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Southwestern Winter Deserts

Santa Fe New Mexico

We left Lubbock Texas behind us and headed into the northern high deserts of the western USA. As our altitude increased (to as high as 7,500 feet at times) the temperature decreased to as low as 17 degrees Fahrenheit (-8 degrees Celsius). And of course, the snow began to fall.

For all of Tess's (our Tesla Model X's) excellent autopilot skills she is not to be trusted, yet, with driving on slippery wet roads. Weather and autopilot infancy required us to hand-drive Tess all day long from Lubbock to our destination, Santa Fe New Mexico.

Santa Fe is a haven for us to rest from the very long and arduous drive. This is what Wikipedia has to say about Santa Fe:

"It is considered one of the world's great art cities, due to its many art galleries and installations, and is recognized by UNESCO's Creative Cities Network. Cultural highlights include Santa Fe Plaza and the Palace of the Governors, and the Fiesta de Santa Fe, as well as distinct New Mexican cuisine restaurants and New Mexico music performances. Among the numerous art galleries and installations are, for example, Georgia O'Keefe Museum, a gallery by cartoonist Chuck Jones, and newer art collectives such as Meow Wolf."

The desert is always beautiful to see, but when it is covered with snow it is even more picturesque. Our journey to New Mexico had us pass the remaining wind turbines in north Texas. We saw the flat, sandy, arid cotton farm fields of Texas turn back into snow and sagebrush covered desert. Goodbye Texas, I wish you well.

Driving into any desert should not be taken lightly. For example, we take water, food, sleeping bags, and warm clothes into the frozen desert. We also carry various non-Tesla charging plugs (just in case of a charging miscalculation or a malfunctioning charger) and a tire pump capable of pumping a tire sealant solution into any punctured tire. These items are all stored neatly in the front trunk of the car, whimsically known as the frunk. Normally a simple press of a button will open the frunk. It can be the small things that go wrong, which have the biggest impact. Today when we tried to open the frunk it remained firmly closed. Inside the locked frunk and out of our reach now, all our risk mitigation tools. We felt completely frunked.

As you can imagine Tesla does not have a service center in Santa Fe. Incredibly, they do offer mobile service to this remote high-desert town. And so, the day after our arrival, Brian from Tesla Mobile Service arrived at our hotel and fixed our stuck frunk.

Well, Wikipedia's description of Santa Fe is completely accurate, but entirely understated. Santa Fe is truly a wonderful little city. We spent the day at the Georgia O'Keefe museum and fell deeply in love with her inspiring art. I've seen pictures of it before, but they pale in comparison to standing before the real thing. Its quaint narrow streets and old adobe buildings are fine art in and of themselves.

All we can say is we loved staying in Santa Fe and will return whenever the opportunity presents itself.


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