I’m going to get into some trouble for giving away this secret, but the best time to be in New Mexico is Autumn. Sure, Christmas is fantastic, and there are so many things to do there throughout the year, but I love the Fall in New Mexico. The weather is great, and the smell of roasting chile is in the air. Locals form long lines in super market parking lots across the state, waiting to have their shopping carts full of green roasted and bagged. We return to NYC every year with an extra suitcase full of green chile that lives in our freezer until we eat all of it. Just this week we ate the last of 2016’s haul.
The Santa Fe Opera season and Indian Market have ended, and the City Different passes the party host baton to Albuquerque for the International Balloon Fiesta. Since Albuquerque is so much larger than Santa Fe, it can absorb the thousands of people who attend that amazing event much more easily than Santa Fe can squeeze in 100,000+ attendees of Indian Market. Kids have headed back to school, the days are still warm, the nights getting cold, and everyone relaxes before winter sets in and the skiers arrive.
Backroad to Chimayo
This bucolic scene is well-known to almost everyone in Northern New Mexico. It is a particular bend in the backroad to Chimayo, reached by hanging a right off of HIghway 285 North toward Taos. Because it is next the the river, Nambé is greener than it’s surrounding areas, downright verdant for the high desert plateau on which it sits. It is also still quite rural, and very beautiful.
My father painted this scene in every season. This painting is from 1977, but it has not changed. As you can probably tell, it makes me homesick.