Along the way I was reminded of how powerful the Southwest can be. In a day's drive you can go from dense forests and winding roads to open highways and rock deserts. Something about the altitude has a heady effect, and it starts to become clear why people claim to see aliens and get really into crystals.
In Santa Fe we explored the plaza, window shopping in all the galleries out of our price range. One such gallery was a tiny yet airy adobe building featuring the work of photographer William Clift (who we featured Monday.) I initially stopped in because it looked like a change from the turquoise and silver of many of the Plaza businesses. His work was haunting and evocative, where the split of a canyon stirs up just as much emotion as a portrait of a young girl wrapped in a blanket.
The next day we drove the mountainous Highway 550 to Croll Cabins, a set of cabins among many sets of cabins by the Vallecito Lake. Vallecito is one of Colorado's prettiest lakes, a mountain valley that also sits in the middle of San Juan National Forest. We were just outside a decent range of cell service, which allowed for a lot more time fishing, swimming, canoeing, reading by the lake, etc. The cabins were brown-carpeted relics from the seventies, which made the trip all the more nostalgic.