Saturday, October 23, 2010

America's Great Pilgrim Destination

I've arrived in Chimayo, America's most-visited pilgrim destination. New Mexico has proven to be pretty roller-coaster-y through Carson National Forest, and in the rain and low clouds, I wasn't able to see the snow on the upper peaks very often. Beautiful land... yet odd to link cactus and rain. This marks the successful completion of the first leg of my pilgrimage.

I know I've pushed a bit hard through the mountains - even with the extra weight of the snowshoes, I managed over 26 miles per day... daily mountain marathons, literally, no wonder my feet are so achy - nonetheless, I hope other pilgrims follow, at their own pace. I've found that churches are as helpful here as anywhere in Europe for assisting pilgrims with accommodation and doling out the all-important stamp for the credenziale. There are pilgrim-friendly people everywhere. This afternoon, I passed through a pretty little village of Truchas. Although a cafe, bar, restaurant, etc is lacking, when I posed the question to the first person I saw, she invited me into the cooperative gallery full of gorgeous local artwork - weavings, santos, retablos, pottery..., and poured me a cup of coffee while I unburdened myself of my pack and muddy boots at the door. We talked, others gathered, a lively pilgrim discussion, and lovely foot-rubs ensued... ahhhh.
A quick opportunity this evening to upload some of the watercolors - just snapped with the webcam, so pardon the cropping issues...
Sangre de Cristo church, San Luis, Colorado:

Church of All the Saints, atop the Stations of the Cross Shrine, San Luis:

San Francisco de Asis, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico c.1772:


San Jose de Gracias, Las Trampas, New Mexico c.1760:

These interesting churches reflect a part of Ameican history unrelated to the pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620... the Spaniards had already colonized this area of New Mexico a generation before the first Thanksgiving in Massachusetts.

6 comments:

Rebrites@yahoo.com said...

so... Are you off to America´s truly most American pilgrimage destination next? Graceland awaits you, in Memphis, Tennessee!

Seth DeMoor said...

Great photos of the mission churches! 26 miles is no easy feat, but the snow is flying up here so I think your departure date was close to perfect. Stay dry and hold onto your beads!
SJD from...
www.OneBillionStories.com

Anonymous said...

I am glad you made it through the CO mountains before the snow began--not a moment too soon! Enjoy the beauty of New Mexico. It is a good time to be there to enjoy Dia de los Muertos.
Karen

The Solitary Walker said...

I just love those watercolours. Buen Camino!

Sheila Phelan Wright said...

One of my favorite - and most sacred - places in the world. And I feel even more connected knowing you took one step at a time and made your way. Your journey is part of my life. Best, best, best

Ukiefriend said...

Oh, beautiful pastels, Anna! You are amazing! Buen Camino, Nadja