I followed my own advice last month and took another day trip to Mountainair, NM to see the Sunflower Festival and to visit the Salinas Pueblo Mission Ruins. If I was willing to stay out there a bit longer, or if I had skipped the festival, I may have made it to all three ruins, but as it was we only made it to Quarai, and Abó. No problem…any one of the three ruin sites is worth the trip, as was the festival, and I plan to return anyway, as it is a really nice ride. It will be another story to tell.
I am not going to go on again about Mountainair or the ruins, but I will point you to my previous post with the history/story of the Salinas Pueblo Mission Ruins. This post today is for pictures. Mine are not the best, as I forgot my camera and used a disposable, but they are offered so you can see there are serious Kodak moments in this area…photographers should take this trip for incredible subject and lighting opportunities.
Here are my photos…
On the road to Quarai, in the village of Manzano, we see a church. In small town New Mexico I can never pass a church without snapping a picture, or two, and perhaps a shot in the cemetery as well, and another down the road a bit at an abandon homestead just begging to be photographed. At the church gate reads “Our Lady of Sorrows.
Next we move on to the northern most Pueblo Ruin of the Salinas trilogy, Quarai. There is a great visitor center there with knowledgeable staff and a great selection of books on the area. Here are three photos from Quarai, of the Mission Church Nuestra Señora de la Concepcíon de Cuarac.
From Quarai we went to the Sunflower Festival and spent about two hours there in the town of Mountainair. It was getting late so we opted to save our visit to the southern ruin, Gran Quivira, for another trip, it being the largest of the three with more to explore. Off we went, west to Abó.
This is Mission San Gregorio at Abó. The large building is the sanctuary and the surrounding buildings were all support for the mission, sacristy, residence cells, kitchens, courtyards, corrals and stables for livestock, store rooms and more.
In the middle of it all east of the sanctuary is a kiva, which is where the pueblo people held their ceremonies. In many more modern pueblos the sanctuary was built atop the kiva so it could no longer be used to practice any ancient religious rituals. Shown are the east wall of the sanctuary and the patio below it with the kiva.
Belltower at Abó…just as I snapped the first shot the sun entered the photo, so I has to step forward and snap another, but both are cool pics.
The last photo is looking southwest out of a window I think was in the baptistry. I could be wrong, of course. I have a few more shots and if you are really interested I have them posted on Flickr.
This is an incredible day trip. I hope you enjoyed these and that it will prompt your to make the short trip out to Salinas. As soon as I get it together to trip out to Gran Quivira, I will post those photos as well. Vaya con Dios.
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