Friday, August 6, 2010

Raton, Santuario de Chimayo, New Mexico, and so on.

It was road trip bonding time with my dad as I had asked him if we could go down to New Mexico, specifically Santuario. He was itching for a trip down south so there wasn't a need to convince him on my end.  

Once you past Trinidad, Starkville, and the mining ghost town of Morley you drive through Raton Pass hitting the state line ending up in New Mexico, specifically Raton. My cousins Ruben and Viola who are old enough to be my uncle and aunt still live there with the other 7,000 or so residents.  Like Trinidad, Raton has a lighted sign that sits on a hill above the town. If you're needing a place to catch up on some z's or need some supper, you can stay at one of the 25 motels or grab a bite at the slew of restaurants. Don't forget to gas up on the way out of town. At night the old neon signs that lined the town are magical, a great slice of Americana.
El Raton Theatre is alive and kicking!

The Robin Hood Motel is keeping it wireless about them apples.

There are two ways to get to Chimayo; I-25 down to Santa Fe then cut across to Española OR jump on the 64 a few miles south of Raton and go through Cimarron and Eagle Nest. We opted for the 64, the scenic route with the winding roads of Cimarron Canyon State Park coming out at Eagle Nest Lake. It was clear why the town was called Eagle Nest, we saw no less than a dozen soaring in the sky.   

After riding on the edge of Santa Fe National Forest the 64 runs into the outskirts of Taos. And I'm thinking what an amazing drive the past two hours had been. We the merged on to the 68 and ride along the Rio Grande Gorge to Española. If you are into rafting this area is your calling. 
The ride along the 68 equates to fruit stands, wineries, and views.

Outside the parking lot on the north end of Santuario de Chimayo. Each cross stands over 10ft tall. Santuario is known for its' 
healing powers. You can find holy water and dirt there. Many people make a pilgrimage to be healed
from their illness.
La Virgen con los cruces/rosarios, flores, y santos. 
Dad with the Medina Street sign. There are many Medinas buried on the grounds of Santuario, dad thinks we might be related to some of them.

Shrine of Santa Niño de Atocha. The above photo has not been altered, you might notice a ghost like image exiting the door. It spooked me when I uploaded the picture. 

El Santuario de Chimayo. Inside there is a church, holy dirt, photos of people departed and needing to be healed, abandoned crutches, prayers, baby shoes, and people's heartfelt stories. It was touching and unforgettable.

The hills west of Santuario.

Candles and homemade cruces. 

The back roads to Santa Fe.   

You can say it was quite a day; we departed Denver at 6:30 am and after a hearty truckers breakfast in Pueblo we were in Trinidad, CO around 10 . We reached Chimayo by 2 in the afternoon. We were out of Santa Fe by 4 and back over Raton Pass and checking into a hotel on the edge of Main Street in Trinidad by 7:30. 

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