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New Mexico – Land of Enchantment

September 11th, 2010 Posted in The Mother of all Trips

New Mexico is number 29 in our collection of States. And after mostly driving for three days… (tired of those road pics? Yeah! Me too!)

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…we were exhausted enough to decide to stay a wee bit longer than in the last seven… And, oh boy, what a great decision!


Our first stop in New Mexico was Roswell. Yep! Just where those aliens landed. Being aliens too, we considered this the perfect place to land.


But before we could actually start adopting those cute little green alien babies, we had to take care of our loyal German horse named Perle. She needed a little inside makeover…


No, that’s not the horse.

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There she is, and a handful of very friendly guys took good care of all her fluids. A little side note for my European readers: in the US you better have an oil change made after 3000miles, believe it or not.

The next day started with the visit of the UFO museum. Or, to be exact, the day started with parking Perle in the middle of a big skunk stink… Pretty little critters, but stinking like right out of hell.


The UFO museum tries to explain what exactly happened in Roswell. You can read more about the whole story on So much for now:

“W.W. „Mack“ Brazel, a New Mexico rancher, saddled up his horse and rode out with the son of neighbors Floyd and Loretta Proctor, to check on the sheep after a fierce thunderstorm the night before. As they rode along, Brazel began to notice unusual pieces of what seemed to be metal debris, scattered over a large area. Upon further inspection, Brazel saw that a shallow trench, several hundred feet long, had been gouged into the land.
Brazel was struck by the unusual properties of the debris, and after dragging a large piece of it to a shed, he took some of it over to show the Proctors in 1947.  Mrs. Proctor moved from the ranch into a home nearer to town, but she remembers Mack showing up with strange material.
The Proctors told Brazel that he might be holding wreckage from a UFO or a government project, and that he should report the incident to the sheriff. A day or two later, Mack drove into Roswell where he reported the incident to Sheriff George Wilcox, who reported it to Intelligence Officer, Major Jesse Marcel of the 509 Bomb Group, and for days thereafter, the debris site was closed while the wreckage was cleared.

On July 8, 1947, a press release stating that the wreckage of a crashed disk had been recovered was issued by Lt. Walter G. Haut, Public Information Officer at RAAB under order from the Commander of the 509th Bomb Group at Roswell, Col. William Blanchard.
Hours later the first press release was rescinded and the second press release stated that the 509th Bomb Group had mistakenly identified a weather balloon as wreckage of a flying saucer was issued July 9, 1947.” (from:


This is Mack.

The rest of the museum is about the “cover up” by the government, about UFO sightings all over the world, and there are quite a bit of stories about people, who presumably were abducted and examined by aliens.

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I guess I will start to believe in all those stories as soon as one of these guys walks up to me saying “we come in peace!”

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Altogether Roswell is not the most beautiful city in the world, but it is definitely fascinating how the whole city advertises with an incident that never happened… 😉 Live long and prosperous, Roswell!

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We were on the road again, and guess what, there are more road pictures!

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Torture, hah? I know. I sat through it. But no sweat, better things are about to come!


Lunch only a few miles away from…

Santa Fe!!! The oldest capital in the United States. And we made a bargain on the hotel again, a beautiful Adobe building, Native American owned and with great service!

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The shuttle took us to the city.


Nice color, hm?

To describe how different and outstanding Santa Fe is compared to a lot of other cities let me quote the program of the Santa Fe Festival of 1928:

“This year we are making a studied conscious effort not to be studied or conscious. Santa Fe is now one of the most interesting art centers in the world and you, O Dude of the East, are privileged to behold the most sophisticated group in the country gamboling freely…

And Santa Fe, making you welcome, will enjoy itself hugely watching the Dude as he gazes. Be sure as you stroll along looking for the quaint and picturesque that you are supplying your share of those very qualities to Santa Fe, the City Incongruous… Be yourself, even if it includes synthetic cowboy clothes, motor goggles and a camera.”

So the „Dudes of the East“ strolled along…

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…found a lot of shops selling turquoise and silver jewelry, seized some booty, saw a lot of more or less synthetic cowboy clothes…

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…took pictures with their camera…

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…and became thirsty…

Dinner and drinks at the hotel, where Lawrence, our charming bar keeper, makes the best cappuccinos in New Mexico. Oh, the tipi was quickly renamed tip-tipi. Not funny? Believe me, after a few of Lawrence’s drinks it IS funny.

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The next day we wanted to see a real pueblo. There are several pueblos around Santa Fe. One of them is near Taos, which we also wanted to visit. Ha! What a coincidence!

So we drove…

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…through a slightly more diversified landscape than we were used to in Southern New Mexico…

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…which made the driver happy…


…over hills and through valleys…

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…to Taos (more about Las Vegas, NM later).


Taos is, like Santa Fe, a city with a high concentration of artists and artists-to-be. You see a lot of women, who apparently decided to escape their suburban households and lead a different lifestyle at one point in their lives. They got rid of their husbands, make up, hair color and business suits and started to pursue a more artsy and free life. So much to my personal prejudice…

Taos is named after the Native American tribe, who still lives in the near pueblos. It was established in 1615 by Spanish settlers, who first were on amicable terms with the Indians of the pueblo. But the peace only held until missionaries got involved (totally new!). This led to a revolt in 1640, in which the Native Americans obviously killed some Spanish settlers and a priest and fled their village. They did not return until 1661.

Well, this was not the last revolt, or let me put it that way: this was not the last time the Taos people had to defend themselves against the Reconquista. Read more about it on,_New_Mexico

However, Taos is a pretty little jewel at the foot of the Sangre Cristo Mountains. Nowadays it mostly makes a living by tourism. It is a good example for the Adobe architecture, as you will see again in the pictures of the Taos pueblo.

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Taos Pueblo is an ancient village belonging to a Native American tribe of the Pueblo people speaking the language Taos. People say, the pueblo is about 1000 years old and was founded by the ancient Anasazi, who moved there after escaping a drought in their old areas. The Red Willow Creek, a small river, flows through the middle of the pueblo from its source in the Sangre de Cristo Range.

Taos Pueblo is a member of the Eight Northern Pueblos. The Taos community is known for being one of the most secretive and conservative pueblos.

Taos Pueblo’s most prominent architectural feature is a multi-storied residential complex of reddish-brown Adobe. The doors are a concession to modern times. Originally the buildings were only accessible through holes in the roofs. As soon as the pueblo was threatened by any enemy, the ladders were lifted and a certain safety was granted.

About 150 people (and about the same number of dogs) still live in the pueblo and sell handcrafted goods and cold drinks to tourists.

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Near Taos and the Taos pueblo a bridge crosses the Rio Grande Gorge. Not the right thing for people who suffer from vertigo…

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Dears, I am tired, it is 2.30 am and I can’t think anymore. I will try to continue tomorrow. There is so much more to see and say about New Mexico. And I want to be at least a bit inspired for the Land of Enchantment…

Good night for now!

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