The Land of Enchantment
The sheer prodigious of New Mexico became apparent to me as we drove down route 380. I spent many summers as a child in Ruidoso, New Mexico, but it was this particular trip that truly made me appreciate the beauty of this mysteriously vast terrain.
My mom and niece picked me up from Albuquerque Airport around dusk. The overwhelming joy and love to see my family filled my being with complete peace and happiness. We were thrilled to be together and to begin our journey towards my grandmother’s house in Ruidoso, about 181 miles away.
The Sandia Mountains loomed over us as we drove through the desserts plain. The sun slowly moving west made the sky glow in golden orange hues. “How could anything be more beautiful,” I thought to myself as I dazed through the car window, zoning out on the horizon, soaking every angle in.
Once the sun faded, the moon ventured to pierce through the pitch blackness of the sky. The stars roared with pride as they shined ever so brightly. Gifting us thousands of bits of luminosity, allowing our minds to ponder all the happenings and mysteries the New Mexican desert has seen.
The road to my grandmother’s house grew more desolate the father we ventured. As we drove, the unsettling feeling of being completely alone suddenly grasped my attention. The spotty cell phone service made me even more apprehensive. We relied completely on our spiritual GPS to guide us safely to our final destination.
Morning came like a dream, I woke up to the smell of fresh coffee and a brisk chill blowing in from a cracked window next to my bed. My grandmother’s oxygen tank in the hallway was a familiar sound of comfort. It hummed to me like a lullaby as I hugged the crisp sheets and savored the few minutes of guiltless snoozing.
A visit to White Sands was on our agenda that day. My mom made pancakes and bacon with a fried egg on top. A traditional breakfast staple in her household. The lightly fried egg and the crispy smoked bacon offered the perfect savory component to my maple syrup-soaked pancakes. Everything tastes better when its made with unconditional love.
Once we hit Alamogordo we could see the twinkling from the white sands of New Mexico. How odd I thought to myself, rising from the heart of the desert is about 250 square miles of pure white beach sand. The sight of it resembled something out of an Egyptian fairytale. Huge pure white sand dunes graced the landscape like rolling hills. The ancient sands that kissed the soles of my feet once lived at the bottom of Lake Lucero, millions of years ago.
Almost as spectacular, in its own right, was visiting Carlsbad Caverns. A limestone cave, in a fossil reef, laid down by an inland sea around 265 million years ago. Located in the Guadalupe Mountains near El Paso, Texas, is home to one the world’s most famous cave systems. Walking towards the natural entrance of the cave wasn’t for the faint of heart. A steep spiral trail led us to the pitch blackness below. While indigenous Mexican free tail bats flutter above our heads. Once we arrived to the heart of the cave we found different chambers to explore, such as Devils Spring, Kings Palace, and the Boneyard. Each chamber offered its own scenic view. Resembling more like an ancient cathedral rather than your average cave. Stalactites hung from the ceiling like chandeliers. It was breathtakingly eerie, yet its beauty was like nothing I’d ever seen before.
As my trip came to an end, I reflected on my journey in Roswell’s departure lounge. This enriching state has so many adventures to offer. From the mountains of Sierra Blanca to the deserts of Chihuahua. Through the rocky canyons you will find hidden treasures, quaint towns, and ancient artifacts. Dare if you will, take a trip to the land of enchantment, the land of mysteries, and the land filled with America’s earliest history. You will be sure to discover something beyond your wildest dreams.