Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Along the High Road

One of the things I love the most about New Mexico (and believe me - there are many) is the spiritual ambiance that resonates throughout the region.  In this land, it is common to come across roadside shrines, historical churches and religious artwork. 

Even the names of many towns and mountains have religious denotations – the Sangre de Christo Mountains mean Blood of Christ and the state’s capital, Santa Fe, literally means Holy Faith.

There are 24 historic adobe churches (iglesias) that dot northern New Mexico and the Taos vicinity – many are the heart and soul of their communities, especially in the rural areas. 

From Española, which is approximately 30 minutes north of Santa Fe, we began our journey to locate as many churches as we could during our one-day trip.  Here are the amazing structures that we found along the High Road to Taos…  


Santa Cruz De La Cañada (Holy Cross of the Canyon) was built from 1733-1748.
Believed to have miraculous curative powers, El Santuário De Chimayó (the Sanctuary of Chimayó), was built from 1813-1816.
Nuestra Señora Del Rosario (Our Lady of the Rosary) was built in 1760 and is located in the rural mountain town of Las Truchas.
San José De Gracia De Las Trampas (Saint Joseph) was built from 1760-1776 and is said to be “the most perfectly preserved Spanish Colonial church in the United States.”
Built in 1920, Sagrado Corazón De Jesus (Sacred Heart of Jesus) is part of the small farming community of Rio Lucero.
Nuestra Señora De San Juan De Los Lagos (Our Lady of Saint John of the Lakes) was built in 1828 and is located just a few miles from the Taos plaza.
Our final stop was the beautiful San Francisco De Asis (Saint Francis of Assisi). Built in 1810, this iglesia has served as inspiration to photographers and painters like Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe.
Driving along the High Road to Taos will definitely give you exploration and adventure, but its real gift is the powerful sense of spirituality and enchantment that only New Mexico can deliver. 
Victor's Drive-In Hamburgers

Ketchup On the Side...

Also along the High Road in Penasco is this unassuming little joint, Victor's Drive-In Hamburgers.  Victor and his wife have been serving up burgers, shakes and local specialties like Frito Pie and enchiladas since they bought the place in 1971.  Stop by for lunch and some lively conversation with the restaurant's namesake.  

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