Tag Archives: New Mexico

Unique Exhibit features the Old Spanish Trail

spherical photographSome time ago I featured a project by photojournalist Janire Najera in an article on this blog (read it here).  Janire was documenting the Old Spanish Trail which runs from Santa Fe, NM to Los Angeles in her project called “Moving Forward, Looking Back”.

Moving forward, looking back is being exhibited as part of Diffusion, Cardiff International Festival of Photography (Wales, UK). The exhibition can be visited at the second floor of the Stadium Plaza during October, (Tuesday to Saturday 11am to 5pm) — Can’t make it to Wales?  You can also experience a variation of the exhibit in virtual form through your browser — the virtual tour was created from an exhibition earlier this yearnat the former residence of the ambassadors of Spain in Washington, D.C.

Be patient as the virtual tour is a large file and can take a bit of time to load depending on your connection speed.  Use the arrows to navigate through the different rooms and enjoy exploring the space and the artwork.  You can click on all the images to see the photographs larger and by navigating into the conference room you can access and listen to interviews with descendants of pioneers of the Old Spanish Trail and others.   The photograph above is of a unique spherical format photo (imagine printing a 3-D image onto a huge balloon) that was part of the exhibit.


Muertos y Marigolds


amuerto.jpgIt is a pleasantly warm Fall day in Albuquerque, New Mexico and mine is one of a long line of cars crawling on the bridge over the Rio Grande in the direction of Isleta Boulevard.  The attraction today is the annual Dia de los Muertos parade known as Muertos y Marygolds.   This is one of the local celebrations of the Mexican holiday called “Day of the Dead”.  Some call it the Mexican version of the Catholic All Saints Day or All Souls Day.  The general idea is that it is a day to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey.

b22665137756_1e1dccc37f_c.jpgAlbuquerque’s Muertos y Marygolds is a Sunday afternoon parade that closes many blocks of a major thoroughfare leading to a grassy, shady park where there is food, vendors, and community.  Parade participants and a large percentage of the crowd that lines the parade route are painted up, masked, and otherwise decked out for the occasion.  Marygolds, the traditional flower used to honor the dead are everywhere.  It is a colorful and interesting slice of cultural heritage to be sure.

Following are some of my favorite images from the day … captions, when provided, precede the related picture(s) …

Parade entries include decked out cars & trucks, dance groups, floats, bicycle groups, and walkers …


Intricate face paintings are everywhere …


American and Mexican flags wave side-by-side …


Kids were everywhere and were having a ball …


Some of the crafts displayed at the fair …


A variety of traditional refreshments were on sale at the fair …


People leaving the celebration made for some interesting sights on Albuquerque’s roadways …


Craft Beer Hiking

fall_colors.pngWhat do I like better?  A great hike in the forests and canyons of Northern New Mexico? …. or trying out interesting beers to quench my thirst after a great workout? …. or sharing either of those experiences with kindred souls? That is a hard one …. so I decided to combine all of these into one activity …. a “craft beer hike”.

My love of this kind of activity comes from years of living in Bavaria where there is a high concentration of small breweries that are fun to create hiking routes between. (read about beer hiking in Bavaria here) The growth of the craft beer movement in the


US and in NM got me to thinking about where there are opportunities to do a similar kind of hiking experience here.

A few Saturdays back, I led a small group of eleven on a craft beer hike in Los Alamos, culminating in a visit and orientation at Bathtub Row Brewery, one of New Mexico’s newest breweries. The other stops along the way were at tap rooms that feature a variety of craft beers. Between the beer stops were segments of gorgeous hiking through forest and canyon.

highres_439188841.jpegSound like your kind of activity? Guided craft beer hikes are offered in Los Alamos on Saturdays. Pricing includes beer, snacks, and the services of a local guide. The next available dates are October 17 and 24 … should be prime time for fall colors. Details and booking are available atwww.primepassages.com/travel

The scenery along the way is spectacular. We were ready for another beer by the end of each of the hike segments.
highres_439188847.jpegWe sampled the equivalent of a pint selected from a variety of craft brew choices at each of three different stops along the hike.

Bathtub Row Brewery treated us to a brewery orientation before we tasted their latest offerings.highres_439155423.jpeg