Checked out downtown Sante Fe. Which was every bit as tourist trappy as I thought. We asked one jeweler how many jewelry stores there were, and he said, "I think a dozen." My mouth dropped, but before I could object two ladies in the store looked astonished, but said mildly, "I think there are MORE than that." Hell, there are that many on every street!
Anyway, it was actually very nice and scenic, and we managed to get there about an hour before the hordes of tourists showed up. Linda bought a small piece of jewelry from a gypsy. (Well, he acted and talked like a gypsy -- the store next door had Native American clerks. The massive amounts of jewelry -- I'd think you need to really know what you were doing before you splurged.) Again, the nicely turned out and beautiful young women, next to tons of old and fat tourists, and young families and what looked like left-over hippies.
I thought it might be snobby, but it was all right. Besides, we just seem to blend in with the old people tribe. My brother wants to move here after retirement, which I can sort of understand. Because of all the new construction and because of the angle of the interstate coming in from the West, we drove right by the town at first. We joked they didn't want to be found.
Never ask young locals where anything is, they simply don't know. Asked a barrista at the first bookstore we went to, if there were any "used bookstores" and he said, "No." We then found and visited four, just in the general vicinity. They were all the same -- in small houses with bookfilled rooms, mostly hardcover, mostly rare or literary, mostly non-genre, mostly seemingly barely hanging on. (I can't understand not having at least a shelf or two of paperback mysteries and S.F.)
Last couple of days haven't been as long. (Strange, when 6 and 7 hours road trips seem short.)
We passed through Gallup N.M., which was all Native American from all appearance and the downtown was full of Indian jewelry shops, pawn shops, and pay day loan places. By the way, I never realized that Az. and N.M. played up the Native American angle quite so much, at least on the main highways...
Headed toward Amarillo, straight flat shot. Stopped at a truckstop that was full of touristy junk. Cheap junk, as opposed to all the expensive junk we were finding downtown. And fireworks. It appealed to my 12 year old self, and I bought some really cheap -- well -- junk.
I hadn't really thought about the time-differences. It's two hours ahead, which means that I have to check out of the motels at about the time I would usually just get going. I'm testing the waters a little by going to bed early, which is always dangerous because I tend to wake up way, way too early.
3 hours ago