What an interesting day Sunday was! VERY cold in Santa Fe, but with bright sun all the way back home.
After attending the 9 a.m. meeting for worship at the Santa Fe Meetinghouse ... the old Olive Rush studio and home on Canyon Road ... we wound our way through town to the highway north, stopping by Tesuque Pueblo on the way. Tesuque bans cameras, cell phones and sketching materials, so no pictures to post. I was amazed at the amount of construction work underway around the plaza ... looks like a lot of new housing in the works, replacing the old room blocks that probably go back to at least the 13th century A.D. at their foundations.
Ohkay Owingeh, formerly San Juan Pueblo, north of Espanola, is more open, so we were able to take a few pictures. The first (bottom) picture above appears to be a pun. The address of the Catholic parish residence is 182 Pope, and they feature a picture of the present pope of the Roman Catholic Church. However, the address is really on a street named Po-Pay, formerly spelled Popé, after the name of the Pueblo leader who was central to the Pueblo Rebellion against Spain in 1680.
The cross atop the brick church across the street from plaza was a favored roosting- or sunning-place for a pigeon on that quiet Sunday morning after Christmas.
Over the Chama River and up the road a bit, I noticed three crosses on a knoll south of the town of Abiquiu. On a hunch, we got down into 4-wheel-drive again (the Jeep was missing it ;-}) and drove up a side-road in that direction. The penitente morada of Abiquiu is pictured with the three crosses, the Chama River Valley and the freshly snow-covered Sangre de Cristo peaks beyond.
The Sangre de Cristos appear again in the next picture up, with the Chama River in the foreground, above Abiquiu and below the Abiquiu Dam. Note the hardy angler standing in the left fork of the river beyond the bend.
Ghost Ranch looked SO much more beautiful and inviting in the sun than it did in the grey snow of Dec. 26! The new (2006) Agape Center had almost a warm glow in the bright chill, with Chimney Rock behind it.
And then we went back toward Santa Fe, across Abiquiu Dam and took the side road into Cañones, probably the most remote little town I've seen in the Lower 48. I was there once before, about 15 years ago, and it has changed, though not as much as it might wish. There are satellite dishes now, the road in is paved (though still narrow) and there appear to be some new homes built. It appears the Merced Comunitaria Juan Bautista Baldez is a Spanish land grant, the boundaries of which had not been set in modern times and parlance. It appears the New Mexico Legislature may facilitate a survey, after which the community wants to develop a waste-water treatment system and make other improvements to enable their young people to remain there. San Miguel Archangel is the nicely-maintained church there; we didn't see the bright blue dome of the Russian Orthodox mission that is also purported to be there.
Well, it was running late, so we scooted across on NM 96, through Youngsville, Coyote, Gallina, Regina and La Jara, little Hispanic towns with deep roots in northern New Mexico. But, we still had to stop and enjoy the distant view of the San Juan Mountains above a butte and some rough country north and east of Nageezi on US 550. The lovely colors surrounded us on all horizons for some time.
It was dark when we picked up the happy-to-see-us dachshund and came home together to settle in and be thankful to home, warm and safe. We hope all you readers are warm and safe, too, as we end this eventful year and edge toward ... who knows what. tv