The first picture of this post shows an old family photograph from 1946 taken in Del Rio, Texas. My husband's grandfather was a Methodist minister who ministered to many small communities in Texas and New Mexico from the 1930s-1970s. In the picture you can see my husband's grandparents: Carmen Lujan and Rev. Eduardo Lujan. The "organ pipe" children in order from right to left are: Elisama (my husband's mom), Edward, Eunice, Eleazar, Erasmo, Eliseo, Ephraim. Notice the e at the beginning of each name?
On this trip we set out to visit Uncle Erasmo who lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico. On the way there we picked up Uncle Eleazar who lives in Albuquerque.
We stopped at some old Western towns. For example Folsom, New Mexico. Ever heard of the Folsom points? That's the place they were first discovered!
If you have never visited New Mexico you must go some time. It is hard to do justice to the beauty of the landscape. A camera lens or technique of painting that completely captures the intensity of colors and textures of the New Mexican landscape, set off against the vast blue sky, has yet to be invented. Of course many artists - such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Anselm Adams, et al...have tried to reflect what their eyes saw. But you must see it with your own eyes to believe it!
Water tower in Las Cruces with Mural of Coronado's Expedition to New Mexico.
We managed to put 1,850 miles on our car in the six days we travelled. About the same distance traveled for centuries by Spanish colonizers, Native American Traders, and Immigrants on El Camino Real, the royal highway from Mexico City to Santa Fe. We learned about El Camino Royal in a cool underground museum near Highway 25 by Socorro, New Mexico. Who were the people who covered such distance by oxcart or foot long ago, I wondered, as I sat complaining in our air conditioned car? Could modern man or woman survive such a trip if put to the test? What about illegal immigrants who perish in large numbers as they try to make it through this desolate landscape without supplies?
After all, I am glad we had the time and resources to go on this trip. Uncle Erasmo enjoyed our company and seeing the kids gave him some hope. Seeing a hint of a smile through his pained face, made all the hours spent on the road worth every moment!