NNML – Pt 1 – The Pilgrim’s Path

Cathedrals, temples, mosques, and various shrines are the traditional starting and ending points for pilgrimages the world over.

At St Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe; the start and end of my journey.

In Europe, pilgrims would carry a staff, a shell emblem, and religious items.

The Camino Real. An old Spanish road and an even older Ancestral Pueblo trade route.

On my New Mexico pilgrimage, I do not have these items. Instead, I carry hiking poles, my Boonie hat serves as my personal pilgrimage emblem, and my camera may not be a religious symbol, but it captures (in part) the sacred I find in Nature.

And make no doubt, I am on a pilgrimage.

I seek no penance, nor do I hope to gain enlightenment. My pilgrimage is simply walking and taking in the beauty that is northern New Mexico.

Above where I crossed the Rio Grande.

That sublime light on red rock, the green valleys, and walking ancient paths of other pilgrim roads from generations ago.

A potsherd on an abandoned road and not near any well-known Pueblo area.

Ancestral Pueblo shrine in Bandelier where the descendants still make pilgrimages.

And I happened upon a pilgrim path from my younger years, too.

New Mexico continues to enchant. And for a week now, I confirmed why that is so.

Even if I have to use a pool toy once in a while to achieve that enchantment. 🙂

My $5 pool toy for the Rio Grande crossing.


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4 years ago

No wonder NM called the land of enchantment. I have always meant to say how much I enjoy your writing and photography. Finally got my chance!

Clay Bonnyman Evans
4 years ago

I forgot about that pool toy trick — very smart!