Red or Green Chile? (New Mexico)

After a month of procrastinating, I decided that I needed to create a post about my recent trip to New Mexico. The place left such a lasting impression on me that honestly caught me by surprise, since we don’t really hear much chatter about the state over here on the East Coast.

A panorama taken on a random road going nowhere.

New Mexico struck me as a hidden gem of the American southwest, where those who know, know, and those who don’t know are told about it but passively nod off the recommendation for seemingly more exotic travel destinations.

Once you get there though, you realize that you’re in a truly magical place. I felt that the land and the people had this spiritual elevation that was both attractive and strange to my sensibilities.

The tone of the place is set by its terrain, large swaths of flat desert plains interrupted by random plateaus, red cliffs, and mountains. Everything is red and blue. The rusty clay that’s in every rock, the turquoise that they mine from the mountains, the gorgeous clear blue skies that must be quite intense in the summertime.

My pictures might convey a lonely place, there are in fact many, many people that live in New Mexico, strewn across the countryside and living in beautiful adobe homes. There is a large Native American contingent there that have separate tribal reservations, most inaccessible to the general public since they are private territories.

Our trusty steed, who I named Salazar.

Although the food is heavily influenced by the neighboring Mexico, New Mexico’s cuisine is unique in its palette and presentation (sorry I don’t have pictures, but you know, google). The first thing they’ll ask you when you order something is if you’d like red (hatch) chile or green, and they put that stuff on absolutely everything. Delicious but eventually overbearing, since you can’t really get away from it!

They also love their beef since it’s prime cattle country there. I had a burger there that almost moved me to tears.

The people there are so friendly and engaging, and not once did I perceive a negative emotion or sentiment. The roads are very fast, and everybody knows to stay out of the fast lane since the speed limit is 75 on major highways.

I left New Mexico feeling relaxed and peaceful. The big beautiful skies and exciting terrain was such a breath of fresh air to this city slicker. Definitely intending on going back, multiple times.

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