Saturday, February 20, 2010

El Camino Real Heritage Center

We heard that today there would be a civil war re-enactment at the El Camino Real International Heritage Center. We've attended several of these and always find them enjoyable. There's usually a lot of folks gussied up in period garb demonstrating lost arts like cast iron campfire cooking, how to make lead bullets, treadle sewing, you get the idea.

So we got up unusually early and set out for the Center.

Once again, it was a gorgeous day.
Look at this wide open vista . . .

When we arrived, we discovered there weren't a lot of demonstrations going on, so we decided to spend our time in the museum. We had been there once before and had good memories of this beautiful facility.

Located some thirty miles south of Socorro, the center concentrates on the history of the El Camino Real which for centuries has been a major road stretching from Mexico City up to Santa Fe.

The museum sits on the edge of the Jornada del Muerto, the dreaded ninety miles of Hell. A truly barren stretch of desert, it has claimed many lives over the years. At first, it seems strange that such a modern facility would be located in such a bleak area, but once you understand the focus, the location really adds to the experience.

Inside, there's a huge array
of period detail.
I have to admit a particular fondness
for this display.

Here's a closeup of these animals.
Terry and I couldn't decide
whether they were sheep or goats.
Whatever they are, they're adorable.

What's really impressive about this museum is that instead of just placing artifacts in cases, they've recreated entire rooms and outside areas that add to the ambiance. I'm searching for words here, but let me show you a few pictures and maybe you'll understand better.

you can click on any picture
for a large version
which shows a lot more detail.

Are you getting the idea?

I liked this shot,
because I thought this spotlight
looked like the moon.

More interior shots.

There are also numerous displays

Isn't the design on this coin beautiful?

There's also a large display
of vintage photographs

The original road into Santa Fe.

The building
housing the museum is fascinating,
a blend of old and new.

This hallway is one of my favorite spots.
When you go out these doors,
you have a gigantic vista
of the Jornada del Muerto

And look at this sky

New Mexico clouds,
like nowhere else.

Here we are,
almost back at the Bosque

One final shot.

Another fine day
in the Land of Enchantment.

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