With COVID-19 cases rising, I knew this 4th of July would be different. Last summer I went to Blanding, Utah to meet up with an old high school friend and have a nice camping trip. Between the summer class, work and planning on leaving town soon, I needed a low-key, socially distant Independence Day celebration. The solution was a day trip to Santa Fe with two close friends.

The Drive

Santa Fe is the capital of New Mexico. I have visited twice before. The first time was for a day trip to explore downtown and the second time was to see Meow Wolf. It is about an hour’s drive on I-25. The trip always seems to go super-fast and I always wonder why I don’t go visit Santa Fe more often.

The Hike

The first stop was a small walking path by the Santa Fe River. We picked up coffee at Java Joe’s right before we headed toward the start of the path. There were a good number of people on the path. We made sure we took face coverings on the hike. It was a pretty short hike, but it was fun to get outside. The weather was really nice, and the path had lots of shade.

Lunch

The next stop on our trip was to take a walk downtown. We wanted to check out some of the outdoor shops. Right as we found a parking spot, it started to rain. We decided to just do a drive around downtown after the rain and grab lunch instead.

We ate at Taco Fundación. It was super good! I got some street tacos and we all ate outside under a patio covering to watch it rain. There were others out eating under the covering, but we all had at least one table between us.

Canyon Road

After lunch, we checked out Canyon Road. This is where there are a lot of art galleries and outdoor art exhibits in the same place. We were able to go in and out of galleries and look around. Some of my favorite galleries had paintings displaying magical realism or large sculpture gardens.

Heading Home

The last stop before we headed back to ABQ was Shake Foundation. We made the short drive back home and got dinner ready for a socially distant picnic with some friends in town for the Fourth.

My friends and I at Shake Foundation

Takeaways

This was a really fun trip and a great way to feel festive, stay socially distant, and still have fun. We always had face masks on, and we sanitized a lot. While we walked around on the hike and on Canyon Road, we made sure to leave lots of room between us and anyone else out if we had to cross paths. We also traveled with Clorox wipes and used them a good amount.

The trip did really highlight how traveling even an hour away has really changed because of coronavirus. But, all of the things we had planned made social distancing possible, and I still feel that I had the same amount of fun that I would have had if the virus wasn’t a concern.

I hope you all had a safe holiday and have found ways to have fun in a pandemic.

Anna