The Power of Place Day 2 - New Mexico

Not long after we crossed the state line from Texas into New Mexico, I discovered that New Mexico's state motto is really, really true. It totally IS the "Land of Enchantment".  I wish I could find words to describe how beautiful it was, but I can't. And neither could I snap a picture that would adequately illustrate it. I was literally speechless as we drove, and I couldn't take in the landscape fast enough.

Much like Texas, the land is flat and expansive. But the further west you go, the more "southwestern" the scenery becomes. That's the best way I can think to describe it, especially as someone who'd never experienced the western part of the country before. Hills became mesas, the flat table-top rocks that burst with reds and browns. Grass pastures became desert-like, with green shrubs scattered throughout vast fields of brown. Below are just a few of the many, many pictures I took as we drove through the "Land of Enchantment", though none come close to actually showing how stunningly beautiful the state is.

We stopped for lunch in Moriarty, New Mexico, and I snapped the following two pictures of a Route 66 sign an old Route 66 business that long ago closed up shop.

 On the return trip, we spent the night in Gallup, New Mexico. We headed out the next morning at 5:00 a.m. Mountain Time, and somewhere between Gallup and Albequerque the sun came up, creeping up over the mesas that lined the sides of the interstate.

One of the things I love about reading and writing fiction with romantic elements is the way that the hero and heroine discover new things about each other... how they come to see the ordinary as beautiful and captivating. I like to think that the wonder I felt as I fell in love with New Mexico, mimicked a little bit of what we writers put into our characters as they fall in love with each other. As each new landscape came into view, as the beauty of the sunrise stole my breath, perhaps I revisited the wonder and excitement of falling in love. And hopefully that wonder will find its way to my characters.

Inspiration... it's everywhere. And I found a whole heck of a lot in New Mexico.

Happy reading and writing!


  1. Those are great pictures, Amy. I especially love the sunrise over the mesas. It's truly amazing when you find yourself in that moment of being completely bowled over and rendered speechless by the beauty of the world around us and I do think you're right...it is a lot like falling in love. It's moments like that where you feel utterly connected to life, to nature and our fellow man or womankind, knowing love is a great and powerful thing.

  2. There is something magical and mystical about New Mexico. I can't explain it, but my whole inner sense of peace arrives when I cross the state line and head for Santa Fe or Taos or Ruidoso. The past and the present meld together. And I feel as though the spirits of another time are walking beside me.

  3. I absolutely love NM. My daughter has plans to attend St. Johns College in Santa Fe starting in the fall of 2013. I will have a standing excuse to come to Santa Fe any time I want. Thanks for reminding me how enchanting it is.

  4. I really hope to get out that way someday soon. The kids are getting to be at about the right age to appreciate seeing something new and amazing. I'm impressed you took on a car trip of this proportion. You inspire me to give it a try.

  5. Taryn, Caleb, and Stephen - Thanks for visiting and commenting. It's nice to know other people are as taken with New Mexico as me! I'd like to go back someday and spend more time there!

  6. Cherie - It was amazing! None of us are jumping up and down to get in the car and do it again anytime soon, but we are so glad we did. The impetus for the trip was that my sister-in-law and her family moved to San Diego. Hubby was anxious to see his sis for the first time in almost a year, and the kids wanted to see their two cousins. So, we decided we'd go for it. And it was so amazing! The driving/riding was long, but in many ways, that was the best part. We saw SO much of the country, and it really opened all our eyes to what else is out there. We saw the Grand Canyon on the way out there (pics from that day tomorrow!), which was really grand and special... none of us had ever seen it before. On Friday I'll be blogging about the Indian Reservations we saw. My feelings on that are pretty complex, and it's taken me a while to be able to put into words how it made me feel, but again... so glad to have experienced it myself. Gave whole new meanings to the stuff I learned in school about the Trail of Tears, the Indian Removal Act, etc. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone!

  7. I'm really enjoying the trip!! Beautiful mountain. I'd have claimed it too.