Santa Fe -> Los Alamos -> Jemez Valley
Est. 1608-ish (memory hardly serves) and is therefore about the same age as Jamestown. Wow! History outside the East Coast! Since 1610 it’s been the capital. Of whatever. It has lots of old buildings, like “the oldest house,” which has also been standing since 1610. Middle-aged white women like Santa Fe. They’re the only thing to see there other than fake adobe architecture and lots of silver, turquoise, and tacky western stuff. Vaguely redeeming quality is that I actually like turquoise, and there are a good number of non-western themed art galleries and boutiques. Positive points: cheap burritos and cheap hostel and a Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s within a block of each other, Frito pie.
National Laboratory, atomic bomb, very confusing road through town.
River oasis nestled between big hills. Bright green trees turn to scrubbiness, boulders, rockslides, and parched desert clay. The earth is red. Clear skies make for excellent stargazing but excessively layered sleeping arrangements.