Next stop was Santa Rosa where we had decided to grab some lunch. I would’ve loved to spend more time in this town, especially if it was warmer. Santa Rosa is nicknamed the City of Natural Lakes and is famous for its springs such as the “Blue Hole.” Scuba divers come from far away to explore the 80 feet deep and 60 feet wide spring. The pictures of this average 64-degree F spring are amazing and one day I want to return to Santa Rosa with my scuba gear. It’s been a long time since I dove with my Dive Master license! We decided on lunch at Joseph’s Bar & Grill recommended by one of our guidebooks. Also called “Fat Joe’s”, they are famous for their Root Beer Float. The restaurant was decorated with old memorabilia from Route 66 and they had a wonderful gift shop where we added to our collection. I actually ended up buying a really cool Root Beer bottle with the authentic “Root 66 Beer” label on the front. I had been craving a good bowl of chili since we left New York (I was also on the look-out for a good chocolate milk shake, diner style), and this was the place. I had the most amazing bowl of spicy chili with tortillas on the side. Yum!
Leaving Santa Rosa, we had read an impressive description of Las Vegas, NM and decided to drive through this “Wild Western Town”. Founded in 1835, it had been inhabited by Anglo settlers, desperadoes, robber barons, dance-hall girls, native-Americans, and Spanish conquerors. Doc Holliday had lived there in 1879 followed by Wyatt Earp, and Butch Cassidy. Scenes from movies such as Easy Rider, Charlie Siringo, and Red Dawn were filmed in Las Vegas, NM. We did see the impressive La Cataneda Hotel (Harvey House chain), and many of the 900 buildings in town. However, we weren’t too impressed. Maybe we missed something?