Settled for the night at the edge of this tremendous lava field---45 miles long---different from most lava fields because it oozed out of a hole in the ground instead from a mountain cone. About 25 miles due west is Trinity site where the first atomic bomb was detonated.
Next day North across the flat yellow plains, stopping to walk the remote town of Corona---visit its museum.
A missed turn took us to Vaughn, NM---a walk past this motel let us meet these two interesting guys---with a serious message for America---they're riding scooters across the nation--stopping at churches to give a rather shocking report: "There are about 120,000 slaves currently in America. Mostly sex and labor slaves--tricked into coming here--hidden away--exploited and abused."
Then North on a lovely back road (NM hwy 3) for 40 miles without meeting another car.
Headed here: Villanueva St. Park---Can you see my rig parked on that ridge?
It's a wild and wierd wasteland.
With just a bit of arable farmland. It's hard to believe that a caravan of settlers in colonial times made their way here to live their lives.
There's the sleepy little village. I'll go for a closer look.
The community well---Artfully done--right in the center of town.
Old houses of stone and tin.
And adobe---most are still occupied. About 160 people in the vicinity.
Adobe houses unlived in soon melt
They have a church ----and on a nearby hill -- a shrine--with stations of the cross marked along the way.
RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I walked around letting the village speak to me--chatted with a few citizens----asked myself if it was soul-killing or soul enhancing to live ones life in an obscure, remote, sleepy village. I really ought to know---because I lived 17 years in one. I SAY IT IS SOUL STIFLING. Especially in this Catholic village--tyrannized by guilt-inflicting priest, frustrated by crazy old customs, isolated from fresh thoughts and visons. The English poet Grey--in his classic poem: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard----spoke of such stifled people:
"but knowledge, to their eyes---her ample page,
rich with the spoils of time, did nere unroll;
chill poverty repressed their noble rage
and froze the genial currents of their soul.
Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
their sober wishes never learned to stray;
along the cool sequestered vail of life
they kept the narrow tenure of their way