"That state is nothing but rock and rock." Is what a guy told me at Lowes. "Why the hell would you want to go to New Mexico for a vacation?" You should have seen the look on his face when I told him we were looking into buying some acreage. Some people are not enchanted by the place and that is fine. Some of us are and that is fine too.
He is right though, it is rock and more rock, but with great beauty mixed in. This photo was my eureka moment when I realized how intensely beautiful the place is. How even the most raped and tortured landscape in New Mexico still is able to provide the eye with a visual treat. Maybe it is the fact that nature is the driving force and man is along for the ride.
We did see a few signs like this. People also used the phase "... to show our respect to Mother Earth" or "... in honor of Mother Earth," a great deal. People tend to live with the natural cycles in New Mexico unlike in Maryland where it is a constant struggle to combat the natural cycles. If someone put up a sign like this in Maryland every car passing it would think "FREAK", but this celebration was at the State School for the Deaf. I guess it is all in the perspective. OKAY, OKAY, ENOUGH PHILOSOPHIZING, back to the vacation.
It was our last night in New Mexico and we wanted a special dinner. Beth and I have become very fond of Maria's New Mexican Kitchen in Santa Fe. I am not sure if it is the three page margarita list, the hundreds of tequilas offered or the delicious food, but we go to Maria's when ever we can. Everything is made from scratch fresh everyday. A little old lady makes the tortilla and sopapia fresh while you watch. Beth had pozoli and I had steak with chili rellano. The dinner was spectacular to say the least. Watch out for the red chili sauce, it has serious teeth. The good kind of teeth though. The margaritas were a very nice addition too.
For desert Beth got herself a sampler of tequila. She really enjoyed all three she tried. Too bad I had to drive, I would have enjoyed a sampler too. After dinner we headed back down the Turquoise Trail to Tim's house. Now let me tell you, when the sun goes down, it gets seriously dark in New Mexico. The half hour seemed like I was driving in a tunnel only with the occasional jack rabbit or coyote crossing the road in front of me. Tim was happy to see us return to his house on the messa.
(Sorry this picture is blurry. I wanted to show you Tim's beautiful house)
Tim was so kind to put us up again before we flew out the next day. He makes his house ours and treats us like family. He is such a great guy to know, rich beyond belief in history and life experience. Once again, please check out Tim's website, Tuffnut Traders. Maybe go down to Madrid and pay him a visit. I look forward to my next visit that is for sure. Unfortunately the next morning we had to leave. Before we left the State there was one more small side trip needed.
The New Mexico Pinion Pine Coffee Co. was a must see for us. We love their coffee and drink it daily. I have a mug of it next to me as I write this to you. For a few years now we bought their coffee at Trader Joe's. Most often a trip to Trader Joe's revolves around the low supply of coffee. We needed to go to the source so Beth made arraignments to make that happen. Now unfortunately my camera does not like to focus well in florescent light. The production facility was lighted with florescent so very few of the photos came out well. This is a shame for the operation was very interesting to us and everyone we met was honored that people from Baltimore not only like what they produce, but took time out of their vacation to come see them.
Everything is done by hand. The coffee is roasted slowly in small batches and ground then put into cans.
We use to be able to buy whole bean, but the grinders at the store were having nut remnants left in them and someone with a nut allergy got sick and now Trader Joe's can only sell ground coffee in a can. We boarded the plane with me carrying 20 pounds of whole bean coffee.
Even the lids to the cans gets put on by hand. All the employees take great pride in their product. It shows in how good the stuff tastes. I highly recommend you try their coffee. For those of you the enjoy Charbucks, their Colorado and Texas Coffee line has that same burnt up taste you like.
My next post will show you the finished deck and some of what I have been doing to Anna. Thanks for reading. And as the guy from the Taos Pueblo told me, "make sure you let both your Mothers know how much you love them"