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Friday, October 23, 2009

New Mexico, Part Dos

Ghost Ranch

We last left New Mexico on the gorgeous expanses of Ghost Ranch. In the above photo, you can see Georgia O'Keefe's beloved Peternale (the mesa).

From there, we got lost (only briefly) and then went to Tierra Wools which is a shop just outside Chama trying to keep the old traditions alive by ranching traditional Churro sheep that the Native Americans used to keep here, and then dying and weaving their wool in traditional ways. This shop keeps 25 local weavers employed full time.

Tierra Wolls

Tierra Wolls

That night, we were hosted at a reception by the Jicarilla Apache nation, and they sang and danced for us — and then we all joined in! It was very cool, and they were extremely friendly and willing to tell us all about their customs.

Jicarilla Apache dancers

The weather was bitterly (and unseasonably) cold, so most of us hadn't packed appropriately. On the way to the train the next morning, our PR host let us stop at a Dollar General, where we cleaned them out of gloves, hats and scarves. It made us all a LOT happier on the train!

The Dollar Store Divas

Because of the cold, we got a really unusual treat: snow and changing aspens at the same time! The ride through the mountains on the Chama railroad was absolutely breathtaking. The train stops at the top, half way, where you have your choice of turkey dinner, meatloaf dinner, or soup and salad for lunch. It was actually very, very good!

Cumbres & Toltec Railroad

The Geiger Group

That isn't everyone who was on the trip, but all of us who rode the train. Carol (second from the left) turned 65 that day! So we celebrated with Little Debbie cupcakes I bought at the Dollar General! ;)

...Don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys

That night we were treated to a cowboy dinner, complete with entertainment, which was when I decided that I needed me a set of cowboy children. They were all so cute and polite and helpful… when they weren't trying to lasso one another.

That's it for now! More to come!

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