Amtrak Train Station–Lamy

If you live in Northern New Mexico long enough eventually someone you know (or yourself?) will want to travel west or northeast on the Amtrak train that stops near Santa Fe. That will take you to Lamy, a small historic village about half an hour from central Santa Fe. It has that lost historic feeling of a place that once was more than it looks and feels now, but without being falsely cute. After all, it still has a very real purpose.

I admire this old adobe house, for instance, right across the street from the train station (and its parking lot). It appears to be currently occupied and well tended. You can imagine that those who choose to live here are enjoying the remoteness, the coming and goings of the train, and the sense of history.

I think it was a year ago that I first drove to Lamy to meet the train and this historic place near the train station was closed. But this time it had recently reopened and I noticed somewhere that they were advertising evening entertainment and dinners by reservation. I believe there is also a museum attached to it. The Legal Tender has a website you can see for more information. Looked interesting for sure. I believe they’re open Thursday through Sunday.

Had to include at least one photo of the train pulling into the station. This is my “all aboard” photo. I liked the fashionably dressed, but thoroughly prepared, girl in the foreground. I didn’t count the number of folks boarding but there could have easily been 20. This train was heading to Los Angeles. My friend’s ticket cost $90. This is an overnight trip. You board mid-afternoon and arrive in the early AM.

Have to make a comment about how sad it is to realize that the big-shots of the oil industry must have had a political hand in the near-extinction of passenger trains at some turning point in US history. I’ve traveled by high-speed train in France and know that when it comes to trains we are just plain backward. Of course France was never an oil-producing country that thought their oil would never end.

A couple of weeks ago the property where I live got it’s first drink of acequia water for the season. In this photo you can see how areas are deliberately flooded. I suspect this is one of the apple trees, which at the time had not begin to bud out (smart!). Just behind it you can get a glimpse of my house. As the water continues from left to right it enters an area that has lots of wild plum bushes. Last year, due to one very cold night about this time, they, and just about every fruit-bearing tree or bush, experience bud freeze and there was no harvest of the native plums. I am not the only one keeping my fingers crossed this year.

This is a closer shot of the previous scene. It has a Monet-like beauty, from my perspective, so I included it.

I want to acknowledge that it’s been awhile since my last Taos Blog. I’m sure all bloggers like me who try to be regular in their postings have times like this when for all kinds of reasons life just doesn’t seem to allow the time to give it the required focus. The mind does suggest that it’s TIME, but the spirit does not arise. I enjoyed putting this one together today and I’m glad I waited for the blogger in me to return to what is a joyful task

Bye,bye, Mr. Cartwright. Thanks for coming.

Train Stop for Taos

A week ago I had just stepped onto the scene pictured here as the engine of the train zoomed by me. I managed to get this shot while the train was still moving. This is the Lamy (near Santa Fe) stop on the Amtrak train that starts in Los Angeles and ends up in Chicago. It passes through Flagstaff, AZ, and Albuquerque on its way (and other places in between).

The friend I was meeting had started out in Oceanside, CA, traveled north to Los Angeles where he changed onto this train. His ticket cost $90 (one way). If you’re thinking “green” and have the time, trains could be a good thing. And I won’t mention the stories we hear about the strangeness of today’s airline travel.

This photo was taken as we were leaving Lamy. It suggests that the town has seen better days and a much larger population. I believe Wikipedia said there are 100 or so people living there now. I got the impression it was a bustling little place at the turn of the 20th Century.

I drove there from Taos in just under 2 hours. You pass through Santa Fe on St. Francis Drive until you reach the connector to Highway 25 heading to Las Vegas. After a while there is a turn off to the south that leads down to Lamy. But keep your eyes peeled for the small sign. It feels like you are in the middle of nowhere, but once you pass this church you can see the train station ahead. The next time I drive there it won’t be so suspenseful.

After participating in the Taos Christmas crafts fair for the three days after Thanksgiving I drove over for a soak at Ojo Caliente Hot Springs. You pass this road just before going over the bridge that marks the entrance. I had taken photos of this same scene a month ago when the trees were full of yellow leaves, so stopped to see how it had changed. I think I may like this photo even more, as it reveals the strong curving patterns in the branches.  It would also be beautiful with snow.

That Monday was one of those Taos-style “weathery” days with lots of clouds moving around creating pockets of light snow one minute and sunshine the next. It was cold for sure. On the drive back from the hot springs I stopped for this shot of the sugar frosted Taos mountains as I was approaching the West Rim Road. What can I say? It’s a spectacular gift to live in this inspiring landscape.

A cropped version of a recent painting (Two Ravens–Rio Grande).