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Living in the Moment: Trinidad, Santa Fe and the drive from Hell #MondayBlogs #travel

If you’re new to my blog and want to know how this road trip began, click here for the first post. For our time in Casper, Wyoming, click here. For our experience with the Total Solar Eclipse, click here.

We left Wyoming in good spirits. Interstate 25 was a pleasant drive, even if the speed limit was 80. I’m a speed limit driver for the most part so it irks me when drivers in the right lane try to push me (seemingly literally at times) to go faster. No such anxiety in Wyoming. Believe it or not, drivers on I25 were pretty laid back. So laid back that I actually did drive the speed limit in order to pass RVs that were chugging up hills. I was comfortable with the attitude of the drivers around me who didn’t seem to care how fast or slow anyone else was driving, as long as no one made a fuss about it. You see, deep down, I hate driving. If I could live my life, traveling included, without ever having to set foot on a gas pedal, I would happily do so.

But I digress. And that relaxing exit out of Wyoming wasn’t going to last anyway.

We turned south, our destination Trinidad, Colorado. Yes, there is a Trinidad in Colorado and the town has a pretty interesting history. It was once known as the “Sex Change Capital of the World.” You can read all about it on Wikipedia:,_Colorado.

My husband picked Trinidad because it was only a few hours from the border with New Mexico and we had business to attend to in Colorado. Anyway, traffic picked up once we left Wyoming. Makes sense, we thought. More people, less land. We stopped in Fort Collins to fill up our stomachs as well as the Prius and to have a look-see. It seemed like a nice town although pretty congested with cars and humanity.

Hell began as soon as we got back on the interstate. From Fort Collins to Colorado Springs, it was bumper-to-bumper traffic across all five lanes of the interstate. Sometimes we sat in traffic. Sometimes we crawled. Often other drivers would cut in front of us as if leap frogging in stop-and-go traffic was an intelligent design. Twice we almost had a fender bender.

Hell on wheels

The worst part was seeing time slip away from us. We wouldn’t get to Trinidad before dark. I made the most of it by taking pictures, of course.

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I had driven us to Fort Collins and then my husband manned the steering wheel, assuming he would take us all the way into Trinidad. He couldn’t do it. Sixty miles outside the town, the sun already set, he pulled over and we switched out. I’m not a fan of driving at night, especially when I don’t know where I am. It was very very dark along this part of I25 and all I could do was follow the red lights of the traffic in front of me. Finally, close to 9 pm, my husband woke from his much-needed nap and navigated me to the Holiday Inn. Once we were settled in our room, it was all I could do to take a shower and crawl into bed.

This particular Holiday Inn had a restaurant so the next morning we treated ourselves to a proper breakfast, our conversation peppered with promises to never drive I25 through Colorado ever again. We had a bit of time to spare before heading for Santa Fe, so we first took care of some personal business and then went on a drive through downtown. Yes, I wish I had taken pictures of what looked like 200-year-old buildings lining the main street. We were exploring but we were also on a mission. Greg wanted to wash the car. We found an old-time car wash … the kind where you plunk in change (only now you can use your credit car) and wield a hose and brush yourself. While he washed the car, I took the opportunity for a couple of photos.

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Finally we were on our way to Santa Fe. I drove so I couldn’t take pictures but trust me when I say that this section of I25, between Trinidad and Santa Fe, was just beautiful. Clouds, clouds, clouds. I joked to Greg that he could spend the rest of his life just taking time-lapses of the clouds, they were so many and so varied. You could see dark storm clouds off in the distance to your left, and fluffy snow-white clouds on your right. The landscape was fairly green and vast.

For Santa Fe, we had decided to stay at an Airbnb. This is only the fourth time we’ve used Airbnb but each time has been a great experience. What I like best is that we’re able to stay in a neighborhood, be around residents, not just other tourists. It gives us a better feeling for what it might be like to live in the city we’re visiting. Plus, you can dine at home and save $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

I had reserved the Sunny Adobe Casita for three nights. Within five minutes of looking around, Greg asked if we could possibly stay an extra night.

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Unfortunately at the time, the Sunny Adobe Casita was already booked for the next two months so we couldn’t stay an extra night. Just as well since by the time we left we were planning a route home that would keep us north of Hurricane Harvey.

Next week I’ll wrap up my travelogue with our trip to the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and Hyde Memorial State Park for more clouds.

Thanks for stopping by!




Categories: Travel

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

30 replies

  1. Agreed: driving is no fun. It’s gotten better for me, though, since I’ve slowed down and just go the speed limit and sing along with the radio.

    I’m digging that sink, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I will admit that I enjoyed driving on some of the two-lane highways. Speed limits were reasonable, little traffic, and great scenery. My husband and I have noticed that as we’ve gotten older, we are more fatigued by driving, even when it’s relatively low stress.


  2. The casita looks fab. Was it close to town?

    I haven’t been to Santa Fe in ages, but I loved it at the time. Hope it hasn’t changed much, but you know how progress is.

    Thanks for the travelogue. I love taking vicarious trips!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The casita was in town, in a regular somewhat dense residential neighborhood. I really loved the mixed zoning: restaurants, museums, private homes, businesses all nestled together. It reminded me of our better days in San Francisco. Also, ALL the buildings were adobe, even Whole Foods. Signage was discreet so we couldn’t always tell the private homes from the restaurants or other businesses which, to me, is a good thing. It makes the neighborhoods seem integrated, as least as far as land use and planning. Glad you’re enjoying my trip 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s funny – I lived in Vacaville (two towns over from Davis) and when I drove across country, I went from Vacaville all the way to Cheyenne, Wyoming in one exhausting stretch. Then on to Nebraska which was a 7-hour drive all in itself.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Gad zooks. That is some trip. I used to live in Sonoma and would commute to San Francisco one a week using the Vacaville ferry. The other four days I would drive to San Ramon and went around Vacaville on the freeway. I remember the view of the moth balled warships in the bay. Did that for five years.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I loved just going for drives when I lived there — either out past Sacramento to Lake Tahoe, or out the other way to Mill Valley, Muir Woods, and sometimes further on past San Francisco on to Santa Cruz. If there is an afterlife, I want to spend it driving the PCH in a convertible, with all my favourite tunes on the radio, and my best girl by my side.

              Liked by 2 people

          2. I can only imagine. Driving is so much more exhausting these days with all the extra cars (and crazy drivers) on the road. When we lived in California, our favorite vacations were car-camping to Nevada and Mono Lake area of California. Each year we would note how much sooner traffic congestion would start on our way back to SF. That was back in the late 80s so …. I know it hasn’t gotten any better 😉

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I must say, I really, really like driving in the open country, but I would not have been happy in the traffic jam. 😉 I LOVE the landscape photos. They really take me away for a brief moment while I type this from my cubicle!

    Thanks for the continued documentary, Marie! Really enjoying it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I wanted to come back and comment because I didn’t get a chance yesterday. Loved your pictures! I’m curious, do guests clean up after themselves when staying at an Airbnb or do the owners have a cleaning service come in?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A cleaning fee is included when you book but we always tidy up. The hosts can review the guests as well so we like to leave a good impression 😁


        1. Yes, indeed, although I haven’t read any bad reviews of guests … yet. The worst I’ve seen is if a guest complains about some aspect of their stay, the host might respond. One of the things I look for is when guests use their reviews to complain and the hosts never respond. I know they can resolve things offline but those are places I avoid.


  5. Hi, Marie! I’ll live vicariously through you if you don’t mind. Let us know how the gender re-assignment surgery goes, you know my, ahem, thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By the way, are you still living in Hamilton? Maybe I should ask if you might be living in Hamilton in 2024. I believe Hamilton will be in the path of totality for the Total Solar Eclipse in April 2024. Just sayin’ 🙂 We’re more likely to go to Texas for it although it would be so cool to see it in Niagara Falls.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are still in Hamilton, about 45 minutes from Niagara Falls.
        If the world is still here in 2024 I suppose so will I be.

        Liked by 1 person

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