This blog, published free of charge since September 2007, is a way for me to stay in touch with seasonal bookstore visitors from afar and with all customers and friends when I am closed during the winter. My annual seasonal retirement will begin this year on November 1, and I expect to be back and open again by June 2021. Meanwhile, thank you so much for following Books in Northport and for supporting Dog Ears Books.
Search This Blog
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Introducing Santa Rosa, My Favorite New Mexico Town
off the Interstate at Santa Rosa puts one on old Route 66, and the town is one of many along the old road to encourage tourism by showcasing the 1950s. We stopped for a
bite to eat -- the old Santa Rosa Cafe no longer in business -- and found the
Route 66 Restaurant still going strong. It was “Taco Tuesday,” too! How cool! Plus, the young nine- or ten-year-old girl helping her grandmother at the cash register loved my Dr. Seuss t-shirt, so all in all, we had a good initial experience and decided to spend the night.
It was early enough that
we had plenty of time to explore around town after checking in at a motel.
is true of most of the towns along old Route 66, the old business strip along
the old route through Santa Rosa has fallen from its former glory, and many
commercial buildings are vacant, some with a long-abandoned look. (The
east end of the strip has more going on than the west.) On the west end of the strip this sign confused me --
-- until I read in La Frontera that menudo is "the world's only reliable hangover cure." That makes sense of serving it in the morning with donuts, doesn't it?
We cruised from one end
to the other several times and also through the downtown to find the post office and
admire the county government buildings.
housing in Santa Rosa is neither big nor ostentatious, the place is no ghost
town. An apparent range of small middle-class homes line pleasant neighborhood
streets. The tiny, empty one above, however, was our favorite, its stone wall
typical of many properties in the town. There are also many adobe-style houses,
and altogether it looked like a very pleasant place to live.
El Rito Creek
the best part of Santa Rosa is the water. Not only does the Pecos River run
through town, with its lively tributary El Rito Creek, both running deep with
water (not just rocks, sand and, dust), but there are also numerous lakes and
ponds and springs, all with clear, fresh, beautiful water. In
the morning we took a closer look. At Park Lake, where water fun is clearly the
theme, I was sure I detected a bubbling spring beneath the sparkling surface, which would certainly explain the astonishing clarity of the water.
was at the Blue Hole itself that we met real excitement. One of my sisters tells me
that the Blue Hole is famous among divers, and we were fortunate enough to come
upon a pair of divers preparing to go down the 81-foot hole and explore tunnels
leading off it. They said they would be down only 30-45 minutes, which sounded like a long time underwater to me.
The Sun and Sand Motel is no longer in business, but the restaurant is still open, with a Route 66 theme (naturally), and plenty of Mexican dishes on the menu, so what better to order for breakfast than huevos rancheros? I was asked if I wanted red chilis, green chilis, or "Christmas." "Christmas" is both red and green, so of course that's what I chose, because it was a new experience beckoning. Also, please note that that is not a bottle of beer on the table but a beer bottle transformed into a salt shaker.
are bigger, fancier towns in New Mexico, but I have to say that if I were
moving to the state, Santa Rosa would be my #1 choice. David and I both found it very refreshing, and Sarah, while not allowed into the Blue Hole, enjoyed her stroll in the vicinity -- and she was fascinated earlier at the fishing bonds by those ducks. It was 11 a.m. before we tore ourselves away, all three of us having had a very interesting and satisfying time.