Isn't it a little homophobic that the easiest way down the hill is called "Gayway"? Not that there's anything wrong, etc..
I'm spending a few days in Santa Fe this week, and took the day off today to try out the local ski area (Ski Santa Fe). It has one of the highest base elevations in the continental US (10,000 feet) and is over 12,000 feet at the summit. This means that the top hills are above the treeline, so it's cold and windy, and you need to stop every six turns on your way down the hill. Luckily, they sell morning half-day tickets, because I don't think I could handle skiing eight hours at 12,000 feet, even though I wasn't ready to quit at 12:30.
It was a beautiful day on the slopes and a beautiful drive to the ski hill. Ski Santa Fe is only 15 miles from the city of Santa Fe, but there's a 3,000 foot elevation rise in those fifteen miles, so it's like climbing up Alpe D'Huez. The terrain also goes drastically from high desert to mountain, so it's like going to a completely different world that's only fifteen minutes out of town.
I actually drove all the way from the Bay Area to Santa Fe this weekend, a 1000 mile trip that took one and a half full days of driving. I drove to Flagstaff on Saturday (730 miles) then the remaning 350 miles yesterday by way of the Grand Canyon (which I'd never seen before).
I'm here through tomorrow then driving home via Las Vegas. One of the best things about traveling via car is that you can bring whatever fits in the trunk without needing to pay excess baggage, and you can take as long or as short a time as you like. You also get multiple hours of iPod listening with no repeats. I made a special three-hour playlist for driving on (the former) Route 66, with 66 songs from 1966 by 66 different artists, and I've listened to it three times all the way through.
The downside is that the Western United States is huge, so it takes an entire day to drive from Northern California to Northern Arizona. But an 11 hour drive is still a lot less stressful than a two-hour flight!