Sunday, February 04, 2024

The High Road

Iglesia San Antonio, Cundiyo, NM

Red Roof Inn, Ojo Sarco, NM

When you live in Taos you find yourself driving back and forth to Santa Fe a lot. Were it not for Amazon it might be daily. I did it three times last week. It’s all surface roads so the 70 miles each way takes 1:15 on your best day. Yes, I speed. Then, of course, is the sheer boredom of the route after so many repetitions. So, every fourth time or so I take the High Road back to Taos. The winding route winds through Hispanic mountain villages little touched by time or so it feels. Under the gaze of the rugged Sangre de Cristos villages with musical names like Chimayo, Las Trampas, Truchas and Ojo Sarco look like Spanish hill towns in a distant century. Or as a friend told me when I asked why she moved to New Mexico after 20 years as a nurse in Nepal, “It’s the closest thing to a third world country that I could find in the U.S.”

Bear left here, Ojo Sarco, NM

San Jose de Gracias, Las Trampas, NM

Entering Truchas, NM

Ojos Blancos, Truchas, NM

Because I’ve driven the High Road approximately 873 times in the last 20 years, I’ve taken at least a handful of decent photographs along the route. Some happened last Wednesday. It wasn’t my best day on El Camino Alto but a few may be worth sharing. These are shown in the order taken from Cundiyo onward to Truchas.

I have designs on a more fulsome exploration of the High Road for the March-April issue of Shadow and Light. That will be called El Camino Alto.


Blacks Crossing said...

I adore this grouping of photographs and your brilliant text as well. The angle of San Jose de Gracias in Las Trampas is gorgeous, along with your wonderful black and white rendering. I cannot believer you have driven the High Road 873 times in the last 20 years. You could do it blindfolded! I would love to know what altered your day on El Camino Alto. Another blog perhaps? But nothing quite says New Mexico like the response from your friend who was a nurse in Nepal and moved to New Mexico. "It is the closest thing to a third world country I could find in the United States." A beautiful summation of your blog.

Steve Immel said...

The 873 was a wise-ass comment in keeping with my cheeky online style. I have no idea how many times I've driven the High Road, more like 50 I'd guess