Road Trip – Day 3, New Mexico

Today was a good day, and I spent it all in New Mexico.

I woke up early this morning, really early. After getting dressed and ready I headed out the door to see how the sunrise was progressing. It was still early, so I popped back in my room, packed a bit more, and then headed out with my camera. Turns out Nancy and Kevin, the owners of the Blue Swallow Motel, were up and outside, and they turned the neon lights on for me so I could get some good sunrise shots with the sign lit up.


After checking with Nancy and Kevin for the best route to Santa Fe, I headed out to grab a bite to eat, fuel up and hit the road.

A drive-thru tattoo parlor.


Just outside of town I saw this horse standing in a “pasture” that was filled with junk cars and other bits of scrap. Thinking I might be able to get a good picture, I turned the car around and pulled onto the shoulder. I didn’t want to scare the horse off, so I didn’t get too close, but now I’m thinking I didn’t get close enough.


I took NM 104 from Tucumcari to Las Vegas, NM (the real Las Vegas). For the first part of the ride the terrain looked mostly like this.


While I stopped to take some pictures I noticed a group of pronghorn antelope off to my left. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to get a picture without scaring them off.


NM 104 was gorgeous as it made it’s way through the country, eventually winding up the side of this plateau (mesa?).


At the top of the plateau the terrain changed dramatically, eventually becoming wide open grasslands. I noticed another small group of pronghorns bedded down in the grass on the side of the road. I figured I might be able to get a nice shot of them with the snowy mountains in the background. By the time I turned the car around and headed back to them, they had become a little suspicious. I still managed to get a decent photo though.


Before too long, I had made my way into Santa Fe, just in time for lunch. I headed down to the old downtown Santa Fe and grabbed a quick bite at Tia Sophia’s before walking around town with my camera, grabbing shots here and there.


I had heard that Santa Fe is odd because ALL of the buildings are made out of (or made to look like they are made out of) adobe. Even the IHOP looked like an old adobe building. While it is a bit strange, it does make an impression.



Starting to fade a little from the heat and the harsh sun, I headed into the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum for a respite. I enjoyed it much more than I expected. It was neat hearing about how she saw the world and translated what she saw in her medium. There was also a great room full of photographic portraits of Georgia, some of which were just incredible. They had a huge print of the famous Yousuf Karsh portrait of her in her New Mexico home.

This is NOT MY PHOTO – this is a reproduction of the Yousuf Karsh portrait someone posted on Flickr.
Georgia O'keeffe 1956 by Yousuf Karsh

It was really refreshing and inspiring to see the works on display. I left that museum seeing the world differently than I did when I entered.

Shadows on the museum



Santa Fe is chock full of artists and art galleries. This was a cool sculpture outside one of the galleries.




After wandering around downtown, I finally made my way to my humble abode for the evening.


Tomorrow I’ll be heading to the Painted Desert and the Petrified forest. Hopefully I’ll get some decent pictures. Either way, I’m sure it will be an adventure.


  1. Great pictures. My favorite is the first one.

  2. Beautiful shots. You’ll love the painted dessert and petrified forest. Seems like in one of those places, we found a site with some old ancient writings on rocks that were really cool, but I can’t remember the name of the place – however, by the time you read this, you’ll be gone and on your way somewhere else, I guess.

  3. madisoncary says:

    great pics! :-) i just love the landscape, culture and color of nm!

  4. Kate, these are some AMAZING pictures. I love the motel sign at sunrise and (these may be in an earlier post) the pictures of the grass and the sky, the sepia/B&W one of the clouds, and the Ronald’s serva teria sign. I can’t wait to see more.

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