One of the most exciting experiences that most people can have is to go somewhere that most people do not get to go. I thrive on these experiences and these ideas. This does not necessarily mean a trip to the far corners of the earth. We have such a place within a few miles of us. It is El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (The Royal Road of the Interior Lands).
This road started in Mexico City and moved north bringing settlers into New Mexico, passing on Mesquite Street in Las Cruces and ending in Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo above Santa Fe. It extends 1600 miles and before it was the Royal Road it had been a Native American trail along which trade would travel.
The historic highway can be seen from many places along the way, but there is an area on the Jornada del Muerto that is owned by Ted Turner, that was part of the Armendaris Land Grant that is not generally opened to the public.
Occasionally the Turner Ranch allows non-profits to tour the ranch for fund raising. We were fortunate to catch one of these tours for CARTA, an organization of the trail.
Since the ranch is closed to the public, the trail has been preserved in several places and very identifiable.
We were able to walk the trail for a long ways just below Mesa del Contadero and from the top of Black Mesa we could see it well.
We lunched in one of the old campsites, Paraje Fra Cristobal. While there we saw some Indian ruins and we looked down at the Civil War Battlefield of Valverde.
One of the most fun things of the trip was driving through a wall of tumble weeds that filled in our sunken road.
Photos and story courtesy of Bob & Wilma.