Highway of Legends

Hola! This first photo is the view my Great-Grandma times four Esquipula Maes enjoyed from her property in Southern Colorado. How giddy I was, heart pitter-patter with excitement when I found the deed, dating from 1862. That was nothing compared to the feeling of my feet firmly planted and eyes taking in the beauty. And, oh, the wonderful scent of it, too. How wild the bonds of ancestry!

Jesusita Williams is my Great Grandmother times three and the source of my Comanche ancestry. She shares a headstone with my Great Grandpa Aaron, and is near her children Louis and Carmelita. I like to think these marvelous cliffs keep vigil over their graves.

I am holding a copy of the above photo, taken in almost the same location, with over a century between, my Great Uncle times four Jose de los Reyes is the bearded man with a baby on his lap. My ancestors ranched and farmed here and within a twenty or so mile radius, and Jesusita and Aaron are buried just down the road. I spent hours scouring Google maps to find this spot. More heart pumping excitement, I tell you!!


And now for the Highway of Legends portion of our journey.  A scenic byway by name, it is a spectacular unspooling of highway around the Spanish Peaks, with picturesque views for days and history aplenty. It was one of those “about time” adventures, having driven past La Veta and over its namesake pass countless times since we were children. The town is a wisp of a thing, with 800 residents at the last census, but enough to loudly cheer at a Friday night football game and support a fine grocery, bakery, booze stops, lovely galleries and tourist shops. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about Desert Expressions, where I laid claim to a finely crafted necklace and bracelet, very much of their place, sterling silver with turquoise and hand stamping. The owner was kindly and funny and let Juniper browse along with us. Our girl took the job seriously and was very well behaved.

Our guest house was wonderful and surrounded by well loved gardens, tended daily by their owner and keeper, Ernest, several cats (that’s Oscar above) and dogs. Juniper is pictured with an especially sweet playmate named Emma.

The ever patient hubster waits for me to “take my snaps.”

Do you see the faces of my ancestors?

More to come on Friday!