Lovely hike

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April 13th 2013
Published: October 1st 2017
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Geo: 35.6915, -105.937

Received bad news this morning (I don't want to talk about it), so needed a recovery. We walked into the square for breakfast, then wandered over to the church. The churchyard was full of plaques describing the Catholic conquest of Santa Fe and the accomplishments of various civic leaders over the last 400 years. I was amused that their patroness is "La Conquistadora,Lady of Peace." Sounds like a contradiction in terms. We were able to view the interior of the church, which was relatively calm and peaceful.

After buying a sack lunch, we drove up towards Hyde Memorial State Park. The weather was ideal -- cool, slightly breezy, partly cloudy. The trail we opted to take (Borrega, Winsor, Bear Wallow) actually departs from a trailhead just beyond the park entrance, as you head up to the ski area. The trail is a loop, about 4 miles long, and was the perfect lunch hike. It begins heading downhill, through a narrow canyon covered in pines, then the Borrega trail heads to the right, continuing flat for a while, then angling uphill. Given we weren't sure how acclimated we were, we took the uphill fairly slowly but never felt winded. After crossing the pass, the trail drops fairly steeply, down a few switchbacks, to the creekside. We crossed the creek near a small meadow, which was a perfect place to stop for lunch. Although we had passed a few hikers, we saw no one as we ate. Just beyond the meadow, we turned off Borrega to Winsor trail, which follows Tesuque Creek through a pine forest. Eventually, we crossed the creek again to Bear Wallow Trail. Here, the trail agains turns uphill, for a gradual climb through a combination of pine and aspen, meeting Borrega again near the parking area.

We then drove up to the ski area, to get a view of the valley. Lovely but windy, and dust made the valley hazy. There was still lots of snow against the side of the road. We returned to the villa for coffee, to call Kyla in Melbourne, and relax.

In the evening, we went to La Cantina for dinner. The food was good, and the restaurant is known for the show tunes which the waiters periodically sing. It worked fine ... the singing was periodic enough to allow us to enjoy the food and conversation. There was a range of talents, which wasn't surprising, but no one was bad.

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