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Indian petroglyphs on a private ranch north of Santa Fe (photosfrom public road)
      The first four days of week three held special treats for Dick.  Sunday, he drove up to Santa Fe to visit his friend, Alice, and to catch dinner at a quaint Italian restaurant.
     Monday found Dick and Alice in Espanola, where they observed petroglyphs.  Petroglyphs are drawings tapped into the black patina that covers volcanic rocks associated with old lava flows. Glyphs are common in some areas of New Mexico, and these are particularly diverse with representations of flute player, snakes, a lion, shields, and many others. They moved on to the village Abiquiu where Georgia O’Keefe lived, and then to Ghost Ranch where she painted many of her famous works.  Ghost Ranch is also a famous dinosaur site.
     From there, they took US 64, known as the High Road to Taos, which carried them eastward into high mountain areas that were resplendent with islands of yellow and salmon colored aspen leaves against a canvas of dark green evergreen and gray rock. Turning south on US 385, they drove to Ojo Caliente, a local hot spring, which has been developed as a spa. Finally returning that evening to Santa Fe and Alice’s house, the travelers refreshed themselves with sangria slushies as they nibbled on humus, crackers, and fruit.

Three photos along the high road to Taos

    On Tuesday, at the Santa Fe Cultural Complex, Dick and Alice explored the museums of folk art and of Pueblo Indian culture.  (Shelley and Dick collected pueblo pottery for years, accumulating quite a number which are displayed in the living room cabinet.)  Lunch was with Alice's friend, Terry, who is an antique dealer in Santa Fe.

    To top off his trip, on Wednesday morning, Dick received a 3-hour massage and a special healing session from Jeannie Relyea, a local healer, who Dick had visited on previous trips to Santa Fe.  Following this wondrous relaxation, Dick had a leisurely drive back to Albuquerque, arriving at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History before 5 PM to find Gary still bent over fossils.


Dick relaxing at Alice's house with a glass of wine after a day of travel

Dick's friend, Alice on the road to the aspens


      Dick’s Albuquerque adventure has focused on explorations of the city by bicycle. So far, the bike rides have led him to the Rio Grande trail system, Nature Center State Park, botanical gardens, aquarium, old town, the natural history museum, coffee shops, and points in between. The Rio Grande bike trail extends along the river for probably 21 miles.   The trail runs along a drain near the river through a splendid riverine forest that is in the process of being restored.
     The drain carries water from the river to home owners on the floodplain for use in irrigation of fruit trees, gardens, and flowers. There is very little in the way of green grass lawns, although a few people have small patches, maybe to remind them of some other place where it wasn’t so dry. The trail system is used by runners, bikers, walkers, and horseback riders. The Sandia Mountains loom along the eastern slope of the town and parallel the river, which provides a handy landmark for orientation.  Dick’s bike rides usually lead him back to the museum each afternoon where he spends the rest of the day pondering fossil tortoise remains for his research on the systematics and evolution of gopher tortoises and giant land tortoises.
     "This trip to the SW has not only been essential to my studies of fossil tortoises, but also has provided one of the most relaxing trips I have ever taken. My bike has played a major role in this experience."

Dick on the Rio Grande bike trail in Albuquerque

Indian market in the old plaza at Old Town Albuquerque

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