An article from Traveling Pat!
Patricia is a regular contributor. She has an adventurous spirit with a love for travel. Follow along with Pat as her journey takes her around the world.
On a Mission by Patricia
We are so far out of the way we don’t even know where we are Aaron says crankily. Ooops…I’m supposed to be the navigator. Although I‘ll probably find a way of blaming him. The GPS is really ticking us off when we finally resort to putting it on. She keeps on saying make a legal u-turn; make a legal u turn over and over again. Cripes! Also she is telling us we are on hwy 491 that doesn’t seem to be on our map. Not to mention it is raining harder than I have ever experienced and there is a light on in the jag that according to the manual is the engine failure light (I knew a year with no tune up would catch up with us) and I’m hoping we don’t have to find a jag dealership in the middle of the Navajo Indian Reservation. So much for the Chaco Historical Park and the Pueblo Bonito. Aaron says he thinks there must be a mystical force field stopping us from going there. Oh well, the 80 miles we drove in the wrong direction is all in the distant past as we pull up to our lovely hotel and spa in Santa Fe New Mexico. So much for the budget. Sometimes you just have to do it!
We are on a road trip to see Native American Pueblos and some old Spanish Missions. The first day went really well and we drove from Tucson through …huge elevation, winding winding roads and breathtaking vistas……… to a kind of one horse town called St John’s. When we checked into our deluxe accommodation (Days Inn) we asked where the best restaurant in town was and she said just across the street at Iggy’s. Well we looked over and could only see what we thought was a second hand store. You guessed it…that was Iggy’s. As luck would have it Iggy’s is closed on Mondays and we strolled up to the local Mexican hangout to have hands down the worst Mexican food ever. But the Corona was cold and we have a new kick back attitude so it was all good.
Day two found us in Zuni where the Pueblo there is the largest pueblo currently occupied. It is up around 7500-8000 feet in elevation. They speak a language unique to them and no other Indian nations understand it. Linguists have studied the language and there is debate whether or not it came from Africa. The tribe only has an oral history and have painted allot of it on the walls of the mission. So beautiful and very moving. It was truly a delight to see.
Then it was on to El Morrow which is a National monument, the oldest in the National Park system and in my mind a real treasure. Spanish explorers were there in the 17th century and the ruin itself dates from around 1275 and is the ancestral village for the Zunis that I just mentioned. The place is choko block with inscriptions by travelers through the ages. We did the 2-mile hike to the top to see the old Zuni village that housed 1200 people until they relocated to the place we went to see. Anyway it was all very interesting and just exactly what we wanted to do. Did a couple of more Missions and here we are now, in our fab hotel in delightful Santa Fe.
Here’s hoping for sunshine!
The wall of Laguna Mission in New Mexico
A mission on the road to Taos
A gallery along the way
Sand dunes in New Mexico
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Traveling Pat’s last article – Back on the Road – England & Ireland