Wednesday, August 24

Santa Fe

Tuesday is a free day and everyone is left to their own devices. Jane spends the morning preparing to host the group for dinner, with Sheryl lending a hand from time to time. David and Sheryl also work on sharing and downloading photos of the trip. Jane then takes Sheryl on a little sight seeing trip to Deer Valley and downtown Park City. The town is quite charming and reminiscent of the Colorado mining towns seen earlier. There is a ski lift rising from the center of town,(see photo) so you can go on a run during your lunch break, if you wish.
Gene had hit if off with Chris Roon the previous evening and they went fly fishing and sight seeing together. Tony spent the day with a friend. The other two couples and Jeff went sight seeing in the area.
Everyone gathered at Jane and David's for a great dinner and enjoyed being entertained in their charming home. Somehow we never run out of conversation in spite of spending almost all our days and evenings together. However, road weariness is setting in and the days and places are running together. No one seems to know what day of the week or date it is or where this and that happened.
Bright and early we gather at the airport to head for and unscheduled visit to Santa Fe. We had to stop somewhere for fuel and decided to spend the night. Peggy had met, Jeffrey, the day before at lunch and he had negotiated good rates for us at The Eldorado,a nice hotel just off the Plaza. Zane and Deanne made reservations at their favorite dining spot.
Jane and David bid us a fond farewell and off we go. First we wind our way down the scenic valley to Utah Lake, the same way the Stearman flights went two days prior. Then on to some very interesting and rugged terrain that reminds one of the Grand Canyon and in fact, is the beginnings of it. There is a lot to see, and most of it seems not to have ever experienced human habitation.
As we near Santa Fe, the air gets pretty rough and we are tossed around to a great degree. As we prepare for landing, Jeff warns us there is a stiff wind and we might have a rough time. We all brace ourselves, but Capt. Tony DiSantis squeaks in a landing so smooth that we hardly feel the wheels touch.
The people at the FBO are very friendly, helpful and interested in our airplane. The FBO itself is Pueblo style inside and out and very cute. Peggy goes in to use the restroom and comes out with an entourage of businessmen. We can see her talking and gesturing and the men laughing. She brings them out to tour the plane and tries to talk them into signing up to get their type ratings. They are enjoying themselves. Zane has negotiated a lower fuel price and after fueling and oiling, we enter a shuttle to the hotel.
On the way in we notice that the Pueblo style dwelling is really, really popular. The hotel itself is that same style. After checking in, we walk to the Plaza and check out the Indian Market. Then repair to a nearby cantina for some food and drink since it is around 3PM and we have not had breakfast yet. We vow to eat light as we still have dinner plans, but it is a hard promise to keep. A little more touring and folks head back for a pre-dinner nap. The most prevalent thing in town seems to be fine jewelry stores with a lot of turquoise at very high prices. Peggy gets to tour the Georgia O'Keefe museum at a trot just before it closes as her companions, who have seen it before, wait outside.
We have dinner at Pasqual's, a popular place within walking distance of our hotel. Jeff surprises everyone with a wooden pen inscribed with their name and Santa Fe. A nice souvenir.(Zane's pen in inscribed "Whatever!") This version of Southwest food is a bit different from what we are accustomed to, but very good. We window shop as we walk back. The evening air has cooled considerably. This is the last night of our journey and we will all miss one another, but we are also road weary.
The trip back to Texas is noticeably subdued as we eight tired road warriors contemplate the end of the adventure and return to reality. Gene and Jake work to finish all the paperwork required. Deanna and Zane are dropped off in Denton, where the air traffic controller, seeing the American Airlines logo, inquires as to whether this means Denton now has passenger service. In a matter of minutes, Tony lands at Alliance, fulfilling his quota of three landings, at 1:58. Jeff has to be at work at 2. Fortunately, Jeff works at Alliance( but his car is at DFW). Now we have fruit basket turnover. Zane has driven from Denton to pick up Tony and take him to the airport. He will then retrieve his larger car from the airport and return to ferry the other four to Ft. Worth. Jeff comes with a golf cart of sorts and takes the last four to the front gate to await Zane. Oops!! There is a huge traffic snarl and it takes Zane two and a half hours to make the trip. At long last, everyone is delivered to where they need to be and this trip ends.
Next up, Virginia near the end of Sept, Alliance Air Show in late October and Stuart, FL in November. Come on along and join in the fun.

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