Saturday, May 24, 2014

The last


A Mariachi Welcome!


The end of the Santa Fe Trail

The stone monument in Santa Fe Plaza marks the end of the Santa Fe Trail.  As some kind visitors offered to take this photo, a mariachi band led a wedding party around the plaza... there wasn't exactly a parade just for me, however well-deserved I may have thought it.  Just as I arrived in Santa Fe, passing heavy thunderstorms broke the long drought of the region, prompting great rejoicing for all. My pilgrimage didn't end for another day and a half, but I was again among friends and in a familiar environment.

Now back at the Santuario de Chimayo, I'll be here to help other pilgrims until the end of autumn when I'll be getting ready for the next epic winter pilgrimage - yes, back to brisk winter weather, no snakes, frozen streams easily forded, and snow soft on the feet... more suitable pilgrim conditions.. check back in November.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Past OK yet still in the wind

A long stretch between computer opportunities, but I'm overcoming the persistent strong headwinds and noticeable elevation climb and making great progress across the drought-stricken high prairie of eastern New Mexico.

The topography is more to my liking with distant mesas poking up on the horizons and the snow-covered peaks further in the distance.  I've been staying along or nearby lonely highways in the company of tumbleweeds and bull snakes.  Dots on the state map reveals towns lost to history and water has been scarce - I routinely jump barbed wire fences and push aside cattle to get water being pumped up from great depths by squeaky little wind turbines.  The distance between Clayton and Springer, both historical hubs on the Santa Fe Trail, is a direct 82 miles with only a scattering of ranches in between.  Pretty advanced pilgrim territory, in truth... not for everyone.  I'm not sure this will be a high-trafficked pilgrim camino to Chimayo.

Still, there's plenty of interesting things to occupy my mental time - bison, bull snakes, coyotes, bull snakes, badgers, bull snakes, and plenty of chatty songbirds.  Wagon parts, too, especially around the ruins of melted adobe huts, long abandoned.  Despite the wind and the dust that comes with it, it's really romantically picturesque.

I'm just coming onto a thousand miles on this journey and should be at the Santa Fe Plaza on Friday and then on to Chimayo Sunday.  The end is bittersweetly near.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Picture of Ann in Wagon Mound en route to the Santuario de Chimayo

Hi Ann…I hope this message finds you well. Thank you for your great company!