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Day 4 - Santa Fe, New Mexico

We thumbed a ride from Phoenix to Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was the strangest thing we have seen so far. I'd say, about 2 dozen or so cars had passed me and Ziggy. I looked at Ziggy and said, "This may take awhile. May as well take a nap." When all of a sudden, way in the distance, we observed a fellow who was riding his bike pulling an old Airstream Camper Trailer. He pulled over and said, "I'm Buddy Santiago from Cuba." And told us to hop in. I had to ask. "What happened to your car?"

He replied, "With the price of gas being what it is today, I choose to pedal myself whereever I go!"

Well, that made sense. So we hopped in and off he went. It was way cool but we needed to make some time if we were to get into Santa Fe before night. Fortunately, most of the trip was downhill.

Ziggy and I decided to take a nap. We must have slept for a long time. I was a pretty smooth and quiet trip. When I woke up, I noticed we weren't moving and I looked out the window and lo and behold, there we were parked in front of a Dairy Queen in Santa Fe.

I opened the door and there was Buddy Santiago, the Cuban bicyclist, having an ice cream cone. I got Ziggy and we went up to him and thanked him for the ride. I asked him where he was from and he said Florida. He said he was making his way from the east coast to the west pulling an Airstream camper for the Guiness Book of World records.

I asked Buddy about how he felt in being an American and he said, "Well, I don't think I could do this in a lot of countries around the world. Especially Cuba. But what I like about being an American is it's a place you can follow your dreams no matter what they are. I've been dreaming about doing this for a long time."

He continued, "And the only sore spots of my trip was when I got a ticket for speeding in Mississippi and pulled over in Texas. They thought I was trying to steal the trailer. That was a bummer."

We said our goodbyes and wished each luck and headed for the Poeh Center. Of course, Ziyy reached into her bag and wore this hat.

I asked, "Now, what the heck kind of hat is that?" And she meowed, "It's a Spanish Conquistador hat."

OK, whatever. We smelled some BBQ cooking and immediately got hungry. But we had to see this pueblo first.

The Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Tribal Council established the Poeh Center in 1988 as the first permanent tribally owned and operated mechanism for cultural preservation and revitalization within the Pueblo communities of the northern Rio Grande Valley. The Center emphasizes arts and cultures of all Pueblo People with focus on the Tewa-speaking Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa Clara and Tesuque; and the Tiwa-speaking Pueblos of Picuris and Taos.

It was really beautiful, but we had to eat. We walked up to these people and asked them what they were cookinmg and they said, "New Mexico BBQ Beef Ribs. Would you like to have dinner with us?" And of course, they didn't have to ask us twice.


This recipe will make approximately one pound and is great to take on hikes, or even better, fishing trips. Be careful. It's hot! Here's the recipe.

New Mexico BBQ Beef Ribs with Cabernet Sauce
Serves 2 - 4

1/3 cup red chili sauce
1 cup cabernet wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic -- large, minced
1 onion -- diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper -- fresh ground
4 pounds beef short ribs

Combine all ingredients except ribs. Let sit for 15 minutes. Marinate ribs in sauce thoroughly. Sear 5 minutes on each side. Cover grill with heavy foil, add ribs and spoon sauce over. Cook for 5 minutes, turn and spoon more sauce. Keep turning and saucing every 15 - 30 minutes until done.

For the caberent sauce:

1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

Chow down!


The people we had dinner with were Sam and Samatha Upchuck, Brian Willowtree, and Mary Abernathy. Sam said, "Kieto, We just love it here. This is heaven on earth. We're btween the Rio Grande and the Pecos River. The weather is great all year round. It may get really hot sometimes, but for the most part, we love it. And we love America too. It's our home. New Mexico was named by the Spanish Conquistadors and I see Ziggy has a conquistador hat on. That's really cool!"

I guess all the TV Ziggy watches really paid off.

As we had dinner, we spoke with the locals and asked them about them, their city and state and America. They all

Ziggy and I slept out under the stars that night. I said, well Ziggy, it was a long 5 days this week and I for one, can't wait to see the rest of this country. We've met some interesting people so far, and have certainly had a good time."

As we laid there on our blankets looking up in the night sky, we heard a loud boom and this is what we saw flying through the sky.

"I wonder where in the world is Buddy Santiago from Cuba?"


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