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Santa Fe visit need not drain entire paycheck

Three hours, on a good day, with the wind at your back. Three and a half hours, under a more normal time frame. In all, to make it even more appealing, those are pretty easy drive hours.

I'm talking about the time frame needed to get to Santa Fe.

With all of that, one might not wonder why, in this early stage of the summer, we as a family are planning several return trips to Santa Fe.

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The least of the reasons is that it is, after all, our state capitol. That's an OK thing, and it is something worth exposing one's children and grandchildren to.

To be honest, that pales, for me, beside the reality of the outdoors, the art, the cathedral, and the culture.

Culture, in this case, could actually be sub-headed under art, as the specific that I am referring to is the free jazz concerts at St. John's College, which we (along with about a thousand others) were able to attend this past

Wednesday. These midweek gatherings continue through July 23rd, and I'd hate to jinx that last one by stating in public that we will close the season, as we opened it, by attending...but we will.

If I did jinx it, by guaranteeing rain for that night, no one will complain; Santa Fe is just as drought ridden as is the rest of our state.

Which transitions, if you will allow that leeway, into the outdoors. I have not had the time, during this week of schooling, to venture into the national forest. That's kind of depressing, because under normal circumstances, any time spent in our City Different needs to include a trip up into the nearby mountains.

I would presume fire restrictions are still on; even if they are, the beauty makes it one of my favorite places to spend time. The beauty is enhanced by the fact that, as one drives up into the forest, hiking trails of all levels branch in both directions. All day hikes can be accommodated, but brief hikes or hikes with small children are also possible.

What we did have time to do included stopping at the Basilica, or as it's more commonly called, the Cathedral. This was vital to me because it gave me the opportunity to stop and pay respects and honor to the new statue of my patron saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, the Mohawk woman canonized in 2012.

Please do not email me with the byline fact that I am a Presbyterian minister, and the rejoinder that I "should not have a patron saint." You would receive a long and complex answer detailing why I can, and do, and why it is she.

Closing, let me address the cost issue. The above mentioned activities, with some others not mentioned, are free. The lost art of picnicking can cover one's food situation, if one is loathe to pay restaurant prices (as we were). I am fortunate enough to drive a Camry, but some of my readers may own cars which cost even less to operate. So, one need not spend an entire paycheck to enjoy the beauty of our state capitol this summer.

Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis High School. He can be contacted at:

[email protected]