For those who followed my journey so far: This was the first post I wrote about my trip West in 1969. Chronologically my adventures in the West began in New Mexico, followed by the letters: G for Greyhound Bus Trip, I for Idaho Falls, and J for Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Theme ~ My 50 Years in America
The plane shook and rattled through mountain air pockets as it came in for a landing at Albuquerque's airport. It was 1969, and I had come West to get a divorce in Idaho. An attorney I saw in Princeton charged me $100 (a large sum at the time) to let me know that the only way I could get divorced in New Jersey was if my husband filed for desertion after two years. This made me feel like a prisoner, but with the help of good friends, I found an alternative solution .
A faded photo of me outside the oldest house in the U. S.
Bill then decided to show me some of the Western United States, beginning with New Mexico. He picked me up at the airport and we drove to Santa Fe. I will never forget the sensual desert wind that swept around me as I stepped out of the car in Santa Fe's central plaza. This was the first time I had been away from the East Coast and I knew, almost immediately, that I belonged somewhere in the West. While I liked Princeton, the town was too small, too gossipy, and left no room for real growth for me.
Cathedral Basilika of Saint Francis of AssisiAs Bill showed me around Santa Fe, I enjoyed looking at the beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry displayed by Native Americans, sitting on their fabulous blankets, surrounded by bargaining tourists.
We took some side-trips out into the Sangre de Cristo mountains. I remember the beauty of the mountains, the local craftsmen and women in the little villages, no more than hamlets really, spinning wool, weaving blankets, and displaying their beautiful crafts along the road-side. Bill said these places were called the Spanish Towns.
After a few days, we left to see the amazing cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument. Fascinated, I thought of the people who lived in these ancient dwellings, high up in the cliffs, secure I imagined from wild animals and human enemies, but at what cost? Did babies tumble and fall off the cliffs? What about their old people, did they ever venture outside, down below? Not for the faint at heart, I concluded, scared as I am of high places.
We also stayed in Taos, where we visited the pueblo and saw more beautiful Native American art. After that we drove across the high plains to Pueblo, Colorado, where I remember desperately seeking a restroom.
Source for Photos: Wikipedia or as noted.
you had quite an adventure....ReplyDelete
Can I hardly wait to visit New Mexico!ReplyDelete
I've been through New Mexico in July, it was 90+ at night when I was there. I'm nore comfortable at cooler temps.ReplyDelete
I'm not fond of the desert, but I'd prefer it to small town east coast, too. Some small towns can be claustrophobic.
This is a fun trip with you as our guide! (you were lucky to have good friends)
had to smile on the desperate seeking of a rest room, that is the story of my life, just ask hubby. i have always wanted to see Sangre de Cristo mountains and i love all things Western... it seems to me you missed the South and that is the best part of the USA... all us Rebel born people down here have our feelings hurt you chose first the North then the West and missed us all together.ReplyDelete
you found your spirit here. :)ReplyDelete
I absolutely love your theme for this series- it's so fascinating, and I love reading your stories. :)ReplyDelete
Inger, I am enjoying your travelogue! I live in AZ, but I really love NM, too. Such a wonderful place with so much to see, both man-made and natural.ReplyDelete
I love New Mexico!ReplyDelete
Another great story. I'm scared of heights as well so I never would have made it as a cliff dweller. Fascinating to think about how their lives must have been.ReplyDelete
Your memory is so clear Inger but it sounds like it was a stressful but wonderful time in your life. Those are the ones that stick. Hug BReplyDelete
Bud & I loved Taos. We bought several art pieces there, including the buffalo on our coffee table. Bud refused to buy the full sized one. We named him Bill!!ReplyDelete
It must have been meant to be.ReplyDelete
New Mexico fascinates me, although I've never lived there and just driven through on an endless freeway that didn't go anywhere interesting, except through the state to get to the next one. Like you, when I first came West I knew that was where I belonged. And here I am. Although I really like California better than Utah for some reason, you ended up in California and I ended up in Utah. Not complaining, it's a great place to live but our 4 years in the San Jose area of California were magical and I was very sorry to leave.ReplyDelete
Sopapillas! Oh, I want one! Haven't had one in years!ReplyDelete
We are visiting Sedona, AZ, this summer. Your photos remind me of its desert beauty and ancient civilizations.
I am so enjoying your posts!
It's interesting that the pain of a divorce took you to the part of the country where you belong.ReplyDelete
yes, the Wild, Dry, Open Space of the Southwest . . .ReplyDelete
You're my kind of girl--isn't the west wonderful!ReplyDelete
I absolutely love Santa Fe and Taos. We've made a few trips there and I always end up buying furniture or blankets or something for the house. There is something about the air there... a feeling of spirituality that is hard to describe but that draws me in. I've always thought Georgio O'Keefe had the right idea, moving there to do her painting. Her biography is fascinating.ReplyDelete
New Mexico is always a favorite with the tourists. It was for me too and I always wanted to get back there but never made it. It's good to again revisit it through your post.ReplyDelete
Inger your reminiscing in the A to Z challenge has been quite captivating I am loving all I am learning and your life is fascinating! Thanks so much for sharing it allReplyDelete
I have always wanted to visit New Mexico and now, with your help here, I want to go ever more. And I/we will. I first became acquainted with NM while reading about Georgia O'Keefe, the artist. She said pretty well what you said Inger....about never wanting to live permanently on the east coast again.ReplyDelete
Great photos here.....a imagine living in those mountain caves?!....
The West and all it environs sound so hot and dusty but I think I would enjoy this. Look at the beauty of the cliffs and to think people live in those dwellings. I'm in awe.ReplyDelete
Nothing worse than needing a restroom when there not a one in sight! Totally understand you there!
I find those cliff dwellings fascinating, but like you, would be terrified up there!ReplyDelete
Play off the Page
Inger, I'm enjoying your stories. I love Santa Fe and Albuquerque! Thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Mary Montague Sikes
You described the desert wind so perfectly :)ReplyDelete
I'm wondering about the people living like that too. What was it like for them?? Were they used to being so high up, or did some of them yearn for flatter, safer ground?
You saw some wonderful sights along the way! I have some lovely Native American pieces of art. My mother-in-law was fond of visiting Taos and other parts of the Southwest collecting! I'm enjoying your alphabetical journey, Inger!ReplyDelete
I also fell in love with the west the first time I visited and knew that it was where I would settle some day. Just as I have done!ReplyDelete
I love road trips, and you describe yours perfectly - you MUST write more about yours!!!ReplyDelete
Hi Inger .. those journeys of long ago - our own lives, and those paths we travelled .. loved this journey with you .. cheers HilaryReplyDelete