To The Duke

To The Duke

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Mexico

Several years ago, my husband and I were lucky enough to take a tour of the West with famous Western Writer, Dusty Richards. When we drove through New Mexico, Dusty circled around the Santa Fe area to show us the land he had fallen in love with on his many trips through the state researching his novels. We spent one night in a small little town called Santa Rosa. They had a weird body of water there called a Blue Hole. Although I grew up a river gal and will swim almost anywhere, that blue circle of 80 foot deep water scared the you-know-what right outta me. How do you know what monsters lurk under you when the water is that deep? We just sat and watched from a park bench while kids jumped off a natural waterfall into the beautiful Blue Hole. But I kept thinking of how the pioneers must have felt when they ran across the pool.

The Blue Hole in Santa Rosa
Also in Santa Rosa was an old abandoned mission. The tombstones out front had dates that went back to the early 1800's. Most of the walls were gone, the roof had fallen in decades ago, and there was nothing left inside except a tree that had taken root and grown to nearly ten feet. I took pictures at sunset and the light that shone inside the adobe walls looked like gold. It was truly a miraculous place and it made me fall in love with New Mexico. It truly is the Land of Enchantment.

That trip west was the one that made me see the land like it was before towns and highways marred its deserts and mountains. Before the sound of car horns and tractors covered the peaceful wind through the trees. And before red aluminum canoes dotted the Rio Grande River.

The Rio Grande going through New Mexico.

Hills around the Taos area in the late nineteenth century.
Santa Fe in the early 20th century.


  1. I love the old photographs! Often when I walk on the dirt roads here, I like to imagine that I'm in the past. There are still a few spots where I can stop without seeing electrical wires or poles.

  2. Dirt road with locust chirping in the trees. That'll take me back everytime.

  3. We have been to Santa Fe area several times, and there is rumbling of going again in the fall...but has to be cooler! I bet you had a ball, that you got Dusty stories galore! Must have enriched seeing the area!

    After finishing my read of Empire of the Summer Moon, I went to get copy of The Searchers for a rewatching. The heat is good for such activities!