– Santa Fe, New Mexico to Denton, Texas –
You know, we usually have a bit of difficulty running in Santa Fe. It isn’t the trail, which is very nice and leaves from right next to our favorite La Quinta here. No, it’s the altitude. Santa Fe has an elevation of about 7,200 ft, which is well above the 642 ft of our home in Denton. The air is much thinner, and we usually run out of air long before we are truly tired. Not so this time. This time, we’ve spent a week running in Colorado before our Santa Fe visit, and we were ready. In fact, our Santa Fe run was almost easy.
We had to get up particularly early, since the time changes on our drive home, and it’s a long way, anyway. We were out as soon as it was light enough. When we finished our run, we went back to the hotel, showered, packed up our things, and abandoned the puppy for a little while to have our early breakfast at Tia Sophia’s. You knew Mark couldn’t do without a burrito, right?
It didn’t open until 8am, but we were there shortly after, and it was already very busy. Mark had his usual giant breakfast burrito, and I had huevos rancheros, as I usually do. We always get Christmas for our chili sauce (red and green, obviously), which I can’t recommend highly enough. The red was a little spicier this time, which isn’t always the case. By the time we left, Mark was stuffed and there was a line out front. It was not quite 9am.
We hurried back to our hotel, loaded up our stuff and the baby, and hit the road. It’s a 9-hour drive from Santa Fe to Denton, and the time change is definitely not a big help. Our only real stop was in Santa Rosa, where we pulled off to get a picture of the county courthouse there.
While getting Mark’s picture, we kept seeing signs for the Blue Hole, which we’d never heard of before. On a whim, we decided to drive over to see what all the fuss was about. It turned out to be really cool. You see, Santa Rosa has one of the most popular diving locations in the United States. What? In a landlocked state?
Yes. You see, the Blue Hole is an artesian well that’s 81 feet deep, and has a constant temperature of 62 degrees. There are seven lakes in the area, and all of them are connected by a system of tunnels deep beneath the surface. There are caves beneath it that go well below the 81 foot depth, and divers occasionally explore them, though many of the divers are simply going to the bottom of the main pool. The city’s website has maps that show caves at a depth of 200 feet, though the area appears to be restricted as the tunnels are so dangerous to traverse. A Navy diver drowned in the tunnels just last year.
Oddly enough, it is also a popular swimming hole, and you’ll see kids jumping off an overhang into the water below while divers prepare for their descent on the other side of the small surface pool. It’s a really interesting spot. There’s another lake beside it that is much more like a waterpark, and it was quite busy as well, with children swimming and adults out on tiny kayaks.
We had snacks from a gas station for a late lunch, as we were not too hungry after breakfast, but wanted to eat something to keep our energy up. The last three days of our trip have been exhausting, and we are running on fumes. We both work Monday, though, and school starts (with both of us having Monday night classes), so life must go on.
We had Subway for dinner in Texas, and stopped at a few of the lovely safety rest stops along the way. It made us sad to see the time change when we crossed the border. As usual, the drive back from Amarillo is very familiar, so we were pretty bored along the way, though we did get to do quite a bit of reading on our book.
Our truck finally pulled into our drive after 8pm, and we unloaded as quickly as we could. We were glad to be home. I can’t say I’m looking forward to going to work and school tomorrow, though. I don’t even know what my schedule is.
Ripley had an especially great time, since apparently a mouse had gotten in somehow while we were gone. She spotted it, trapped it beneath the over, then pounced when it tried to escape. I didn’t let her kill it, but she wounded it enough that we were able to trap it under a bucket, so we could take it outside and finish the poor thing off. She pointed at it after I made her drop it, quivering all the while. She’s a good girl. I guess that was her revenge for not being able to get at the pikas in Rocky Mountain National Park.
– Trip Total : 3,721 miles –