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Category: The Road Less Traveled

Honoring Santo Nino

June 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Honoring Santo Nino

As we were driving away from the Santuario de Chimayo on this Holy Saturday past, we noticed another shrine nearby. Upon further inspection, we discovered it was the Santo Nino Chapel, also located right in Chimayo, NM. The shrine to Santo Nino The  story of Santo Nino begins in Spain during the time of the Moors, Muslim conquerors of Spain. In Atocha, just outside Madrid, many Christian men had been imprisoned and only children were permitted to visit the prisoners and bring them food.The women of the village prayed to Our Lady for help and soon word spread that a young child was visiting the prisoners. Surprisingly, his basket was never empty of food and the gourd he carried, always filled with water. He was considered a manifestation of Jesus Christ as the Holy Child, thus, the “Santo Nino”. In 1492, the Catholics drove the Muslims out of Spain and Spanish colonists subsequently brought the worship of Our Lady of Atocha and her Holy Child to Mexico. As in Spain, they were... [Read more...]

The Annual Pilgrimage to Chimayo–Part 2

May 15, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

The Annual Pilgrimage to Chimayo–Part 2

As described in a previous post, each year during Holy Week, Christians from New Mexico and the surrounding area undertake a journey, typically on foot, to the small village of Chimayo. They are headed toward the Santuario de Chimayo, the site of a miracle back in the 1800s. It is believed to have been the site of many healings over the years. In fact, the Tewa Indians, who inhabited the area even before the Spanish, had considered it a site for healing long before the Spanish settlers arrived. Upon their arrival, the Spanish called this parcel of land “the pasture,” unaware of its healing propensities until the crucifix appeared to Abeyta. Originally a spring had bubbled up from the area, rich in iron and other minerals. When the spring dried up, Indians still came for the dirt for healing and sacred uses. While the land had been inhabited by Native Americans in ancient times, Pueblo Indians later moved in and names the rose-colored mountain nearby “Tsi Mayoh,” sacred mountain... [Read more...]

HISTORY AWAITS US UNDERNEATH OUR RV TIRES (If only the dirt could talk!)

May 13, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

HISTORY AWAITS US UNDERNEATH OUR RV TIRES (If only the dirt could talk!)

Often history can be right under the tread on our RV’s tires, and we fail to see it.  Such is the case of the campground my friend Chris and his family own and run in Central Virginia. I wrote about Chris last week – mostly his dilemma over rising operating costs and irresponsibility on the part of some campers.  What I did not share was when and how the campground began and has continued to exist for the past century and a half.  It is an interesting story – one that I am sure many other campgrounds may share. This particular campground is on a working family farm.  They plant soybeans and corn in two of the fields while maintaining a large part of pasture for hay.  They have about forty head of beef cattle along with the usual coops of chickens, a few hogs, two mules, a horse, and some goats.  The lake on the farm is home to many wild geese and domestic ducks. I listened intently as Chris began his story: “The farm goes back to my great grandfather who bought the... [Read more...]

The Annual Pilgrimage to Chimayo–Part 1

May 11, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

The Annual Pilgrimage to Chimayo–Part 1

During Easter Week this year, we happened to be traveling through New Mexico listening to Taos, New Mexico’s solar radio station (for those interested, it is the most powerful solar radio station in the country and plays a wonderful eclectic collection of interesting music. I often listen to them while at home in Wisconsin as well at www.ktao.com). During the broadcast, a comment was made about the annual “Pilgrimage to Chimayo” occurring during Holy Week. The Chapel Grounds Intrigued, and looking for something new to explore, we inquired at the Visitor’s Center in Taos, NM about what the pilgrimage was all about. The woman we spoke with explained that every year during Holy Week, people make the journey to Chimayo, New Mexico from wherever they happen to be, Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, even Colorado and other parts of the country. The pilgrimage is typically completed on foot; the day the journey begins depends on the individual’s starting location. As Chimayo is approximately... [Read more...]

Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: What’s Your Plan for Living in the 21st Century?

April 27, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

We want to live smaller, cleaner, leaner, easier, and freer. Do you? Perhaps  you’re in a season of life where living like that seems appealing.  Or maybe you agree that 21st century America seems quite  different from the last decades of the 20th century…and that we’re coming to a time and place where less is more?  With those things in mind, maybe you’re considering downsizing to an RV or a much smaller home or condo. We are.   Here are three reasons reducing the weight of 21st century basic living appeals to us. Maybe you’ll be able to relate to one of them: 1)      Our home is starting to feel like an obstacle rather than a source of joy. My husband and I are not who we used to be: we’re freer, funnier, wilder, lazier, and goofier. Quite often, these traits don’t support the thrills of home ownership, if you get my my drift. For us, the pride of owning a home is melting away like dirty snow on a hot spring day. It’s kind of like we’re... [Read more...]

In the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark: the Headwaters of the Missouri River–Part 1

April 24, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

In the Footsteps of Lewis & Clark: the Headwaters of the Missouri River–Part 1

A few years back we took a road trip to Montana. Along the way we encountered hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, bison, elk, both living and true ghost towns and a great deal of history. Little did we know, even more adventure awaited. Further along our adventure in Montana, while awaiting the opening of the West Yellowstone entrance to Yellowstone Park, we chanced to travel to the small town of Three Forks, Montana to investigate what it had to offer. Expecting another sleepy little town, much to our surprise we experienced a lesson in history in the process. The town was so named as it is located at the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers which combine to form the Missouri River to create the longest river in the United States. The confluence was discovered by Lewis and Clark in July, 1805, who named the rivers after the President of the United States and the Secretaries of the Treasury and State, having previously named rivers after the Secretaries of War and the... [Read more...]

Where Only Ghosts Reside: Nevada City, MT

April 17, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Where Only Ghosts Reside: Nevada City, MT

Further along our drive through the Montana countryside a few years ago, after we visited the “living ghost town” of Virginia City, MT, we happened upon a true ghost town, Nevada City, MT. Similar to and at the same time as Virginia City, the settlement sprang up in response to the discovery of a large deposit of gold in Alder Gulch in the spring of 1863. Nevada City Emporium Nevada City is, in fact, an old placer mining camp approximately one and one half miles west of Virginia City. When the gold was discovered, numerous settlements established themselves along Alder Gulch, surrounding Virginia City. They were scattered up and down the gulch for some 14 miles and became known for a time as Fourteen-mile City. As the gold ran out, the population began to fall. By 1869, it had dwindled to about 100 people. By 1876, Nevada City had all but become a ghost town as miners moved on to more lucrative claims in other locations. The services that had cropped up to support the mining... [Read more...]

A Visit to a Living Ghost Town…

April 13, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

A Visit to a Living Ghost Town…

On one of our days visiting Montana, we were looking about for something to do while we were waiting for Yellowstone’s West Entrance to open and decided to take a drive around the countryside. Little did we know the unexpected adventure that awaited us. Our first indication that something was out of the ordinary was a drive past a large old log structure with a sign out front stating “Robber’s Roost.” Upon further exploration, we confirmed that the place had, indeed, been a hideout for outlaws in the distant past. Robber's Roost, Virginia City, MT We continued our drive after stopping to snap a photo of the structure and entered Virginia City, MT, home of one of the most colorful pioneer mining camps that ever existed. After a bit of research we learn that dramatic tales of the early days in this vicinity are common. The town bills itself as a living ghost town as a remarkable gold deposit was discovered in nearby Alder Gulch in the spring of 1863 leading to a stampede of gold... [Read more...]

Embracing Change…

March 6, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Embracing Change…

In concluding my posts about traveling without children, I want to expand on this idea just a bit. Recognizing that this was coming, Terry and I have been talking at length about this transition and how we will manage it for some time now. In thinking about and preparing for our youngest child heading off to college and living away from home this fall, we have decided to sell our family home shortly after she takes this step. Our plan is to have it sold by the end of the year. Terry and Ryan relaxing on the porch of our new home in New Mexico While our city was a wonderful place to raise our children, quiet, safe and near extended family, we prefer to live in a locale that offers more to us in terms of activities and surroundings that are more stimulating to us. That is why, last year, we purchased a small home in a city in northern New Mexico that we have been visiting for more than ten years. Our little camper After our house sells, my husband will be retiring so he can invest his... [Read more...]

The Big Adjustment: Traveling Without Children

February 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

The Big Adjustment: Traveling Without Children

Those of you who have been following my posts know that in the past few, I have been lamenting the fact thought our children are growing up and less able to travel with us—something we have always done together as a family. The transition to traveling with no children is a significant one for any family and we are feeling it now. Always we have been able to enjoy their company. It was a chance to get to know them again; to reconnect in a way that was difficult during the school year when friends, homework, sports and technology interfered. Touring Boston on a recent RV trip When I think of this summer, I am tempted to scoop them all up and head out, taking them away from all of their busy pursuits. But, alas, I know they are doing what they need to do. They must each forge their own lives, independent of us. They know we will be here when they have the time and inclination to visit. But it will not be the same. I will miss them. Enjoying one of our easier "drive-up" high points I... [Read more...]

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