The Land of Enchantment greeted us with harsh winds, lightening that looked like two wizards were duking out a battle royale on a distant mountain, and rain drops that seemed like they were going to slice through Louis’ windshield. Oh yeah, I named my Element Louis (Lew-ee)…it reminds me of home, he may be given a last name later.
I didn’t think it rained in the desert, but I guess New Mexico wanted to remind me of Louisiana.
We reached Fort Sumner, home of Billy the Kid’s grave site, at around 9p.m. after the time change. Our bodies were still functioning at 10p.m. speed. My younger sister Meggan’s best friend’s parents have a house there. I have to say that sounds like a very Cajun description.
There is one stop sign in the village of barely 1,000 people. Driving through pitch-black lighting makes you feel straight out of a horror movie. Especially when you pass in front of the sketchy motel. We were later told that the majority of the guests at this inn are NASA scientists who are studying the unexplainable wind tunnels outside of the village.
Mr. Robert and Mrs. Jackie graciously opened the doors to the charming adobe home and even had chicken and sausage gumbo waiting for us when we arrived. We took a tour of the house, which we discovered Mr. Robert actually grew up in, before he moved to Rayne when he was 11 years old. It looked so small from the outside, but it was almost never-ending.
The ceilings were short, but the rooms were much bigger than expected. The furniture was antique and authentic. The couple had been there for the past two weeks cleaning the house. I thought it was an absolute perfect summer home to retreat to.
We grubbed on the gumbo and then had Biscochito cookies for dessert. They are the state’s cookie and look like mini-biscuits and are lightly sugared with cinnamon. They reminded me of the biscuits my grandma used to bake every Friday morning before school.
We retired for the night only to awake at 8a.m.
We all hopped in the Jeep for a tour of the valley. Mr. Robert’s family has quite a bit of farming property scattered throughout the area. It was so relaxing to drive through the fresh fields of Alfalfa and see random deer and turkey grazing.
The school is K-12 and only has 300 kids. However, the football team has won the 1A state championship the past three years. The cemeteries there are plots for each family and they reserve the right to do whatever they wish there. The most moving site was for the only soldier from the village who died in Iraq. There were little angel statues, rose bushes and a plaque that read “Peace to all who enter here” all within a 12-foot plot.
After the tour, we were treated to an authentic New Mexico breakfast at Sadie’s restaurant. We had our first bite of green chile, but it was mixed in omelets. Mr. Robert and Mrs. Jackie had a sauce over their burritos and it was divine.
The experience was short, but refreshing. It was so endearing to see a couple who has been married for 34 years (there anniversary was last week). You can tell how much they love one another and get along: they call each other “Mom” and “Dad” and can finish one another’s sentences. It reminded me of one of the couple’s from “When Harry Met Sally”. It’s just something you don’t get to see very often these days.
We left Fort Sumner around noon and followed Tammy’s voice to Santa Fe.