We arrived in Silver City last night at 6PM after three days traveling. That attests to the fact that we are aging. It is 800 miles total and we just made it in 3 days! I have driven that far alone in one day, when I was a little younger.
Day one of our travel was mountains and churches. We saw the oldest church in CO (catholic) and it is a newer church built at the sight. However, we got to light a candle at Our Lady of Guadalupe. We lit one for Vicki, one for Ted, one for us as we traveling, and one for Jo Wolters our former neighbor….very catholic and living now in Salmon ID with her daughter. Bless the Internet. We sent a pic of the candle, Our Lady and a note from our telephone to Jo in Salmon.
We enjoyed the beauty of the high country with the yellow birch up in the mountains, or is it Aspen? The feel of fall is so real. There are many very high mountain meadows/ranches in that southern part of CO and northern part of NM. We had seen the beginning of a steam train loading passengers in Alamosa where we started our day, and that train goes up and over these mountains to Chama in NM.
Amazing to hear and see that train (or another one) coming up the pass from NM into CO. Loud, black smoked locomotive! Then into NM we went, stopped in Chama to have breakfast where NM green chilies (Hatch chilies of course) were served as a sauce over our omelet. We turned East to go through Taos, crossed another beautiful mtn range and spilled down into a high plateau. Through Tres Piedras and past VERY interesting new eco type structureral homes. It could have taken us a day to go over and find out about the community. (this really was nearer Taos).
We were surprised by the Gorge of the Rio Grande.http://www.sangres.com/
statenm/index.htm Never heard of it before. We walked out on the bridge called strangely enough, The Beautiful Steel Bridge. The day was brilliantly blue. On past signs that showed a cow plus the extra, for these parts, of a spaceship decal.
Taos is of course so different than it was when I was 14, 40, 48 and older. Walmart and McDs. We had a nice lunch in the square and visited astonishing art (and prices). Onward south with a short stop at the Mission in Ranchos de Taos. I cannot see that church without seeing the GIANT Black Cross painted by Georgia O’Keeffe that dominated the NM landscape behind it.. It is palpable at that church.http://www.artic.edu/
On down a few miles to Espaniola and up the canyon to Chimayo. There is a church there that has red dirt that is supposed to have miraculous healing qualities. I must say that the interior of that church is amazing. There are three altar background paintings. I said that poorly. I mean that on the wall behind the altar….there is one up front, one to the left and one to the right where there are usually chapels on the cross arms of a cathedral. All very wonderful primitives. Like San Miguel by us but even more primitive looking. They sell Milagros there. That tells you many believers from Mexico.http://www.
Down off the Santa Fe (we didn’t stop) area and down again into the Rio Grande and Albuquerque. We stayed across the river from Albuq. We got up the next morning and visited the Petroglyph National Park.http://www.nps.gov/petr/
index.htm A one hour walk in the sun and we enjoyed and learned a lot. This is the only rift valley in the Western Hemisphere. Amazing. It looks like block fault as well. Black lava rock that was a blackboard for an ancient people to leave their tale that they were there.
On south and south to San Antonio, NM where we ate the best green chili cheeseburger in the country. So says Sunset Magazine. See the Buckhorn Cafe. Really really good. The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Preserve http://www.fws.gov/
southwest/refuges/newmex/ bosque/ is in getting ready mode. Plows digging the marshes out so that water can fill a space for the 100,000 birds that on their way from the north.
Through Truth or Consequences (where my granny owned a motel once) We were caught by her, standing out on the highway waving in tourists. We wanted her to succeed!. Charley shared some food with some road people and off we went on the last leg of our journey. Over the Black Mountains at Elgin Pass where you can look out over the vast Gila Wilderness. We stopped to see the landscape and dove down into Silver City.
What a trip. We are tired but getting rested today. Judith and Alfred are grand. Same ole same ole.