Friday, May 1, 2015

Deep in the Depths of New Mexico

New Mexico Cliff Dwellings
New Mexico Cliff Dwellings
New Mexico was one of my late husband’s favorite vacation spots. Every time he visited he found surprising new worlds to explore for personal enjoyment and research. Such a rich depth of varied cultures can be discovered embedded in this southwestern state, America’s 47th.

Prehistoric Indians date from as early as 25,000 B.C. when the Sandia people left the earliest evidence of human existence. The phenomenal Anasazi basket makers and weavers existed circa 1 A.D. to 1300. The Pueblo
New Mexico Taos Pueblo Indians
New Mexico Taos Pueblo Indians
Indian villages dotted the Rio Grande region during the 1200s to 1500s. Then there are the nomadic Indians, the Spanish and Mexicans. The traders and cowboys. The prospectors and frontier military. 

The railroad era started full-scale trade and migration from east to mid-west in 1878. Prospectors plied their luck and enticed big mining interests. Homesteaders and their stories vied with infamous outlaws. Farmers at one time were the mainstay and much later alongside came the atomic energy and computer chip industries. The world’s first atomic bomb detonated in 1945 in southern New Mexico after development at Los Alamos.
New Mexico Native American Pottery

After WWII trickles and then swarms of artists brought art from around the globe for the benefit of locals and the growing, huge tourist trade.

In some places, there are only a few blocks separating the culture segments providing rich specimens of artifacts and a wide scope of archaeology. Another spot in the world that possesses similar layers of different cultures stacked one upon the other is in Rome, Italy.

The capital city, Albuquerque, was founded in 1706 with eighteen families but not incorporated until 1891. The economic base has been in constant flux. From agriculture to transportation, From healthcare to technology.

Before the railroad in 1880, sheepherders ruled. When mining made it a boom
New Mexico Nuclear Waste
town with its saloons as well as a horse-drawn streetcar system, immigrants of all descents landed in droves. The main groups included Pueblo Indians, Hispanics, Europeans, African Americans and Chinese. The climate especially drew them. Albuquerque provided a dry, sun-filled refuge touted by many as healing. At one time many of its citizens included those suffering with tuberculosis and other respiratory problems and their caregivers. A dozen sanitariums were established.

In the 1920s, Albuquerque was a transcontinental air route stop. Route 66 brought transcontinental motorists through the city. A rural and urban mix congregate here in a cacophony of languages, races, and proud family histories.


Janet Chester Bly
Janet Chester Bly authored 31 nonfiction and fiction books, 19 she co-authored with Christy Award winning western author Stephen Bly. Titles include The Hidden West Series, The Carson City Chronicles, Hope Lives Here, and The Heart of a Runaway. She resides at 4200 ft. elev. on the Idaho Nez Perce Indian Reservation in north-central Idaho. Find at more at website:

Stephen Bly’s Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon took place in Albuquerque in 1954. The whole story spans one afternoon. On that day, a ten-year-old boy goes with his grandfather to an old hotel to visit five old cowboy friends. They play cribbage in the lobby and talk about the old days. The eldest of the crew was born during the Civil War. All of them rode the range from the late 1880s until the 1940s. They tell first-hand stories of what the West was truly like. Meanwhile, a drama unfolds that propels the old men and the lad to make one last cowboy stand.
Find it here eBook or Hardback:

“For me," Stephen Bly once write, "history is not the story of grand ideas, or
Cowboy For A Rainy Afternoon
broad sweeps describing movements, events or social progress. History is the story of individual people. Not all are famous, but all do help define who we are today, and why we think and act the way we do.” 

1 comment:

  1. We traveled through New Mexico last August and stopped in Taos, but it was so busy with a festival so we didn't stay long. I had planned a visit to the
    Taos Pueblo but didn't make it on that visit. Something else for my bucket list. sm wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com