Main Page > 1997 The Charles Kuralt Memorial Tour >
After a restive and uncomfortable nights sleep, the Boys awoke to a unspectacular breakfast at the Jazz B&B. Eager to hit the road the Mike and Bone begged off a second of tepid coffee and conversation to dib adieu to the proprietors.
A not so fond farewell to the Jazz B&B, "By the way, we ain't coming back !!"
As soon as they were on the road the Boys stopped to stock the infamous "Hall of Shame" with a case of some local brews, they reflected on their B&B experience: they didn't here any music, didn't get any rest on the beds, did get a good breakfast, but definitely got the Jazz !!!
"Pablo? Where's the Pueblo?"
Mike and Bone decided to wander the back roads toward Santa Fe via Los Alamos to check out the local Indian pueblo culture. Sadly, many of the local Indian communities were mud-hut slums with debris in their front yards such as trashed cars and refrigerators, similar to the "mansions" of Columbus Ohio, but not the bucolic, clean pueblos the Boys had envisioned from television.
"Now that is some real Home Cookin' !!"
Nacho bad Green Chile !! As the Boys rounded a mountain corner, Mike spied a Native-American Burrito Stand along the road. With the Boys belching the bad breakfast, some exotic local cuisine seemed just the ticket ! Plopping a few bucks for a coupla of homemade burritos, the Boys watched with amazement and delight as an old Native American grandma, fried handmade corn tortillas in boiling oil, simmered the seasoned beef, and the grandest delight of the whole meal, garnishing the burritos with an awesome homemade green chile, (a New Mexican speciality). The Boys dickered with the family as they munched their greasy treats to their utter satisfaction. Jumping back in the car totally refreshed the Boys popped a few Coronas from the Hall of Shame to wash down the grand meal and head on to Los Alamos to get really Bombed !!
Putzing around in Pueblo Alto
In route to Los Alamos, the Boys decided to check out an ancient Pueblo.
Pueblo Alto (Spanish for 'high village'). Is two pueblo ruins, about 500 feet apart, but both belonging to a single ancient village, situated on the top of the mesa north of Chaco canyon, north west New Mexico, about ˝ miles north of Pueblo Bonito. The main building is rectangular in form, facing south, the court enclosed by the usual semicircular double wall which was really a series of one-story apartments. The north wall is 360 ft long, the wings 200 and 170 ft, respectively. The rooms are from 15 to 20 feet long and 8 to 12 feet wide. The walls are almost entirely thrown down. The smaller building is about 75 feet square and much better preserved, some second-story walls being still intact. This building contains some of the best, plain masonry to be found in the Chaco Canyon group. There is a large circular kiva in the small building and traces of 7 in the large one. A quarter of a mile east of the ruins is a wall extending north and south 1,986 ft. Other walls extend toward this from the main building but do not connect with it. Pueblo Alto is reached from the canyon by a tortuous stairway through a narrow crevice just back of Pueblo Bonito. Mike and Bone marveled on how upward to 20 family members use to co-habitat in the tiny rooms.
After 20-30 minutes checking out the ruins the boys headed back on the road through some of the most picturesque pine forest in the mountains they had ever seen. Mile after mile, the Boys checked out the awesome scenery until there it was, the quaint little town of Los Alamos !
"Shush !!" Mike and Bone getting Los Alamos secrets
Once in Town, the Boys immediately checked out the Los Alamos Museum
The Los Alamos Story By 1939, the world had become a very dangerous place. The Axis powers had launched wars in Europe and Asia. Though hailed as a great scientific achievement, the discovery of fission also added to the growing concern about the fate of the world. Prominent physicists, such as J. Robert Oppenheimer, knew that the energy released by nuclear fission could be transformed into an extraordinarily powerful bomb. Scientists and political leaders in America grew increasingly anxious as Hitler's armies marched into the Rhineland, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. If German scientists built an atomic bomb, the United States and her allies faced almost certain defeat. America's response was the creation of the Manhattan Project and the Los Alamos Laboratory, Project Y. Mike and Bone marveled at the now primitive equipment the Los Alamos scientist used to invent the most horrible bomb every created by man. They also learned that New Mexico was chosen for the Lab due to the vast desert tracks to the south where in fact much of the testing in the 30's and 40's occurred. Many of the building are plain (intentionally) and non-descript. For John Q Public (e.g. Mike and Bone), there is really only the museum to check out, so after an hour of checking out the video on the beginnings of Los Alamo and the Atomic Bomb in the 1940's, the Boys decided to check out Sheriff McCloud's favourite town: Taos !!!
Riding the Rio in Taos !!
On the way to Taos, the road began to track along the muddy and shallow Rios Grande. When the Boys came across some rafters on the River, memories of the New River flooded into the Boys cobwebbed memory, stopping to check out the action, the Boys putzed around the river until later afternoon until the clouds came in an threaten to storm.
Tourist Town Too Much !!!
As a slight drizzle started around 5:00, the Boys finally made they're way into Taos. Driving along on the Main Road into the Downtown, the Boys were taken aback by the overly touristy nature of the place and absolute over-abundance of fast food joints, Totally turned off, the Boys decided to head east towards Santa Fe to find some authentic south-western culture, cuisine, and cots !!!
Do You Know the Way to Santa Fe ?
Sung to the Bert Bacharach tune "Do you know the Way to San Jose"
During the one hour drive from Taos to Santa Fe, the Boys drove from a Pine-covered Mountain range to a beautiful, high-desert terrain. Unfortunately the rain followed the boys all the way to Santa Fe, which caused the Boys to take solace in their rapidly diminishing Hall of Shame. However, after an hour on the road and 6 Corona's. The Mike and Bone entered one of the oldest, and koolest cities in Norte' Americana... Santa Fe !
Santa Fe is tres OK !!
Santa Fe Background Santa Few dates back all the way to prehistoric times a village built by the Tano tribe stood on the site now occupied by Santa Fe. Evidence from the Tano culture, uncovered in the few ruins left by Spanish settlers, indicates that civilization existed on the site as far back as 1050 to 1150 A.D. The settlement was abandoned around 200 years before the arrival of the Spanish. The spot was called Kuapoga—"place of the shell beads near the water"—by the Pueblos. Santa Fe was founded in either 1607 or 1609 (there is some confusion about the year) by Don Pedre de Peralta, the third governor of the Province of New Mexico, who built the Palace of Governors and the Plaza and planned a walled city. The palace was occupied by a succession of sixty Spanish governors for more than 200 years, and Santa Fe has been a seat of government since its founding.
Storming Santa Fe !!
Throughout Spanish rule of the territory Santa Fe was a center for exploration and mission work. Franciscan friars built eleven churches and by 1617 had converted more than 14,000 Native Americans to their form of Christianity. Conflict arose, however, when the Native Americans continued to practice their own religion. In 1680 a number of the Spanish settlers were killed in a conflict with natives; the survivors fled to El Paso del Norte, abandoning the town. The Native Americans established their own community in Santa Fe; occupying the palace and appointing a governor, they held the town for twelve years until the arrival of De Vargas, Spanish governor of the province. He made peace and returned the following year with a statue of the Christian New Testament's Virgin Mary. Making his entry on the site of present day Rosario Chapel, he vowed to pay yearly homage to "Our Lady of Victory." Since that time, in fulfillment of this vow the De Vargas Procession has been held in Santa Fe.
When Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, Santa Fe came under the control of Mexico. Trade was then opened between Santa Fe and the United States over a route that came to be known as the Santa Fe Trail. In 1846 the United States claimed Santa Fe; the city has been under U.S. jurisdiction ever since, except for two weeks during the Civil War when the Confederates seized control after the battle of Valverde. The Santa Fe Trail eventually fell into disuse when rail travel advanced to the region. Santa Fe flourished, however, benefiting from the new trade connections that were made possible by the railroad.
Around the turn of the century, artists, attracted by the climate and the beauty of the area, moved to Santa Fe, and the city soon became popular as an art colony. When New Mexico attained statehood in 1912, Santa Fe, as the capital, entered a period of prosperity; government workers arrived to live in the city and federal and state buildings were constructed around the Plaza. By 1920 the population had grown from 5,000 to more than 7,000 people, and by the 1940s it was over 20,000 people.
In 1957 the city established zoning codes designed to maintain a uniform architectural style. Two types of architecture are permitted: Pueblo, characterized by rounded parapets and rough-hewn woodwork, and Territorial, featuring brick coping and milled, often decorative woodworking.
Sauntering in Santa Fe
As Mike and Bone entered the city the sky cleared and presented the Boys a lovely late afternoon with time to grab a hotel (from a known chain !!) and walk the streets lookin' for a drink and some fine Hispanic cuisine.
"Senor, we need a drink !!"
Bone, to whomever would listen
As the Boys boogied through the city towards the Town Square was everything they expected in terms of architecture and ambience.
Scanning Santa Fe Town Square
Damn Fine Margies !!! The Boys landed in a very chi-chi, upper terrace restaurant, over-looking the Town Square (pictured above), as it grew dark, the boys imbibed in the absolutely best margarita's that they had ever tasted in their lives. The Cuervo Gold Margie's were matched with equally awesome chorizo and chicken burritos.
With the awesome outdoor seating and the best margies ever, the Boys saw absolutely no reason to go anywhere else, and piddled way the whole evening slurping the frozen concoction that helped Jimmy Buffet hang on, as it approached midnight a bunch of the ladies in crowd started to sniffle and weep about a spoiled Brit that died in a Paris Tunnel, while being chased by paparazzi. Or as Mike and Bone saw it poetically in their best Dr. Suess.....
The night that Di died
The Boys did not cry nor wonder why
But then the many, many margies did make their brain cells die
Which sadly the next morning did make the Boys cry !