New Mexico

Santa Fe road trip with the girls

by Melissa S.

4 people, 900 miles, 3 days

Fall happened quickly thanks to a summer I couldn’t keep up with, and because the road always makes sense, three friends and I planned a trip south to Santa Fe for the weekend. We needed a comfortable, reliable car that had space, and ground clearance. Drew’s Nissan Xterra was perfect for the New Mexican desert.

Our style of travel is by leisure. We plan the destination, but the things we do in between have no rhyme or reason. This style of travel I can confidently say I didn’t learn from my mother. Our Airbnb was colorful, and surrounded by mountains, desert, goats, chickens, and even a friendly donkey. Mornings were slow and provided our loft with warmth urging us to start the day.

Bellies full, we packed up the Xterra and set out for a day without an agenda. I say ‘without an agenda’ but I knew too well what we’d do. We’d drove until we’d heard our favorite song play for the sixth time, pull over, whip out the snacks, and play it for a seventh this time hanging out the back, singing, dancing.

Tired, dusty, and in need of a good shower, we headed back to the Airbnb. Dusk was good to us. We wandered the land on the co-op finding treasure in the form of wild Prickly Pears, abandoned RVs, and in learning lady goats grow gnarly facial hair.

These girls continue to be some of my favorite people on the planet —unapologetic with sarcasm for miles, quick to listen, and slow to turn the music down. The day spent driving back to Denver measured up to the days previous. Our eyes are like magnets for bumpy roads that look like they’ll greet a mountainous horizon. We took advantage of the sweet sun sticking our hat headed hair out the windows, dangled feet from the top of the Xterra, and perched from the hatch to watch Kathleen and Sally Ann attempt mediocre tricks on the skateboard. All of it in no particular order.

Colorado. Something in these skies and there’s nothing else like it.

Editor’s note: This trip took place back in 2016. To help scratch that travel itch and fuel your daydreams, we’ve been republishing some of our favorite Travelogues from the past!