Guest Posts, North America, Travel Resources

“That One Time In… Santa Fe, New Mexico” – Bec Clipsham

Welcome to this week’s That One Time In – the feature where fellow travelers share their stories of travel, adventure and everything in between.  If you would like to take part please get in touch – or @WhereinWorldKP – I would love to hear from you!

This week’s That One Time In features Bec Clipsham of The World As Bec Sees It on her snowy adventure in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is her story:

On a 21-day tour from Los Angeles through to New York City we stopped in Santa Fe, a city in the state of New Mexico. Santa Fe was one of the most memorable and incredible travel experiences I had on my ten-week trip through the United States. Why?

I experienced my first snowfall.

Now it wasn’t much, but for an Australian who has never seen real snow or felt it on her face, experiencing any kind of snow was very exciting! I was so excited (and it was so cold) that I put on my boots, my beanie, my finger gloves and my great big coat and I was ready! I think I might have been the only one on the tour who was that excited about the snowfall but I did not care!

The snowfall was amazing!

By the time we got to lunch that day in Santa Fe, the snow had stopped and the sun was out, so wearing all my layers turned out to be a little bit hot. I might have been unprepared for the warming up of the day, but the important part to note is I was prepared for the cold and the snow! I think it’s amazing how in one place you can experience both extremes of weather!

My tour friends and I spent the rest of the day exploring in town. We walked up to the top of a lookout with lovely views over Santa Fe and also explored the Loretto Chapel, home to the famous spiral staircase, which has quite an interesting and mysterious story.

Early in the morning the snow fell, just lightly and just enough that I had tiny little snowflakes on my jacket and in my hair. It was glorious! Here are a few photos of the experience:




The legend of the spiral staircase:

When the Loretto Chapel was built, the nuns noticed that the church was lacking any type of stairway to the choir loft.

Due to the small size of the chapel, a standard staircase would have been too large and an ordinary ladder would not have worked with the nun’s wearing their long habits. So, the only logical solution for the nuns was to pray for nine days straight for St Joseph’s intercession.

One day, a carpenter appeared at the door of the Loretto chapel and offered to build a staircase to the choir loft. The nuns thought this to be a miracle from God, so of course they agreed and for three whole months the carpenter locked himself inside the chapel and constructed this staircase:

This famous staircase ascends twenty feet, with two full revolutions to the choir loft, without the use of nails or center support, an incredible and most impressive piece of carpentry.


After completion of the famous spiral staircase, the nuns were eager to show their gratitude to the mysterious carpenter, but he was nowhere to be seen. Today, the identity of the talented carpenter still remains unknown. The nuns and many visitors to the Loretto Chapel believe the construction of the staircase was a miraculous occurrence, built by St Joseph himself and has often been referred to as the “miraculous staircase”. Well, the “miraculous staircase” is one of the main attractions in Santa Fe and my one good photo does not do it justice! You simply must make a visit!

I think the best part of travelling and exploring Santa Fe on that one day, was being continually surprised. I was surprised with a light snowfall, and I was surprised to have learnt about a “miraculous staircase” constructed by a mysterious carpenter, in a town that I never thought I would visit. In conclusion, it is the pleasant surprises that you encounter on your travels, which make up some of your most memorable and incredible travel experiences.

3 other things you can do in Santa Fe:

  1. The Georgia O’Keeffe museum
  2. The New Mexico museum of art
  3. Explore the Santa Fe Plaza – Great places to soak in the Spanish-American architecture and atmosphere!



Author’s Bio

Bec Clipsham from The World as Bec Sees It is a 24-year old Primary Teacher from Sydney, Australia with a severe case of wanderlust. With four continents and thirty countries under her belt (with plans to see more) she has just started in the travel blogging world sharing her travel stories, adventures and tips. She is a pianist of fifteen years, an avid cat lover, enjoys learning foreign languages and strongly believes you can have your cake and eat it too: Work in the job of your dreams and travel the world.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Bec February 26, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Thanks so much for featuring my story on your blog! 🙂 Turned out well!

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