Friday, November 1, 2013

More Travels...Our Own Backyard

It is amazing how familiarity can dull the senses to the beauty of one's surroundings. Although I blog about the area in which we live there is nothing like experiencing it through new eyes. So when friend Joan Rybinski and my mom came from Michigan this fall for a visit Mike and I did our best to "re"vision our local favorites. With our stunning White Sands National Monument in shut-down mode....we moved on to the more available but sometimes forgotten vistas in our area.

                  Just a twenty minute drive from town we are in the pines 8,000 ft above sea level! Mother and Joan at the newly opened Trestle Vista in Cloudcroft, NM.

The Mexican Canyon Trestle Vista is brand new and very nicely done. Accessed just off Hwy 82, it marks the final chapter in the renovation of the Mexican Canyon Trestle Trail (a great hiking trail) and the old wooden train trestle. Read more about the actual trail here and the history of the train trestle here.

Oh...and you can't go to the mountains without a stop at the cute Apple Barn. Surprisingly, they grow apples and cherries in this area! Cherry juice, yum!
Photos of Old Apple Barn, High Rolls Mountain Park
This photo of Old Apple Barn is courtesy of TripAdvisor

We spent a nice time wandering through the lovely mountain village of Cloudcroft, NM and stopped by our favorite shop of wonderful things, Off the Beaten Path, to get a hug from owners and dear friends Donna Rand and Berle Van Zandt.
100 Glorietta Ave, Cloudcroft, NM 88317

             ....then we topped off the afternoon with an enjoyable lunch at The Lodge, site of the original  mountain train depot. (aka the place Cope and I got married!)
Photos of The Lodge Resort and Spa, Cloudcroft
This photo of The Lodge Resort and Spa is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The next day we headed out to visit the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site. Unfortunately, the lock was on the gate. Boo.  Plan B... we traveled just up the road to visit one of our favorite churches, the sweet little Santa Niño de Aturha, a tiny white adobe church built in 1911. Our gorgeous New Mexico sky was a major attraction as well.

 Mike with pups Guinness and Zen trying to avoid the ocean of goat heads.

Santo Niño de Aturha

Years ago, I had my first encounter with Milagros in this very spot. It was fun watching Mom and Joan discover these little "folk"offerings. Milagros are little metal charms, traditionally pinned onto walls or boards inside the church as a type of "votive" or offering to ask for healing. See more examples of Milagros here.

Santa Niño de Aturha is a santos popular with Mexican and Spanish catholics. Dressed as a child pilgrim, this Christ-like figure is said to roam the countryside bringing aid, water and food to those in need, thereby, wearing out his shoes. As an offering, the parishioners often leave children's or baby's shoes near the alter. 

What a beautiful day. It had been years since Michael and I had driven out to the Three Rivers area. Only 40 minutes from home, it felt like we were hours away. This drive is going on the regular get-away rotation!!

Our Final Stop, the Cloudcroft Tunnel Vista Observation Site. Cloudcroft is the home of the ONLY tunnel in New Mexico, which would be a humorous distinction, if it were not a truly beautiful stop. Years ago while working on my art degree, I hung off this very mountain trying to capture the beauty of the canyon walls and that elusive peek at the White Sands in a plein air painting, a terrible lapse in judgment, to be sure, but for a very worthy cause. It is still one of my favorite spots the planet.

We hope you ladies had a nice visit! We loved spending time with you!

Next time we'll hit the biggies, White Sands and the Petroglyph Site, but this visit we were reminded to appreciate those little sweet spots we tend to take for granted and we thank you for that!

1 comment:

Sue said...

I love it when I get to be a tourist near home.

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