New Mexico missions

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by alanrockwood, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member
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    I am intrigued about the possibility of an expedition to New Mexico to photograph some of the old Spanish missions there. Any thoughts?
     
  2. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member
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    I think it's a great idea.

    I've been to the Santuario de Chimayo several times. A wonderful place.

    You will have plenty to choose throughout New Mexico.

    There's a nice mission church in the Santa Cruz section of Espanola. You can visit there on the way to Chimayo. Early 1700's. Well kept .
     
  3. jtk

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    Important to distinguish between "missions" and "moradas." The former were created by Spanish occupiers, the latter were created by people who'd become disconnected from the RCC due to its excesses, many of them remaining disconnected for spiritual reasons and due to suffering that had been imposed on them by that church. Chimayo wasn't a mission and has only recently been approved by RCC, ie only recently "consecrated."

    http://www.williamtalbot.com/missions-moradas/pdf/talbot-missionsmoradas-2012-catalog.pdf
     
  4. Sirius Glass

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    That is something that I did not know. Thank you.
     
  5. jtk

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  6. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member
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    Thanks, good information. I did have doubts about Santuario de Chimayo technically being a mission. But, I think it's a nice place to photograph.
     
  7. Patrick Robert James

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    I've photographed in New Mexico quite a lot over the years. You want to follow the Turquoise Trail. Lots of great stuff on the route or close to it. Easy to find information about it too. I'd be happy to help if you state what you want. I forget the names of places but I remember the routes, I think... There are places that are interesting too that aren't well known, like the cemetery outside Cerillos, I think it is Cerillos. Lol.

    If you are going to New Mexico you might want to see White Sands if you have never seen it before. Incredible place.
     
  8. jtk

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    I posted some
    I don't know your background, but if it involves cultural/anthro-like and arts issues I think you'd do better by focusing on your personal strengths than on what you may imagine about New Mexico. For one important reason: you can waste tremendous amounts of time driving to certain "destinations."

    I moved here to continue my free-lance profession (headhunting) , because I hoped for from what I knew about the place, which importantly involved todays remaining "old west" realities and Native people..Navajo and Pueblo.

    When out-of-state friends arrive I want them to visit Acoma Pueblo https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attract...Haak_u_Museum-Pueblo_of_Acoma_New_Mexico.html and visit Las https://golondrinas.org/ if at all possible (rather than wasting time and money in Santa Fe) and if they're willing, visit Albuquerque's remarkable art/history museum...better than any in AZ or TX or CO...or Santa Fe.

    If you want to see Taos I'd suggest a) a night there rather than just passing through and b) take https://www.newmexico.org/things-to-do/scenic-byways/high-road-to-taos/ ...see the villages around Truchas.

    If you're into not-so-serious hiking and inexpensive, historic, simple lodgings I'd suggest https://www.ghostranch.org/explore/georgia-okeeffe/ This part of NM is gorgeous.

    Weather is almost always gorgeous, people are great (especially Navajo in my experience) and "destinations" come in second to just plain looking around when traveling without pressure.
     
  9. drkhalsa

    drkhalsa Member
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    "I posted some"

    Yes, they're awesome.

    "you can waste tremendous amounts of time driving to certain "destinations."

    That is the thing, it's a big state.
     
  10. JimCee

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    I was born in Socorro, New Mexico and I've visited a number of the Spanish era missions. Of course El Santuario del Chimayo is always worth a visit even if its not technically a Spanish era mission..

    El Santuario del Chimayo Historic Site (1 of 1) resized.jpg

    Some you might wish to add to your itinerary are the "Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument". These are three mission ruins, abandoned by the Spanish during the Pueblo revolt. They're all in the vicinity of Mountainair, New Mexico, where the park service has a visitor center pertaining to the missions. https://www.nps.gov/sapu/index.htm
     
  11. OP
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    alanrockwood

    alanrockwood Member
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    Thanks for all of the comments so far. Rather than reply to individual helpful posts let me make a few comments of a general nature. I have to admit, the idea of photographing Spanish Missions came from seeing some of the work of Ansel Adams.

    I live in Utah which, though close to New Mexico, shares relatively little cultural history with it, and that would be mainly through recognition of the important historical importance of the Dominguez-Escalante Expedition, along with some overlapping of the two State's Native American cultures. Most notably, the role of the Catholic Church in New Mexico is very large, but Utah history is dominated by the Mormon church.

    Being a Utah native, the fact of long distance drives between destinations is not necessarily a show-stopper, since we have the same situation here, particularly when one gets away from the densely populated Wasatch Front region of Utah. A few times I have gotten together with my siblings for visits to the National Parks and National Monuments in the red-rock country of Southern Utah, and the drives between destinations are quite long.

    Some useful geographical information would be if there are any good missions to visit in the Northwest part of New Mexico because that is the region closest to Utah, which would somewhat minimize the long-drive issue. Also, could there be such a thing as a beginners guide to the Missions which would list some of the more easily-accessible destinations?

    Also, how freely can photography be practiced? I would not want to be intrusive, especially if those who operate the churches are sensitive to photography, and more especially if it would intrude on Missions that are still actively hosting religious services. In some of my travels in Europe I have not found this to be much of an issue. Most cathedrals there (whether catholic or protestant) seem to be willing to allow photography, even in the interior of the buildings. Is it the same in New Mexico?

    I understand that a lot of the Missions are in very remote areas. Does this mean that there would not be motels or eating establishments nearby? How about camping facilities?

    Is historical information about individual sites difficult to find?

    I will follow the links that have been kindly posted so far. I am sure that a lot of them will contain information to help answer some of my questions, and also the posts that have been placed so far are helping.

    The postings about the moradas are interesting. This is something of which I know nothing.
     
  12. jtk

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    NM's few missions are isolated and not nearly as interesting IMO as NM's other charms. Moradas call for lots of driving around and are often on very private property.
    If I wanted to see "missions" I'd go to AZ or CA. NM fought a shooting war with TX some years ago and was invaded by Confederates....the last Civil War battle was fought here.

    It would be rewarding to visit our dozen-plus Pueblos...they're all Roman Catholic and simultaneously practice Pueblo traditional religion. I think only Taos Pueblo allows photography, which requires a small fee and is restricted. It's wonderful to visit the RC churches in the middle of those pueblos and/but you may have to be guided (modest fee). If you can visit on their feast days (google by pueblo name) the people will almost certainly feed you....it's important to them to feed visitors (like it was for Arabs before we set about destroying their countries)

    I hope I don't discourage your visit, but I want to stress that it's very different from what people expect....good idea to learn about NM from books (rather than online)...my favorite is https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Thunder-Carson-Conquest-American/dp/1400031109 ...written by Hampton Sides...a great read..I know most of the areas from wandering and most of the events from paying attention to folklore etc..
     
  13. Sirius Glass

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    California has a large population and many missions. Nevada, Utah and Arizona are much less populated, but they look like California when compared to New Mexico. Not only is the population low in New Mexico, but also the distances between cities, towns, villages and settlements are quite large. To see New Mexico well requires a lot of driving through untouched land to see anything built by man.
     
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  15. Sirius Glass

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    Another book you should read is about the only war that the Native Americans won ==> https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18617663-uprising
    It took place in Arizona and New Mexico.
     
  16. jtk

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  17. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    Don't want to hijack the thread, but my wife and I will be in Santa Fe for three nights next week and then driving to Monument Valley for two nights and then onto Moab and lots of other national parks. It's a long drive from Santa Fe to Monument Valley. we plan on stopping at the Four Corners. I notice we pass by Shiprock. Worth stopping to see closer up? Any other places between these two towns? Here's our planned route. https://goo.gl/maps/ohmFW7hngVC2
     
  18. jtk

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    Shiprock is the most important phenomenon on your trip but I've not yet given it justice. How about Taos? Santa Fe is a waste of time and money unless you want to see something in particular (no local culture). Monument Valley is gigantic and (for me) is hard to visualize photographically (think John Ford westerns). Moab is great if you like pizza (town of Moab) or if you're a hiker. If you're interested in the "real" Four Corners you'll find that around Farmington NM (fracking industry), Durango CO (like Aspen CO but a lot cheaper).

    If you've seen the national parks before I'd suggest spending time around Pueblos and ruins and less time traveling.

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g28952-Activities-c47-t74,2-New_Mexico.html
     
  19. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    All our reservations are set. Also, as an Easterner, I've never had a chance to see the National Parks we're going to visit. We're going to Moab, after Santa Fe and Monument Valley, to catch Arches and Canyonlands and then head across to Capitol Reef, down Grand Staircase Escalante, to Bryce, Zion, Grand Canyon and ending in Sedona for three days to rest before heading home to New Jersey.
     
  20. JimCee

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    If you really want to "dive deep" into New Mexico's Spanish churches and missions you should find a good reference source. One I'd recommend is "Sanctuaries of Spanish New Mexico", Marc Treib, University of California Press (ISBN: 0-520-06420-8). This is a comprehensive source that includes all of the existent Spanish era churches and missions of the pueblos.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  21. Sirius Glass

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    Driving into Monument Valley at sunrise is a real treat. Also you can pull the car over anywhere to take photographs because there is no traffic around. In the Moab area: Canyonlands has three part: Island in the Sky, Needles, and the Maze. The first two can be visited by car. As you drive north on US 191 turn off before Moab to visit Needles. Then you will pass through Moab and come to Island in the Sky and Arches.
     
  22. Kodachromeguy

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    Back to the original topic. Taos Pueblo (New Mexico) is rather interesting, but I found it difficult to capture photographically when I toured in 2017. The graveyard at the remains of San Geronimo church have been photographed many times. The dramatic skies are fabulous.

    SanGeronimo01_TaosPuebloNM_20170816_small.jpg
    San Geronimo church remains, Taos Pueblo, Yashica Electro 35CC with 35mm lens, polarizer filter, Kodak BW400 film.
     
  23. jtk

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    Fine image! I've never seen San Geronimo that way.

    New Mexicans can't count on sky drama like that because we do live in a sun-blasted world. Yes, if you're shooting for B&W do bring a polarizer. Virtually every Google- known inch of NM has been beaten to death photographically but if one is willing to slow down, leave the highway and hike a little it does quietly open up.

    If you're curious about who lives here, other than white people, I especially suggest visiting our genuine trading posts...and the most disgusting of our convenience/gasoline stations (e.g. Bronco Stations), buy a copy of Navajo Times, to get a unique sense of NM's non-biligana (non-white) reality. .
     
  24. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. We're staying two nights in The View Hotel in Monument Valley which is run by the Navaho Indians who own the National Monument land. Our 2md floor room's windows look out East to the Monuments so I hope to get some sunrise pictures. My wife told me to just let her sleep. :smile: We also plan to drive around the monuments around sunset, hopefully getting some good light. https://goo.gl/maps/9eptkafAXWv

    We're staying three nights in Moab. That will get us into Arches and Canyonlands including Island in the Sky. I also plan to take the Colorado River Scenic Byway road tour out of Moab and visit the Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage along the way. I originally planned on stopping at Needles on the way to Moab. But I'm going to skip it to reduce some of my driving.
     
  25. mark

    mark Member
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    Northwest NM is my stomping grounds. Lots of old churches but no missions. A good chunk of the Navajo Nation, and the Bisti Badlands. Love the bad lands. Plus the Chuska mountain range is shockingly beautiful. The Navajo nation has some general rules about staying on the pavement. Dirt roads technically require a back roads pass. Most of the time no one pays attention but that one time can ruin a trip. Have fun on your trip.
     
  26. johnpeter

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    beautiful
     
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