Land Of Enchantment
“When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air–it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different. I shouldn’t say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don’t want them interested.” ~ Georgia O’Keefe
Wide open spaces capture your attention sinking you into its vastness. One can feel so small but yet so large with life soaking in the fresh air. Not a soul for miles. Just you, the wind whispering the richness of this soil, the fresh hint of rain, gentle kisses from the sun. And in the evening the closeness of stars. I can only agree with her sentiment, New Mexico is different and not like anywhere you’ve seen before and it’s mine.
I fell in love with New Mexico nine years ago when I came with my husband and our daughter to his family’s ranch. Forty miles outside of Taos and a few miles before entering one of the oldest cities in Colorado, a recently paved road leads up toward the mountains to a humbling place called Amalia. His grandparents 14 1/2 acres leading up to a river and expanding toward the mountains is part of a land grant. There is not much to do here as you are forty miles from the nearest stop light and the “corner” store is at least 15 minutes down road. Family and friends stop by on their way to wherever they are going, a short visit turning into lunch then dinner. It is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. A place to recharge. Not a street lamp in sight, only the stars.
Although with time comes changes this little area remains slightly untouched. There are still viejitas who live down dirt roads with minimal modern “luxuries” and/ or electricity cooking to perfection empanadas and tortillas on wood burning stoves that melt in your mouth you can’t wait to dip them in red or green chili. If you are looking for the best place to hunt antiques ask no one else. My favorite viejita is one of my husband’s cousin. She is a feisty hip-hop loving viejita in her mid 70s never leaving home without her hita (her 38 special) and she’s never to shy to share her opinion. Each visit we are to never leave empty handed.
Our first stop in Taos was Michael’s Kitchen for their red chili. My breakfast of choice was a Christmas style Martin’s Breakfast Burrito made with scrambled eggs, bacon, cheese, diced green chile and hash browns wrapped in a flour tortilla. The Christmas style comes into play in the way of the burrito being covered (or smothered) in both red and green chili sauce. Let me tell you 1. I had to split the burrito and 2. I made sure to get extra red chili. As a Seattlite we are big on our Starbucks coffee but Michael’s had excellent coffee. You can buy it here at their online shop.