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NM21 Road Trip – Day 2

September 16, 2021

It always takes me a few days to get into vacation mode, where I can really just be lazy and relax and enjoy myself. At first, I always feel like I should be doing something at all times, and today I’m still feeling like that. But I did get to do some more vacation-like stuff today.

I got up and packed up my things in the motel in Las Vegas, and had a tiny sack breakfast, then hit the road. First stop was the Pecos National Historic Park. I got briefed by the volunteer outside the visitor center, and got a map of the main trail around the ruins. And then I went inside and browsed through the gift shop, watched a short film about what I was about to see, and then walked through the museum.

Using the gee whiz panorama mode of my cell phone camera to show you that I was the only tourist interested in the Park Service video that morning

The main trail here goes around and through Pecos Pueblo and the adjacent Catholic church that the Spaniards built right next door. In fact, they built four Catholic churches there over the course of a couple hundred years. The first was a tiny experimental affair, and then the second was a huge cathedral with buttresses and everything. But then the locals destroyed it in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. But of course the Spanish came back and built a temporary church, and then a bigger one on top of the ruins of the previous big one. But Pecos was on the decline by the time the new church was finished, and the remaining inhabitants of the pueblo moved in with their relatives in another pueblo about 80 miles away.

I drove into the modern village of Pecos, but didn’t see anything that caught my interest, so I drove on to Santa Fe for lunch. In keeping with my theme of trying to eat New Mexican style food everywhere I can, I got an open faced hamburger smothered in red chile. Of course you can order it with green or Christmas, instead.

Pantry Burger with Red Chile, from Pantry Dos

Then I drove to Albuquerque and checked into a new hotel near Old Town, which would be my home for the next two nights.

Yeah, I got some food at Whole Foods, but I was surprised and delighted to find these other things – my favorite pre-mixed Old Fashioned cocktail, some pre-mixed Moscow Mules (not awesome, but whatever), and a bottle of Samuel Smith’s Oatmeal Stout. The blue popcorn is for Mom, assuming I have the willpower to not eat it before I see her next.

After a shopping trip to Whole Foods to stock up on food and booze (they sell beer, wine, liquor, and pre-made cocktails there), I had a nap and a shower and then walked to a restaurant for supper that specializes in using local ingredients, called 66 Acres. I had a cocktail called The Manhattan Project (a Manhattan made with bourbon from Taos) and for a main course I had New Mexico Shrimp & Grits, which has green chile in the grits and red chile on the shrimp.

New Mexico Shrimp & Grits from Sixty-Six Acres in Albuquerque

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