"Antonito was once the "mainline" of the infant Denver and Rio Grande railroads. Today, Antonito is the main station for the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad - the highest and longest narrow-gauge railroad in the North American continent - an authentic railroad trip to Chama, New Mexico, that brings Colorado history to the present day."
Of course, after 30 years of visiting there, he doesn't ride the train anymore, just chases it up through the passes, takes pictures, and hikes along the rails. If anyone wants more history about this area or the railroad itself, you can check it out here.
I stayed back at the cabin for most of the days and sewed. I took along my Pfaff, and as you already know, enough projects for me to work on even if we got snowed in for the winter! HA!
We always get to see the last of the hummingbirds on our front porch before they leave for the winter.
I also made sure to get out of the cabin and walk along the Conejos River everyday. It's so quiet there, and it's very relaxing to hear the river tumbling over the rocks!
We drove straight south from Colorado into New Mexico into Taos. Along the drive there was some beautiful country, with high altitudes, and lots of cold wind. We saw a dark shadow running across the flat vista to the east of us as we were driving into New Mexico. All of a sudden, we were right on it! It was the Rio Grande Gorge, which was well marked with all the tourist cars parked up and down the road on each end of the bridge. Of course, since we were officially tourists, we decided to stop and see the hole in the ground, too.
Since we were officially tourists, we thought it was high time to consult our unread guide book for the area before taking off again. After all, we almost missed this hole in the ground, right? So we found that an 80 mile drive enchantingly named the "Enchanted Circle" was located immediately to the north and east of Taos. This, too was highly recommended by the guidebooks. All I can say is that we are still waiting to be "enchanted".
But there WAS one formation of rocks that was pretty cool! Apparently, there was someone else impressed with this wall of rocks, because they're parked on the other side from us, up the road!
We walked the town plaza in Taos, and afterwards, we found our B & B, Hacienda del Sol and got a very relaxing sleep on a wonderful bed! Not quite as rustic as the cabin in Colorado...and a nice breakfast before we hit the road to Santa Fe.
The drive south to Santa Fe was pretty flat with a few rock formations here and there. There were many Pueblos to visit or drive through, but since we've done that before, we decided not to pay their fees for photography or the privilege to drive on their roads. We drove to Chimayo, which is a lovely old, old, old, city/village. We stopped at the weavers, and I purchased some bookmarks, and a small, black piece of pottery that I fell in love with. We also stopped at the Sancturario, which is sometimes called the Lourdes of America.
"Somewhere around 1810, a Chimayo friar was performing penances when he saw a light bursting from a hillside. Digging, he found a crucifix, quickly dubbed the miraculous crucifix of Our Lord of Esquipulas. A local priest brought the crucifix to Santa Cruz, but three times it disappeared and was later found back in its hole. By the third time, everyone understood that El Senor de Esquipulas wanted to remain in Chimayo, and so a small chapel was built on the site. Then the miraculous healings began. These grew so numerous that the chapel had to be replaced by the larger, current Chimayo Shrine -- an adobe mission -- in 1816.
El Santuario de Chimayo is now known (at least locally) as the "Lourdes of America." The crucifix still resides on the chapel alter, but for some reason its curative powers have been overshadowed by El Posito, the "sacred sand pit" from which it sprang, which gapes unheavenly behind the main altar. Over 300,000 people visit this dustbin o' heaven every year.
The Prayer Room, which is located in the sacristy of the church (next to the pit), is filled with discarded crutches, braces, and scary, handmade shrines that look more voodoo than Catholic."
Since I couldn't take pictures in this sacred place, I am sharing one from Roadside America's website so you can see the pit of dirt. Of course, being good tourists, I had Hubby pour some dirt on his hands as a preventive measure.
We drove on into Santa Fe and basically crashed at our next Bed and Breakfast, Inn on the Alameda for the next two days. We did a little gallery looking, and little walking, and a little shopping but mostly just luxuriating in the lush room!
Here's Hubby on one of the benches on one of our walks about town. Pretty big crows they grow in New Mexico, eh?
And if you've lasted this long - here's your reward:
When we went into Chama NM, we stopped at Lynn Graves (Little Foot) shop. She usually has a Labor Day sale when we are there, and this time, we found a LOT to bring home! I can't even begin to tell you how many yards is here. Most, but not all of this fabric was $2.50 or $3.50 a yard. The black pieces and the brights in the upper left hand corner were regularly priced, but still less than here in Kansas City.
And then! If that wasn't enough fabric to blow my fabric diet, then Hubby found this nice little shop in Santa Fe with exactly what I had been saying I wanted. Nice Hubby, he gets a biscuit, doncha think?
And now, i have to admit to you that I really didn't like Taos and Santa Fe. It's too dry, the altitude is difficult for me to adapt to, and I sure don't like all those green chilis and green peppers in my food! But it was nice to see, but even nicer to be home!