Thank God for Santa Fe

November 21, 2009 at 10:30 am

By the end of November, Mark and I were feeling pretty run down. Winter was rolling in fast and we wanted a climbing trip to the desert. Mark managed to wrangle the whole week of Thanksgiving as vacation, so we left Friday night (the weekend before) and drove straight through to visit Dylan and Ann in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Dylan and Ann walk the market

Dylan and Ann have been living in the desert hippy mecca for about a year and a half, and they have built a fantastic life for themselves. They have explored the mountains and cliffs, paths and arroyos all over town. Dylan is vegan and becoming an incredible cook, so their kitchen seems to be always full of interesting, organic, fresh, gourmet food. Ann, who lived in Santa Fe long before we ever met, returns faithfully each week to an amazing Japanese-style spa and bathhouse for cleansing and meditation.

It’s a simple, quiet, healthy lifestyle, and it felt so very good to be a part of it for one weekend last month. I have found myself constantly craving the peacefulness that I felt that weekend ever since I left.

Chili Pepper Christmas Wreaths

Saturday morning we headed to the Santa Fe farmer’s market for snacks, meal fixings, organic car deodorizers, and desert culture tourism. I’m a huge fan of farmer’s markets, and I got a kick out of the different items on sale at this one. Bound sage bundles were very popular – when burnt, they have healing effects. Dried chili pepper wreathes seemed to cover every other table – they are the official symbol of Santa Fe. Then there were mushroom CSA shares, yak meat from Taos, locally made breads, vegan breakfast burritos, spicy hot jellies and chutneys, and piles of fresh produce, even at the end of November.

Bound Sage

Our wandering around the Santa Fe market was the start of the best desert day I have ever had. We went on to climb sunny basalt cracks overlooking the Rio Grand. Then finished it with Ann and I alternating hot sauna and cold mineral baths at the most amazing, quiet, moon-filled Japanese bath house. It was incredible. I miss it all: our friends, the desert nights, the meditative quiet, and the great food! I miss it so much, it actually hurts to write about it.