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SANTA FE AND TAOS

Much to Share

sunny 92 °F

Buenos Dias to all:

This epistle will cover 2 days. So much to share, so little space in which to do it.

A little background. This arrid region and the communities located here date back to the times of Spanish Inquisition of the 1500's. At the time, King Phillip II of Spain was arguably the most powerful monarch in Europe. He was also a religious fanatic adhering to the Roman Catholic faith. His edict was to convert the native population of the lands he conquered in South & Central America, Mexico, and what is now the Southwestern US to Catholicism. With an armada of naval vessels and commercial ships numbering 3,000, we were told, he sent his soldiers (conquistadors) and hundreds of priests to the Americas to convert the natives, and to enrich Spain's treasury by plundering the Aztec and Inca silver & gold. The Spanish transported by ship horses and beef cattle from Spain for none existed here then.
The missions of ABQ, Santa Fe, and Taos are all located along the Rio Grande River, The river's headwaters begin in the Colorado Mts. and eventually flow into the Gulf of Mexico along the current Texas/Mexican international border. Each of these 3 communities are about 60 miles apart, about a 3 day ride on horseback in those early days. The center of the settlements are all arranged around a piazza or town square with mercantile shops facing the center. The rear of the buildings (all pueblo construction) are fortress-like for protection against the bellicose Indians and outlaws. Intruders were warded off from gun positions on the rooftops. As time went on, wars were fought, land ownership was exchanged nationally until the Southwest became the territory of the United States. The westward movement of settlers along the wagon trails, such as the Oregon, Mormon, and Sante Fe Trails created a need for protection to these homesteaders. The US government built about a dozen forts in New Mexico territory manned by US Cavalry soldiers to establish control control over this lawless region. It wasn't until the railroad came in the 1840's that this remote land was opened up to economic growth. The railroad was called the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad. Today its called the BNSF or Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the second largest freight railroad (behind Union Pacific RR) in the world, a Warren Buffet Berkshire Hathaway holding.

Fast-forward: We found Sante Fe to be a treasure. A city trolley tour disseminated loads of information about this charming little city. Located on the high plains with nearby mountains it is a year-round tourist destination. Winter skiing in the mountains and summer pleasantness create an enviornment ideally suited to many people. With its low humidity, dry heat with no insects, the arts and the dining options it is a very popular destination for visitors like us.

Posted by dixter 07:50 Archived in USA Tagged fe sante

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