Loneliest Road in New Mexico

“welcome to new mexico”

a photo diary –

a stream of consciousness

our first day on the road –

written on iphone notes

after a quick tourist jaunt

into diners and art shows

we head towards country road 104:

the loneliest road in new mexico

 

surrounded by rocks and sand and dunes

we climb altitudes

past dipping canyon sides &

suggestive haze of mountains

 

we share the road with nobody (but ourselves)

there’s no service –

no cars –

no creatures –

no people –

only narrow country roads

snaking serpentine

 

johnny cash is the only

one who accompanies us –

rockabilly rock and roll folk blues gospel outlaw country

remote echoes of solitude

we take a detour onto an overpass

overlooking an expansive lake

stumble upon

a ghost town, where

barbed wire surrounds

dilapidated homes &

abandoned churches

 

le beau tells me to be careful

he says: avoid stickers

they will cling to your skin

our next stop:

up a winding mountain,

like the opening scene

in the shining

where they crawl up rugged empty roads

to the haunted, abandoned hotel

 

the road twists and slopes gently while

we inch along nature untouched

the mountain drops beside us

canyon-like rocks orangey red

dotted in trees, caves and shrubbery

 

after we enter the mountains

we’re greeted by miles and miles of flat plains

the clouds are golden in the sky

illuminated by heavy grey clouds

dotted occasionally with isolated homes

and cows

 

finally, we enter the historic city

it’s lined with shops, window displays, signs

we round the corner where there’s are banners advertising

plaza drugs navajo textiles antiques

casa de musica

lights strung across trees

 

concerts on saturdays at 5:30 pm, a sign says

it’s 5:37!

in the center of the city

there’s a mariachi band, old folks

dancing in the square, swaying side to side

after checking into our hotel, we walk across the street

past the outdoor concert & order a pizza

back at our hotel –

cute, spanish, antiquated, haunted? –

we settle in for the night

 

enchanted! and exhausted!

and exhilarated

 

6/18/22

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