|El Paseo Lunch, Tacos and green chili|
I arrived safely, just a few hours behind schedule and Talee and Katie received me happily. Talee cracked some Marble Brewery IPAs and we got up to speed on my travels and their careers. Katie works for Los Alamos National Laboratory, Talee runs his own web development company (check out his killer side project: Gear Institute) Katie was joking that Talee was just skiing all the time. Which was mostly true, he had been several times the last week, taking full advantage of the good snow they had been getting, much more than all the dried up areas to the north. I hadn't planned on it but when he looked across the table and said with a sly smile,"want to hit the mountain tomorrow?" I hesitated just a second, worried about my budget and falling behind on my trip, and my legs giving out after three straight days on the mountain, and said,"Sure! Where would we go?" "Santa Fe Skibowl, our hidden gem..." he replied with an even bigger smile. That was that, the plan was set, off to bed, early to the mountain and then some breweries in the afternoon. Definitely my kind of day!
The next morning, the sun rose and quickly melted the frost that had formed overnight. Katie went off to work and Talee and I drove a few miles into town and filled our bellies with massive breakfast burritos smothered in green salsa at Tia Sophia's. The skibowl is a half hour out of downtown and Talee gave me the quick tour as we left town. Plenty of adobe buildings dot the small city, sufficient to satisfy my preconceptions. It's a nice place filled with a lot of art galleries, bars and restaurants. There are some cool festivals throughout the year. It was also quiet being winter time. "The Texas don't come this time of year", Talee said. Santa Fe fits one of my travel mantras, stick to the shoulder seasons. Prices are lower, you avoid the crowds and most places are still very enjoyable. If you didn't care about skiing I'd say late Spring or Early Fall would be ideal times to visit. We wound up the road out of town into the National Forest and started climbing. The base of the ski area is almost 3000 feet above Santa Fe, which is no slouch, settling in at 7,200 feet about sealevel itself! As we climbed the snowbanks grew and grew. I was getting giddy. Being midweek there was no one at the mountain are we did lap after lap up and down the mountain never waiting in line. Cutting fresh lines through the trees. After several runs we took a break and hit up the little snack shack restaurant at the lodge. I couldn't ask for anything more, they had local craft beer and tamales on the menu. I had Santa Fe Brewing Co's Pale Ale and Talee had their Brown Ale. Both were delicious, but considering the scenery and the company, anything would have tasted good that day! We snuck in a few more runs before calling it quits and heading back into town.
|Second Street Flight|
|Blue Corn Flight|
|Blue Corn Brewhouse and Adobe Fireplace|
|Farewell Santa Fe!|