FST : Day 5 – Moab UT to Santa Fe NM (407 mi)

By comparison to yesterday’s infirmity, today I felt dramatically better — albeit still not quite normal. To get a sense of the temperatures we’ve been dealing with, you only have to look at this morning’s weather. When we got up (right around sunrise), the temperature was about 66°. Two hours later when we left the motel, it was almost 90°. It gets hot out here, and quickly.

And once we’d gained 1000′ of elevation above Moab, we got a little rain. Maybe enough to get the windshield wet, and then it was gone. Just a reminder of the water-hungry nature of this environment.

Shortly after we left Moab, we ran across Wilson Arch, which is outside the park, and right on the side of the road. Again, I was tempted to hike up to it — I hadn’t been inside any of the arches we’d encountered yet — but I still wasn’t quite up to the task. Kinda unfortunate, as this one would’ve been easy.

The rest of our trek southeast was largely uneventful, and an exercise of watching the outside temperature to confirm that we’d made a good decision to move in this direction. Through most of the afternoon, our trek across SE Utah and SW Colorado let us stay in reasonably constant temperatures in the 80s. This was a nice change. However, as we moved toward NW New Mexico, our temperatures rose as continued toward Bernilillo NM, where we found temperatures in high 90s. Between the higher-than-expected temperatures and hitting I-25 at rush hour, my spirits sank. However, the closer we got to Santa Fe, the more the traffic thinned, and the lower the temperatures sank. By the time we arrived at the hotel in Santa Fe, our temperatures were in the low 80s, and dropped quickly into the 70s as sunset approached. What a welcome change!

So why’d we pick Santa Fe for recharging our batteries? Well, we’d been through Santa Fe a few years ago, and didn’t get to spend much time looking around. We’ve heard so many good things about the city — especially the downtown area — that we thought it deserved another shake.

Our hotel was a bit of oddity. Apparently, the two-story hotels in Santa Fe don’t have elevators, which left us lugging our impressive pile o’ stuff up two stories. Not the most fun I’ve had. Add to that the room. Our room had a king bed, but had obviously had been designed with two queen beds in mind. You’d think that the hotel would fill some of that dead space with furniture — a table and chair, perhaps. Nope. We had the biggest deadspace I’ve ever seen in a hotel room. There could’ve had a massive game of Twister had on all that carpet.

Tomorrow — wandering the streets of Santa Fe.