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On the road again Canada and the US Dec 2011-Feb 2012 - Observations, musings and random thoughts jotted down mostly during loooong train and bus trips.

SEVENTEEN MILES TO LAMY

USA | Monday, 23 January 2012 | Views [917]

Lamy station, New Mexico

Lamy station, New Mexico

The mini-van swerved into the dusty yard of the Santa Fe International Hostel – a collection of low adobe buildings surrounding a courtyard filled with old Silver Streak caravans , building detritus and a wordless rusty sign swinging off a leaning pole. A round-faced, smiling Native American man swung out of the driver’s seat and ambled towards me, hand outstretched : “John. You’re it today “  and good-naturedly, as I automatically  made for the left-hand door, “ I think I’ll drive, if you don’t mind”!

On the seventeen mile drive to Lamy, a whistle-stop on the Southwest Chief route between Los Angeles and Chicago, John chatted non-stop about Santa Fe and its numerous rich and famous inhabitants: Ali McGraw  - she’s in her seventies now – does a lot for all the migrant children here; Greer Garson and her husband lived on a ranch a little out of town – have you heard of her? - there’s a theatre named after her – she put a lot of money into the Santa Fe college – the kids can do all sorts of arts programs there; Gene Hackman; Oprah Winfrey has a house over there; Robert Redford still has one here I think … a lot of them have houses here – a bit different to my house”…

“Mine too!” I said.

My ‘lifesaver’ who picked you up at the station the other day  - his father was Jack Schaefer - wrote westerns – have you heard of the film ‘Shane’? He lived here too, been dead a long time though – maybe fifty years”…

“So how long have you been here ? What did you do? Have you been to the pueblos?”

There are about twenty ancient pueblos in the area north of Santa Fe, which are home to several Native American tribes, including the Navajo, Zuni, Apache and Laguna, as well as the sites of several ruins.  John told me that I should visit when the festivals are on: “Write to the Pueblo Council to get the dates. Of course you would be welcome.”

“I’d love to” I said.

Lamy is so small it was immediately familiar after my thirty-minute wait there of several days ago.  So little happens that any small change is immediately noticeable.

 “They’ve painted the roof of that old engine black since I was here last” said John.

Amtrak did itself proud and was only forty minutes late into the station.

 Only nineteen hours, give or take an hour or two, to Chicago.

(c)FMPDH 2012

Tags: amtrak, lamy, santa fe, southwest chief

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