For me, New Mexico truly is the “Land of Enchantment.” And I had an amazing week exploring my old stomping grounds! I lived in New Mexico for 30 years, from Albuquerque to college in Las Cruces, to summers in Santa Fe, to substitute Ag. Teacher in Eastern NM, and many other places. This desert will always hold a very special place in my heart.
I started off my week with my antiques mentor, Charlotte Merrill. I met Charlotte when I was four years old and she introduced me to American Country Antiques. All that I am in my career today, I owe to her! If you have ever enjoyed a single issue of A Simple Life Magazine, you have this beautiful woman to thank. She has the lions share of my heart, she inspires me, and is my compass through this journey of life. She is my heart and soul – my Charlotte….
We ate at my all-time favorite restaurant, “The Shed” in Santa Fe.
Next, I had the immense pleasure of visiting Rancho De Las Golondrinas (Ranch of the Swallows) in Santa Fe. It depicts a stop along the Camino Real (the Royal Road from Mexico City to Santa Fe) in 1710. Many of the original structures are there, along with several more that were moved from nearby. This 200 acre ranch is SPECTACULAR and very pure. Watch for an article in an upcoming issue of A Simple Life!
My dad lives in Grants, NM and his brother, my Uncle Pete, lives in California. My cousin Greg, who is like a brother to me, brought my Uncle and met me in Grants for three awesome days of family fun!
Our first stop, the “Ice Cave” located along the Continental Divide, is inside part of a collapsed lava tube, and the temperature never rises above 31º F. The natural layers of the perpetual ice create such an atmosphere that even subspecies of algae can grow fruitful in near freezing conditions. The ice is approximately 20′ thick. The day we were there it was well over 100 degrees out but freezing down below.
Our next stop was “El Morro,” a shaded oasis in the desert, this site has seen many centuries of travelers. The remains of a mesa top pueblo are atop the promontory where between about 1275 to 1350 AD, up to 1500 people lived there. Travelers left signatures, names, dates, and stories of their treks. People always knew they could get water there for their long journey west across the desert.
One evening, Greg and I went to Gallup where I got to visit my old friend Becky Sheridan at the “Best of the Best Timed Event Finals.” Being back at work at my old gig – selling horse tack & ropes sure felt great, if even for a couple of hours. Becky and I set up at tons of rodeos and ropings all over the country back in the day, and I’ve missed the smell of leather and horse flesh!
Sadly, it’s time to say goodbye to this enchanting land and start the long journey back to reality with tears in my eyes and a promise to return home again soon…