In our last issue, we exhorted you to carpe summer and make room every single day (that's 93 total) for a season-centric adventure—among them, a day trip to Chimayó.
Located just 30 minutes north of Santa Fe, in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the scenic town was founded by the Spanish near the end of the 17th century. It thrived thanks to the gumption of its settlers, who quickly became experts in stock raising, farming and wool weaving—traditions still visible today.
Home to the last fortified plaza in the United States, Chimayó is also considered the "Lourdes of America," as thousands flock to the Santuario de Nuestro Señor de Esquipulas, commonly known as El Santuario de Chimayó. Legend has it that miraculous healings occurred at the site where a mysterious wooden crucifix was unearthed some 200 years ago. The Santuario now stands where the relic was found, and travelers far and wide make pilgrimages to it, picking up some holy dirt and leaving rosaries, crutches and metal milagros behind as testaments to the site's marvel.
Filling Ziploc bags with miracle sand not your thing? Chimayó also offers a bevy of cultural offerings. Chief among them is the
(open 11 am-3 pm Wednesday-Saturday)—which currently houses photographer Don Usner’s Chimayosos: Portrait of a Community . Another must is
. Helmed by Arthur “Lowlow” Medina, the makeshift gallery (and future site of the Lowrider Museum) is easily distinguishable by its depiction of a chile-loving Jesus.
Intrigued yet? Well, what are you sitting there for? Go out and live your own adventure. The clock is ticking, and there are only 86 days of summer left.