It was a short, easy drive from Los Alamos to Santa Fe. My research hadn’t revealed any must-see touristy type places in town. Although Route 66 used to go through Santa Fe, it was realigned to skip it in 1937. That means that none of the tourist trap stops that proliferated Route 66 during the 1950s and 60s popped up here. So skipping Santa Fe during my official Route 66 trip didn’t actually miss much, as far as that was concerned.
Being a significant city, I made plans to Get Things Done (TM) while in town, starting with laundry. I found a decent laundromat, hooked my WiFi up to their WiFi, and got a bit of work done in the comfort of my home while doing laundry. It was also here that I discovered that Santa Fe is too small for my van and trailer. I had to do some fancy maneuvering across multiple rows just to park across two spaces. The aisles and spaces themselves are just too narrow for a rig my size.
After laundry, this trend continued. It was getting late, I was hungry, and I just wanted to grab a fast bite to eat instead of making something myself. This was a mistake, as there was nowhere to park at the first two places I attempted to stop. I had to settle for a McDonald’s parking lot that I barely fit into, as well as their sub-par food. I fit at CVS okay, but only because the water dispenser was on a low-traffic side of the building. Albertson’s was also “fun” to get in and out of due to the limited space.
I haven’t been in cities with roads this small since I left New England. The reason in both places is that they’re quite old. The Spanish established Santa Fe in 1610. That’s ten years before the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, which was the first European settlement they taught me about in school. Though both areas have kept up with the times, the sizes and shapes of their roads were firmly cemented (pun fully intended) long before cars were invented, so they’re simply not designed for them. A small car still fits, but a camper van towing a trailer is simply larger than the roads were designed for.
After errands, I made my way to a free campground in Santa Fe National Forest just outside town. Despite being a “forest” there were few trees and little shade. At least Starlink would work. I set up camp and had a pleasant evening. Lister enjoyed exploring and eating some new grass as well.