I am married to a New Mexican.

And in the interest of family harmony, I’ll just say, not all areas of New Mexico were created equal.

Parts are awesome: Santa Fe, Carlsbad Caverns, Ruidoso.

Other parts are not: ________. (I’ll keep the location names to myself! The same, of course, is true of just about anywhere. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m from one of the homelier parts of Idaho!)

Being in-law to New Mexicans, I’ve learned that not only do they serve some delicious food (Green Chiles!), but there are some dramatically beautiful sights. At the end of June, we took a last minute trip to New Mexico for a family funeral. It was a sad occasion, but a blessing to be with Charlie’s family.

The drives from Albuquerque to Ruidoso (a mountain town) and back, which bookended our trip, were a delightful bonus in a journey like this one. We saw thousands of blooming yucca plants on our way down to Ruidoso. It is awe-inspiring that beautiful stalks of delicate white blossoms have found a way to thrive in the desert.

In New Mexico, however, it’s not only the land–mountains, valleys, vegetation, and plains–that make for lovely scenery. The star attraction is the sky, which is wide and open.

Having lived on the East Coast for four full years now, I don’t see this kind of sky often. There are a lot of trees, a lot of buildings, and most of the land (around here in NJ) is relatively flat.

So, even though all of the above pictures were taken with an iPhone 3G (not the best photo quality) they represent the kind of awesome openness that a place like New Mexico provides.

Land of Enchantment, yes.