Two weekends ago on a bright and sunny, but very windy New Mexico Sunday we went on a visit to the Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument in an area around Mountainair, NM. Mountainair is about 80 miles or so northeast of the Bosque. The missions, of which there are three, were built by early 17th.Century Spanish Franciscan Missionaries who were interested in souls and salt. They lasted until the Great Pueblo Revolt of 1680 when the natives here drove the Spanish back into Mexico for 12 years. The revolt’s causes were many, but mainly it was due exploitation of Pueblo labor, the Franciscan establishment of theocracies in the Pueblo villages, and a bit of the Inquisition thrown in for good measure. And as you know, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
The first ruin we stopped at is/was called Abó, and it is beautifully located on top of a hill on a high mesa.
All of the missions are quite large in scale, but somewhat rundown. Reconstructed ruins in fact. At this sight we could step aboard the T.A.R.D.I.S and see some artist’s reconstruction of the church and its happy inhabitants.
A rather glamorized and optimistic reconstruction I imagine.
We then drove on to Quarai the next mission on our tour. A different pueblo and mission but the story remains the same.
These ruins are quite large. To give some idea of the scale I occasionally had Kay strike a pose:
She’s hiding in the shadows in this pic:
By the time we got to the third mission, Gran Quivira the winter’s short day was getting late so we didn’t do any exploration there. It was a nice weekend’s jaunt and we arrived safely home to a Bosque sunset.
You can read more about the missions at this link: Salinas Missions