tried to capture the moment.  We liked this drive so much that the next day we drove from Santa Fe to drive it again!  We highly recommend this drive.


Enchanted Circle 3Thursday, September 20, 2012

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The yellow brings the mountains alive with color.  Driving the Enchanted Circle.

Enchanted Circle 2Thursday, September 20, 2012

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The high country around Taos,  driving the Enchanted Circle.

Enchanted Circle 1Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Charming old barn we saw while driving the "Enchanted Circle"......beautiful drive, high and low country.

Santa Fe Country Side Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Rio Grand Gorge.....looks like the beginnings of another Grand Canyon.

Old Town Santa FeThursday, September 20, 2012
The Santa Fe Square/Plaza is the heart of Santa Fe where 100,000 locals and visitors gather each year.  Special events draw another 25,000 people, the Square is indeed a major gathering place.  It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Square is an inviting place to sit and relax while your wife is shopping at all the merchants lined up around the square!  Christmas is an especially festive time but year round the restaurants, art galleries, and shops are always busy.  The Palace of the Governors (the oldest public building in the U.S.), the New Mexico Museum of Art and the three churches we visited are all around the Square.

The Loretto Chapel stands at the end of the Santa Fe Trail.  The  history of the Chapel started with a plea by Bishop Jean Baptisite Lamy to priests and nuns to come to Santa Fe to preach and teach the children.  In 1852 seven sisters/nuns arrived in Santa Fe in response to Bishop Lamy's plea, they became the Sisters of Loretto and opened the Academy of Our Lady of Light (Loretto) in 1853.  The school started out very small and grew to about 300 students.  In 1873, land was purchased and building began, the school would soon have a chapel.
The Loretto Chapel was built in the Gothic Revival-style, patterned after King Louis IX's Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.  The beautiful stained glass in the Chapel was purchased in Paris, France, in 1876, journeying by boat from Paris to New Orleans, by paddle boat to St. Louis, and then by covered wagon over the Old Santa Fe Trail to the Chapel.....WOW.
The Miraculous Staircase was built between 1877 and 1881, by a carpenter who appeared at the Chapel in answer to the nuns prayers.  It took about six months to complete the awesome staircase....it has two 360 degrees turns and no obvious means of support.  The carpenter disappeared without any pay or thanks......maybe he was an angel!
In 1968, the Loretto Chapel became a private museum.

San Miguel Church (aka San Miguel Mission) is the oldest church in the United States. The original church was opened in 1626, but the church has been rebuilt and repaired many times....you can still see the original adobe walls in our photos.  The Mission was built by the Tlaxcalan Indians from Mexico.  The reredos, an altarpiece behind the altar of a church that depicts religious images, dates back to 1798, and is the oldest wooden reredos in New Mexico.  Services are still held each Sunday.

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, commonly called Saint Francis Cathedral, it the mother church of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
The cathedral was built by Archbishop Lamy between 1869 and 1886, it was built around an older church, La Parroquia, which was torn down after the new Cathedral was finished.  They kept a small chapel from the old church.  The Cathedral was designed in the Romanesque Revival style......characteristic rounded arches separated by Corinthian columns and truncated square towers.  The rose front window and the Twelve Apostle windows were imported from France.  The towers originally were to have very tall steeples but they were never built due to lack of money.
On October 4, 2005, The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi was officially elevated to a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI and it was renamed the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.


Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi 3Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Blessed Kateri, she was an Algonquian-Mohawk woman of New York State. At an early age, she converted to Christianity.  The statue is beautiful.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi 2Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Jesus on the cross.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi 1Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Front and side of the Cathedral from the street.

San Miguel Church 2Thursday, September 20, 2012

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The church bells of San Miguel.

San Miguel Church 1Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Interior pics of the church.

Loretto ChapelThursday, September 20, 2012

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The magnificent spiral staircase built by an unknown carpenter who appeared and disappeared without giving his name or receiving pay.

Old Town Santa Fe 3Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Santa Fe architecture.....so simple.

Old Town Santa Fe 2Thursday, September 20, 2012

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Great building.

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