by Trent Rosser
A couple of weeks ago we had to get out of town. Just for a couple of days. Every now and then it is good for the soul to just forget everything that is worrying you and just escape. Even if it is just down the road, we all need a little rest and relaxation so we can keep our sanity. We packed up and took off to Santa Fe, New Mexico. My wife wanted to see some of the sites and churches. We were told that they have the best flea market ever. So that is where we took off to. The road is even called Flea Market Rd. Guess what? Just our luck, it was closed for the season. Before we left I read up a few things about Santa Fe. It is an art town and there are a few casinos just north of there. So that is where we stayed. I also read about a man by the name of Forrest Fenn. He hid a treasure with over a million dollars. He apparently put the treasure close by his home town of Santa Fe. I really thought about looking for the treasure, but we were here to relax. Plus if I started to look for treasure and ignore my wife while we were on our trip, she would’ve come home alone and left my butt in New Mexico.
So treasure hunting is out of the question (for now anyway). So we head downtown to the plaza to get some souvenirs for the kids and grandkids. We were told of a place called “Palace of the Governors”. Unfortunately, (like most places we tried to visit) it too was closed. It sat on the north side of the plaza and all the other shops were open. That Saturday afternoon it was bustling with people. I heard about 3 other languages. Sounded like Russian and possible German, and Japanese. Tourists were everywhere and we were one of them. We started at one of the churches but it was closed due to the choir practice. The entry way was converted into a gift shop. It was pretty neat, but we had shopping to do and we did not find what we wanted here. So we started at the “Palace of the Governors”. Again it was closed, but outside on the square, Indians would lay out their blankets and show off their handmade jewelry that they had for sale. I have never seen so much turquoise! Of course my wife found a few things, but she wanted to get other things first. So we left the brisk cool air and walked into a store. You would walk in the front door, walk out the back, and side and pass through about 3 other stores before you made it back outside to the sidewalk. They had restaurants in the alley way and it was a maze trying to get through everything. We were looking at the merchandise and found that most everything was pretty expensive. Somehow, we ended up in front of a normal looking store right on the plaza. We walked in and everything glittered. They had all kinds of things, but me; being who I am, was drawn to the large display case full of bone handle bowie knives. I was in awe and was thinking about getting one just for me. If they were not too much, I might get one for my son-in-law also. Then they told me the price of a couple. Expensive is not the word! More than my paychecks! One knife is more than what I take home in a week; some of the knives were more than what I take home in 2 weeks. Granted I don’t get paid much, but that was crazy. So we made a shot for the door. As I grabbed the handle for us to get out, my wife saw it, the little dancing Indian doll. They had 2 of them. Just about 6 inches tall made of wood, with black and red clothing. The bases of them were small pieces of wood with the bark still on it. She looked at the bottom of the first one and it said 850. That’s not bad at all! The other one said 1250. The other ones that we found were running about thirty to forty dollars. So I told my wife to grab it for our daughter. When I turned around the sales lady was practically running towards us. I shoved the doll at her and said “we want this one, the 8 dollar one.” Did you hear a loud bang a couple of weeks ago? Felt a small earthquake perhaps? Don’t worry, that was just our jaws hitting the ground when the sales lady said “That piece of art is eight hundred and fifty dollars. Not 8 dollars!” We left quickly! This is why we cannot do art. We would have let the 3-year-old grandson play with it!
We did do a little bit more sightseeing and learned that the oldest church and the oldest home were just right off from the plaza. So we made our way to a few of the other churches, (they were both closed due to special events) and other shops around the plaza and found one of the oldest churches in the United States. We walked in, and again, there was the gift shop. We had to pay $2 to get in, but it was worth it. They actually showed the steps carved out of the ground to go to the sanctuary. Right around the corner was the “De Vargas Street House”. It is one of the oldest buildings in America. The foundation was a part of an ancient Indian home dating back to 1200 A.D. Now, if you go to see this house, you must be very careful. I stand 6 feet tall and I have to duck to get in. I almost bumped my head a couple of times, but what got me is what I did next. When you walk in, you shut the door behind you and turn left, step down and along the wall are pictures of the house throughout the years and next to it is a donation box. It says that the fee is free but would suggest 2 dollars apiece. I was in awe and just reached into my wallet grabbed a couple of bills. I saw the 2 on the bills in my wallet and somehow my feeble brain said a 2 dollar bill. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to figure out if I did only pay 2 dollars or if I just put in 2 twenty-dollar bills in that damn little box. This trip was starting to get real expensive!
We went on to the hotel and casino. We stopped at a place called Camel Rock. It is a rock formation that looks like a camel. I think it looks like a camel; the casino across the street is named after it because it looks like a camel, but my wife thinks it looks more like a turtle. Or E.T. I actually see her point. We stopped, I looked around for treasure (inside the casino) and found a little bit. The next morning we searched high and low for a good souvenir shop. Finally found it and we were back home by 8 pm the next night. It was a very short trip, but sometimes, just sometimes, you have to get away. Just be careful not to drop a little Indian doll. It could be worth a fortune.
Hmm, maybe I did find Fenn’s Fortune after all?