Lincoln, New Mexico

We spent a couple of days in the mountains. As in real mountains, with snow and skiing resorts. Too high to my liking though. We went up by car, 12500 feet, and I was so scared that I forgot my camera…

So all I can share for now is some lower by the ground pictures. Of Ruisodo. A resort. Not truly my place. I can imagine skiing people liking it a lot, since I don’t ski, I could only love the buildings, herds of deer, and the trees.

One of our daytrips while there was to Lincoln. Small town in the high mountains of New Mexico, mostly associated to the history of Billy the kid, famous outlaw, who finally got shot by Pat Garrett, sheriff extra ordinaire. As it goes with outlaws.

Billy did escape from the courthouse and jail in lincoln, killing on his way out, dangerous times they were… The 1870’s… with bullets flying everywhere.

Right now no flying bullets, only flying false arrows coming from Corbin his little gun, sticking to windows and glass. Corbin lives in Lincoln with his family, in the Curly saloon. Don’t ask about the name, I can’t tell you.

The Curly saloon is now a store, lived in with Corbin and his family, and their pitt Coco. The picture is further down. Still having problems blogging on ipad. But we are heading home on sunday to arrive in jolly good old England on monday, and if jetlag is good to me, I will be blogging my trip from tuesday on.

For now I can still share some shots taken in Lincoln.

With buildings dating from 1870, which in American datelines is pretty darn old. We have to remember that Americans are big fans of tearing down. In New Mexico, the climate is such that wooden structures dry out and stay up

And say hello to Coco. Dangerous looks but sweet as candy. She has good owners. And good owners means good pitt bull. Cesar would have been proud.

Also in Lincoln is the post office. Still in working order.

I admire the post boxes. An 1870 version of our APO on base. Working with turn codes.

The mail is collected on regular base.

I also take a look in the church, but to our surprise, it is the first church in New Mexico where we can not go to the front. Not happy

Now the cemetary in Lincoln was interesting. I love to browse old burial places, meeting people who at one point meant a lot to their families. Now buried and hopefully resting in peace in between their sister souls.

And of course we view a couple of Adobe structures. The old store, part of the war in Lincoln, the war about beef contracts and army money, where two store owners in town fought and scrambled, and where Billy the kid got caught in the middle.

Wandering around in the small cemetery I find Maria and the Virgin of Guadeloupe next to each other.

The mother of God works in several diffferent ways.

The biggest surprise for me in that tiny 100 year old cemetary is the name of Maes. A truly Belgian name, and I have been trying to find out how a Maes ends up in America, in New Mexico. So far no luck, but I will continue the search once I get back home and with access on my regular computer.

And to end this story about outlaws and flemish names in New Mexico a view on the sign that announces the town of San Patricio… With bullet holes, yes sir, real bullet holes. We got out alive… no worries!

Next blog back on the usual place, photocatseyes.net. Tuesday or wednesday. I sure will miss the Arizona sun!

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Hillsboro, NM

Little town in the mountains, Highway 152 snaking along passes and canyons. A former mining glory, now a deserted but alive hill community with some artists, a beautiful church, a huge sense of community and a couple of great places worth a visit.

Marie and Rick Chamberlain went with us, to explore the town, and Marie knew about his fine General Store/restaurant where we had lunch. The long waiting time made up more then enough for the tasty food.

All over the place little things to see. A teal blue fire place, partially hidden by chairs…

Old lace curtains that have seen better days but lend a great charm to the dining area…

The small church with the red doors, not too visible in the above shot, but I will blog more about Hillsboro when I get back home.

Going for a wee I sit in front of a wooden toilet door, with a lovely painted scene on it. Hmm, even a loo in New Mexico can be mind boggling…

On the side wall little snippets of text, small words of wisdom, yellow and brown, probably have been on the wall for years and years…

The Hillsboro diner/general store now owned by Ben and Doreen Lewis is a great little stop over before exploring the rest of Hillsboro.

We are in New Mexico, which means that the Virgin of Guadeloupe is never far off. Her hands folded in prayer.

Her golden halo surrounding her and giving her a glow. I can never see too many Guadeloupes. Each time I see her it feels like a bit of sunlight enters my heart and mind.

And she comes in many different forms, colors and backgrounds.

The old town church is open for visitors. Dark inside coming from the clear sunlight outside. Simple but striking. Red double doors. Those old adobe churches littered over New Mexico all have at the same time a different yet similar story to tell.
Church doors, doors for houses, stores, with colors to identify them, and set them apart from the next wooden entrance way.

Skulls of cattle or deer are a favorite hall way adornment.

Whenever on highway 152 from Silver City to Las Cruces, do stop in Hillsboro and take a look around. Have a great break in the General Store, and pay a visit at Sue’s store. Filled to the brim with old magazines, books, glass ware, furniture, a true treasure cove. I find an old scrapbook that will just do fine for an elaborated trip blog.
Tomorrow we leave our friends Rick and Marie to go on to El Paso. A sad thing. As ever too little time to spend together, time flies when having fun. But it’s a promise to be back. I have a little mission to furfill. Don’t know how as yet but I will find a way… A true chief deserves more then a bowl of water and a bit of food. More later!

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Bisbee Arizona

Up in the Mule Mountains. An old town with old habits and new people. Live and let live is the motto. An old mining town, ore being the target, it’s now a collection of lovely houses and people extraordinaire.

We started our travel day in a car wash with a view in Sierra Vista. One might as well enjoy the view. Totally different then the car wash at the Morissons, in jolly good old England.

We set off for Bisbee and drive through the San Pedro Valley. With striking silver leaved cottonwoods. I have no idea why those trees work on me, but they do. I see them, the sun shining on the wintery branches and my heart makes a little jump. Add highway 90 in the picture and we are there.

Before we know it we drive through the Mule mountains into town. Bisbee. A big name….

High up, less hot in summer then Phoenix and Tucson, a well liked enclave for people who truly want to enjoy life and respect the rule of live and let live.

Some of the wooden houses call my name. Porches asking for a comfy chair and a big dog to keep me company.

The blue blue sky gives it an extra sparkle. I feel so much happier under a blue sky…

Time to shoot some prickly things. I need to catch up, have not done a lot of plants on this trip. No time…

It looks as if Bisbee has gotten a second wind. Lots of the houses have been painted since our visit in 2003, and others are for sale.

Bad times get here too.

The green house with red accents is for sale too. I sigh deeply when I spot the sign.

And just like on our first visit, I see the strange looking figure dressed straight out of a western movie. A majestic figure, high leather boots, a nice hat, big moustache.

This time I have a chat with him, and he turns out to be the local historian, taking people on walking tours. I can’t help but wonder how he keeps his boots so shiny. His name is Michael London, and he has a sister working on the shuttle bookings on the Euro Star in Calais. It’s such a small world.

Lunch is just around the corner, we find a great place called the Bisbee Breakfast Club, in short BBC. And I have a photographers high day in Lowell, vintage galore. More coming up…. My blogging has not been up to date on this trip, and I will have a lot more stories to share once we get back home. This trip is a good one, even with real life crossing in and out. My visit to Bisbee today was very remarkable. I loved it. All the way.

More later!

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Squirrels and bison…

A small difference in sheer size… In Colorado, I saw giant squirrels. At least when you compare them to the normal British beasties. Double the size, double the pelt, double the cuteness…

My sister in law does the same thing we do at home: feed them, in order to see them, and boy is it a daily performance…

We had to leave Colorado yesterday, with thanks to NASA for GPS. I am in a new part of the world, so far away from my little town in Belgium where I used to live. And totally got around without GPS. But on our travels to the States, that tiny application on my phone takes me to roads previous untaken and marvellous to explore.

A last wave to the Coloradian horse. If that is a valid word? Is there something like Coloradian? Coloradeese? Coloraded?

Whatever they call it, it is truly breath takingly beautiful. I think I was stopping in front of Pikes Peak. 14000 Feet high, not on the itinerary for now. Been on the top though, and let me tell you, it’s high… I had to wee very bad the day we were up, but the winds were so bad we could not get out of the cog train, had to go down, and at 10.000 feet some basic toilets had been put up. Gosh, I am never taking clothes off to go wee at 10.000 feet. My butt was in immediate danger of frost bite… Lessons to be learned. Go to the loo before you board a cog train…

But enough of that old stuff. I am on the road again, while Mr Wonderful is taking the plane to Tucson, to attend the funeral of his uncle. I am taking the car down from Colorado to Arizona because it would have costed us an arm and a leg to leave the car and rent another one. Car renters do not care about funerals. They only see their dollars. But then, that is why I get to do an almost 900 mile drive on my own, and I am a bit apprehensive to say the least. America is no cat pee…

There are women vanishing every day on the roads and off road… And me and my camera could be interesting for some geek interested in old women snapping to their hearts content.

I could always bombard possible evil doers with my box of candy bites to keep me awake and fresh in the car

Not that there is danger for me to fall asleep. I see one marvel after the other, and if my back had not gone out on me, I would have had a heck of a shooting day. My back was killing me though so I kept the getting and out of the car to a minimum.

Oops, bear signs again… I check if my four doors are closed, have never seen a bear in the wilderness and am not planning on change that healthy habit

My first stop is in Raton, just over the state border of Colorado and New Mexico. I’m home again… so to speak. I recognize the El Kapp sign that I saw in 2003, on our first ever visit to New Mexico. When I was still under the impression that it was all yellow desert. Little did I know about the riches of the State. Mountains, fast flowing rivers, snow and pine tree forests. Adobe buildings with soul and atmosphere.

I lost my heart on that first trip in NM, and never found it back…

I love it. The landscapes, the tops and peaks in the distance, the cattle getting around on the spread meadows.

Even trailer parks in NM look like good places to live… In the full heart of winter the leafs have all gone from the trees, they stand silver and dark against the skies

I do check in with the Raton Tourist center to find out how the situation is in the Mountains. I want to take the High Road from Taos to Santa Fe.

Which means I have to leave civilization behind. Out in the American Wilderness. Be one with bears, deer and beavers.

I will follow part of the Santa Fe Trail. The way the rancheros took cattle from the South to the cattle markets up North.

Vast distances, now there are roads. Before we only had empty plains. I can see the Cimmaron looming..

And make no mistake, those brown blobs are not simple cattle. They are bison. No ordinary farm animals. I stay at a respectable distance. My back would not sustain running, and I don’t think that my legs could outrun a bison to start off with.

I can feel the exitement rise… I see the sign that I have been waiting for. I will rise and shine… You have seen nothing yet when it comes to scenery. Wait till I show you what is behind the horizon… at 8000 feet…

Soon to be posted!

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Madrid New Mexico

Where the wild hogs roam. If we may believe the movie. I fell in love with the village watching that movie, and this year was the year that I got to visit it on our way to Colorado Springs.

I knew it had been an old mining town in the old days, the mines were actually open till 1959. An older gentlemen in the coffee shop shared his knowledge with me.

The first thing that I noticed entering Madrid was an old wagon, hard to figure out if it was a grub wagon or a living wagon. I know that some of the cattle drives had a grub wagon following them, and the cook was a well respected man!

The Wild Hogs drove all the way from California to New Mexico, and started a war with a Hells Angels group in Madrid, of course that was only the story in the movie.

In reality the town is now lived in by a few hippies, smart people who live a quite life. And of course Madrid has its share of artists. All looking for inspiration under the light in New Mexico. I too have found the light in the Land of Enchantment as New Mexico is called of a special quality.

The colors are more vibrant, more out spoken, the skies higher and more blue.

Besides the light I also like the houses. Often wooden framed, with porches running around, I can so see myself sittting on those porches on a hot summmer’s day, letting the wind play and wizzle, to find some cooling from the New Mexico sun.

Light, wooden houses and old cars. New Mexico in a nutshell.

We notice a lot of teal blue. Of the purest quality. Turquoise is another sort of teal, and also the name of a generally mined quartz stone found in the state. There is a reason for all the mines in present and past.

Wind catchers and chiming bells make soft noises. Every house has them. Tinkling in the soft breeze when we walk through the main street of Madrid.

It’s early in the morning. We are currently the only visitors in town. Too early for normal tourism. The only place open is the coffee shop.

Where I meet up with Chris. Looks like a real cowboy to me, he grins and tells me that the assumption is not correct. He dresses like a cowboy and that is how far it goes. He tells me that he and his wife spend a couple of months each year in Madrid. I can see why

It’s one of those towns where all thing big and small are precious and artsy

The coffee store is also kind of a general one, selling cards and pottery by local artists. I am happy to oblige and do get myself a colorful coffee mug. I am sure that once back in UK, I will have some sun as a memory when using that cup.

Old trinkets are hung on the fence in the garden.

A group of locals is chatting the morning away. I try to join in, but they need a bit of time to warm up.

I know the story of too many tourists. I can imagine that they prefer the winter time, when the tourists have gone home and the town becomes their own again.

On the other hand, tourism brings in dollars, and it’s what they need in New Mexico. The Land of Enchantment is in dire need of money. Just like all the other small communities around.

Being an artist is one thing, having to live of it is another pair of gloves

I go for a latte with a giant donut.

Finished our coffee we take a spin in a few side streets. I register it all in my head and try to capture it with my camera.

Java Junction did me good and we go on our way to Raton, last town in New Mexico before crossing the state line into Colorado. Madrid was wonderful. I think far more attractive then it’s European counterpart. Loved every second here…

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The corner in Winslow Arizona

We were on the road over the last couple of days. Through mountain country. All the way from Phoenix
over Flagstaff to Albuquerque on to Colorado Springs. I hope I did not mention this 50 times already. If I have, this time I have the photograph to match parts of the drive.

Driving on interstates in the USA is an experience in it self. Road signs that are unseen in Europe, strange animals on them. I believe the one above is an elk. And I keep mentioning to Aaron that I would lijjke to see one, so far we never were lucky enough to glance one or two.

Further down around the bend is a sign for jumping deer. I lack eyes to take it all in. Such splendid nature aall around us, trees topped with snow, the States have beautiful landscapes. We are in the surroundings oof Flagstaff, have left the Black Mesa behind us already, saguarro’s have given way for pine forests.

Taking an oversized load to a new destination becomes a picturesque feature seen through the lens.

The peeks ahead of us are the San Francisco peaks. Flagstaff is a ski resort. American way. Big and beauutiful. In summer hikes to the summits make for splendid holidays and camping trips.

We leave Flagstaff and turn off to Albuquerque. A long drive, it will take us another five to six hour drive beefore we are on our midway destination point between Phoenix and Colorado Springs. And what better spot to stop for lunch then Winslow, Arizona. Who has never heard the “Take it Easy” song from the Eaglees, with the famous words standing on a corner and the following lines.

Winslow is coming back. Getting revamped, getting restored. A town loosing people and business is being rediscovered. Not only by Eagles fans but by travelers. Tourism brings in new money, desperately nneeded.

Mr Wonderful is taking me to La Posado. Designed by Mary Jane Colter, when the hotel had Harvey girls ccatering to the train from Chicago to Los Angeles. In the golden travel days of the thirties. It was on the veerge of collapse when a young family bought it and made it into a life’s work to restore it to it’s old glory.. When it was a must stop on the Santa Fe Railway.

And what a splendid job they did. It’s not quiet finished yet, but what is there is more then appealing alreaddy. The metal fences and doors painted in old desert colors.

I love it when America restores it’s heritage buildings. They have a tendency to break down rather then fix,, the rare times that they do fix it looks so wonderful.

I go for a tuna salad and Mr Wonderful goes for the lamb, the food is heavenly. It’s as good as you would eexpect it to be looking around notiicing the old fashioned western styled furniture. With soft pastel colors.

A couple of stain glass art works on the wall, to make up for the pastel colored furniture, bringing in the strong colors used for art in the American South West. I’m lovin it.
After lunch I will do some walking into Winslow itself, small town, one big main street with a few side streets. More pics in a next installment.

I finally figured out how to blog. Phew… All I had to do was create a new blog on WordPress.com and use tthe email post possibility. And a lot of copy and paste for the photographs. But hey, persistence has paid off…

Talk soon!

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Little update

We are still traveling. Today I saw real life bison, went to Madrid. Not Madrid Spain but Madrid New Mexico.

In between travels I try to blog, which turns out to be a pain with the iPad. So far. But let’s not go into this one.

I am trying to work in my travel journal. A page at the time. Just basic stapling and glueing, to at a later date fill it in completely.

We have lunches at iHop. Pancakes with cherries.

Picking up business cards wherever I find them….

I picked cotton… real cotton. As in “Gone with the wind – plantation stuff” cotton. I swear by God that I never will be hungry again…

I chatted to Phoenix sheep. Different then Yorkshire blaters. With small fuzzy heads…

I looked at the eat more chicken… and leave out the cows.

And look at this adorable woolly one…
And if this entry does not post with photographs included I am definitely going to give up blogging for the time that we travel… You will get it all when I get home!

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