We decided we’d explore more of the Pecos Valley by following NM 63 to its end high up in the mountains, at Cowels, well that was the plan.
Driving into Pecos, we turned left and followed the road as it wound its way up the canyon, it’s a very picturesque drive.
On the map I’d seen a sign for an area with the intriguing name of ‘Holy Ghost’, but when we reached the turning the road was closed.
We stopped to have a look at the old bridge crossing the river
After exploring for a while, we crossed the new bridge and arrived at Tererro, we didn’t go any further as it looked as though from there it was a rough dirt road, so as we didn’t know the road conditions further up we turned back.
On the way back we stopped at the lovely old church of Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe in San Antonio-El Macho. The existing church was built by Spanish American colonists in 1858, replacing the church originally built in 1830. It was restored in the 1950’s after a back wall collapsed.
During the restoration 35 wooden coffins were found under the church floor and reburied in a common grave. Before 1900 people were buried either ‘en la capilla’ or ‘en la iglesia’, the first recorded burial is in 1904 although there must’ve been burials before that. There is an old cemetery on the hill above the churchyard, but in the church records there is no distinction between churchyard and cemetery.
The church is only 16’ x 26’ it has nine rows of pews on each side of the aisle with room for 4 people in each pew.
We really enjoyed our trip up the Pecos Valley, but what we hadn’t realized was that because of the devastation caused by the Tres Lagunas Fire earlier in the year and the danger of mud slides in the burnt areas caused by the torrential rains, the whole area had been closed until the end of August and almost all of the campgrounds and day use areas were still closed.
Have fun, we are!