Salazar Photography NM: Blog en-us (C) Salazar Photography NM (Salazar Photography NM) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:31:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:31:00 GMT Salazar Photography NM: Blog 120 73 Backpacking Wheeler Peak God's creation is AWE-some! Breathtaking.... Fringe benefits of backpacking in the wilderness!! East Fork Trail

The interesting thing is that each time we have hiked we learn something. We are amateurs in that we are exploring and learning as we go. We don’t have guides or more experienced hikers giving us tips or advice. We learn by trial and error as we go.

The goal for last summer was to backpack to Wheeler Peak from the East Fork Trailhead (1st picture) which is coming up from the Red River side of the mountain.

Wow. The views are breathtaking. Pictures don’t do it justice. It is amazing how far and how awesome the views are from that altitude.

We backpacked up until about 11,000 feet (about 7.5 miles) and set up camp. We were tired and thunder and lightning was getting closer and closer. Good thing we set up camp when we did because it started pouring as soon as we got ourselves and our gear inside the tent. From what the Rangers who were at the peak told us, it was the biggest rainfall they had all summer! It’s wonderful in the mountains when it rains. It was windy too. We could hear it, but we were protected by all the trees. By the time it came to our tent it was a breeze.

The biggest lesson learned that night was to always bring your mat  to use  under your sleeping bag. With the pouring rain running all over the place, some water was seeping in under the tent and the seams at the door. The mat helps keep you dry and warm.

Another thing that has come in handy many other times is something I learned many years ago from camping. Always bring some large trash bags. They fold up really small and they are light to carry. We’ve used them as raincoats, to hang food out of critters’ reach, and to keep things dry when it rains.

Some areas on some trails have good phone service and some don’t. The Sandia Mountains generally have good service. There have been some spots where it’s not accessible but for the most part, you will have service. Hermit’s Peak, non.  Wheeler Peak, off and on. We’ve learned that if we don’t set our phones on airplane mode, the searching will wear out our batteries fast. 
The morning was crisp and clean and smelled great. It was sunny so it helped when we hung the wet items to dry. We left things drying and took our day packs to hike up to the top of Wheeler Peak. We saw some longhorn sheep as we climbed above the tree line. The views along the way are beautiful. Once we were above the tree line… wow…. amazing views. I think I had expected it to be dry and barren above the tree line.

To my surprise I learned that it has its own kind of beauty up there. More pictures are available in the Gallery linked at the bottom of this page.

My most favorite spot was Horseshoe Lake. It's a large lake above the treeline, tucked up against the mountain with a steady stream overflowing which makes a
waterfall downstream.
I want to come here again and spend more time. 
There are more pictures in the gallery of Horseshoe Lake. It is shaped like a horeshoe and we were able to see the whole lake once we climbed past it.

We also were introduced to these little critters. Adorable! They are probably accustomed to the people that go up there. They got really close and didn’t seem afraid. They are about 2 feet high when standing. I learned later that they are called Marmots.

The weather was great as we climbed. More on the cool side which was great for hiking uphill. When we got to the top, we felt the wind coming from the west that we had been protected from and didn’t know it. Burr.. that wind was cold! At 13,100 feet after a heavy rain with west winds coming up the Taos Sky Valley….. yeah…….. it was cold at the top. But oh, soooo beautiful!

The Colorado Rockies are visible in the distance to the North. Being the highest peak in New Mexico, we could see for miles all around us. It’s hard to describe the beauty of God’s creation isn’t it? Wow. Breathtaking. 

There’s also another peak close to Wheeler, Mt. Walter. It’s only 20 feet lower
than Wheeler. Being so close to it, we had to go there right. 

After a little while of being up there we came back to reality and remembered that because of some last minute changes with work schedules we had to cut our trip a day short so instead of having to hike back to camp to spend the night, now we had to not only hike back to camp, but we had to pack everything up and backpack it all the way back to the trail head!

Having to rush back left us with a yearning to go back and spend more time there.

So back to camp we go. Of course we were tired by the time we got back to camp but no rest for the weary. We packed everything. Took a few minutes to eat, and loaded up.
On our way down we saw fresh bear tracks by one of the creeks. We had seen several deer on our way up but we didn’t see any coming down. Needless to say, we were walking down the last few miles in the dark. Good thing there are headlamps.

We learned from our previous adventure at Hermit’s Peak to carry extra batteries although we didn’t really need them this time.

After a day’s hiking about 11 to 12 miles total, we arrived at the Trail head about 9:00 p.m.

Yay! We made it! We were looking forward to a nice, hot, sit down meal at a restaurant when we got back
to Red River. To our surprise, restaurants were closed! We found a brewery that was open. As soon as we walked in we were informed that we couldn’t order off the meal menu, only appetizers. We were tired and hungry so we were ready to take what we could get!  Always an interesting adventure.

It was a great experience, wouldn’t change it for the world. I never expected that I would be backpacking much less climbing the highest peak in New Mexico. What a Blessing! Many thanks to my backpacking partner, Peggy, who made the adventure all the more enjoyable!

Below is a slide show with more pictures. You can also visit the Gallery: Wheeler Peak





(Salazar Photography NM) (new (wheeler adventure backpacking climbing hiking landscapes marmots mexico) mountains peak) photography views wilderness Tue, 01 Jan 2019 20:41:56 GMT
Adventures Life takes twists and turns and we grow and learn. We either enjoy the ride or fight it. Either way, life happens. The choice is ours.

The latest adventure has been hiking and backpacking. It’s a relatively new adventure but there have been great strides. Starting with a relaxed, exploring walk on a Sunday to some strenuous challenges.

A couple of months from a 4 mile easy walk to  hiking up Hermits Peak and La Luz Trail and an overnight backpacking adventure in the Pecos wilderness.

The mountains are spectacular with brilliant colors, fresh air, crisp breezes,  peaceful, meditative and healing.

The sense of adventure gives energy and a slight sense of the unknown. Each trail is a new experience.

At first the body is taking a toll with the much needed exercise. Sore muscles the next day letting us know that we pushed hard and are awakening muscles we didn't even know we had. It's amazing what the body can take. Challenging it with harder and/or longer hikes every time takes a little planning but well worth it. 

Each hike is a new learning experience. We learn to be more prepared and learn a little more of what we can expect. 

The backpacking is definitely a different experience for all of us. Sleeping in the wilderness, away from civilization and not in a camp ground or in an RV. 

Backpacking is a whole different ballgame. Everything you need you carry with you in a backpack so you learn to pack light and only take the essentials. More time is spent enjoying nature. Setting up camp is pitching tents and unrolling the sleeping bag. That's it. We take a little "stove" (the size of my coffee cup), that boils water in a few minutes and we prepare a hot meal. No cooking no cleaning. The meal is freeze dried and we only need to pour boiling water in the pouch it comes in. Eat right out of the pouch. No dishes to wash and it taste great! 

We tend to complicate life. There are many lessons to learn in the wilderness. Some key lesson learned so far; keep things simple, enjoy what God provides, take time to notice the flowers, respect nature, look out for each other, be prepared and enjoy the quiet.

More will follow as time permits. Until then, listen your inner voice and spend some time in the Silence. Take time to enjoy God's peace.

(Salazar Photography NM) adventure photography wilderness Sat, 23 Sep 2017 14:54:28 GMT
Behind Prison Doors As you walk up to the prison gate you take a deep breath and say a prayer. You push the button and a voice asks who you are. Once you say your name, you hear a sound indicating that the gate is open.  You close the gate behind you and make sure it latches, walk to the next gate and wait for the sound, then you do the same thing again. You walk through the walkway surrounded by fences on the way to the door.

Once you are inside you sign in. The only thing you take in with you is your ID and the keys to your vehicle and your license plate number. You walk through a metal detector, you show the whites of your pockets, the top of your socks, bottom of your shoes, they use a wand to check the inside of your hands for potential drugs and you fill out a form that you take with you. You turn in your keys for a token and you sit and wait.  It was the same routine for everyone else coming in to visit. But today was not the same as any other visiting day.

Today was a special day. The inmates had a banquet for their families. The Fathers Behind Bars formed a group and they raise funds, within the prison walls, to pay for the food for this banquet for their families. They give of the money they make. Some make $.70 an hour some more, some less. Their $1.00 is worth lots more than ours who are on the outside.

Today they prepare a meal for us who come to visit. Today we leave our baggie of quarters behind. Today they can walk around and not be confined to the chair at the visiting table. Today they are smiling, joking, serving and enjoying their company.

It brought a smile to my heart to see these men enjoying making a meal and serving us. They were respectful and courteous. They were joyful to have a special day to give back. They had fun serving us. They enjoyed a special meal too for all their hard work. It took many months to bring this day to fruition. Many obstacles presented themselves as they tried to prepare for this day that kept getting postponed since before Christmas. Today it came to be.

They cooked up some burgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings, yes, including green chili. The best burger I have eaten in a long time! Good job! For desert, yum, Ice cream Sundays with all the fixings.

Thank you! Your hard work is truly appreciated. God bless you.

There are over 500 prisoners in this facility. There were about 20 who participated in the program today. There were a handful of families there to support them. I can’t imagine what it is like to be locked up all day.

As these men said, “we try to teach our children to be good people and to not make the same mistakes we have made.” So they try to give back to the community. They have given $ for scholarships for high school students. They have made things for their children. Some of them also participate in Fathers as Readers program where they read and record story books and send them to their children so their children can hear them read the stories to them.

All of us make bad decisions at one time or another. Sometimes making bad decisions that don’t seem to affect anyone, until they get out of control and something goes seriously wrong which leads some of us to make some huge mistakes that can’t be erased. We all have to live with the consequences of our actions one way or another. We can’t undo the past. All we can do is realize where it has brought us and decide what we are going to do today, ask God for forgiveness and for help to forgive ourselves, and carry on. We can continue to make bad decisions or we can decide to make better people of ourselves. We can learn to respect others and ourselves, regardless of where we are.

Some of us are fortunate that we are not behind locked doors. We have choices they don’t. We can choose to ignore that they are there or we can make an effort to show them that we care.  They are human beings like you and I. They made some mistakes. These men are trying to make the best of their situations and give back what they can.

Thank you. Thank you for not giving up and for that fighting spirit that was shining through today. Thank you for sharing that part of you that few get the privilege of seeing. That was the true BANQUET today. Keep up the good work. Know that I for one will be praying for you every day and every time I go to Mass. God Bless you.

(Salazar Photography NM) Behind Doors Prison Tue, 19 Apr 2016 04:53:29 GMT
El Camino Real Adventure ... Continued Back on the road again! Come along with us......

On our last Blog we left off on our journey on the El Camino Real in Anthony, NM.

After we took pictures of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Anthony, NM we got back on the trail. We saw the signs to Mesa. Had to get off the road we were on and take a little detour to get to Mesa.

We were doing google searches for churches but we soon learned that not all of them showed up. So we followed the “nudge”. (read previous blog for more info)

We followed the road  to Mesa and found the San Jose Catholic Church. Great signs tell about the church too. You can’t help but feel the sensation of our old churches, wonderful. Can't wait to learn more about this church. Next trip for sure.

I'm beginning to get the feeling that my trips are going to have to be with more time so I can gather more information to share. Meanwhile, I will continue to share what I have so far.

After enjoying the little detour to find San Jose Catholic Church, we headed back to the trail.

Once back on the trail, next stop, San Miguel Catholic Church in San Miguel, NM. Nice informational sign out front. Again, I don't have much information on this church, YET. I can tell this is going to be an interesting adventure. The more I do this the more I want to learn. 


The first time I saw this church, years ago, I automatically remembered the church back home, San Miguel Del Vado. We have great devotion to San Miguel the Archangel, who protects us in battle. The church in Socorro is also San Miguel. (Pictures or those two later in another blog.)


Next stop, San Albino Catholic Church in Mesilla, NM. This is one of my favorites. This one feels like home because I lived close to this church when I was a little girl. We used to ride our bikes or walk to the plaza to play and to go to Mass at this church. Brings back good memories.

Years later I was asked to take pictures of a friend's wedding in this church. We were friends when I was in the 5th grade! Talk about a long time ago. I just love our "connectedness" through our churches.

On this trip, we were not there on time for Mass or we would have gone inside. The inside is beautiful. I visit this church every chance I get.

One of the beautiful things about our Catholic Church is that it is universal. All churches are HOME. Some have special significance or memories for us but no matter where we go we are at home and the Mass is the same one everywhere. We are blessed.

San Albino Catholic Church was named as a Minor Basilica in 1908. The church was built in 1852.

The pillar in the front of the church bears the names of all those who served.  There are large plaques with names on all sides of the pillar. On top of the front pillar it reads, "LEST WE FORGET THEY HAVE MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE". On the top of the plaques on the other three sides it reads, "THESE ALSO SERVED". 

Another thing I noticed at most of the churches was a headstone "Dedicated to the Unborn". What a beautiful thing to do. It would be great to see more churches doing this. A wonderful way to witness and also a reminder to pray for all those who are hurting due to abortion and the terrible devastation it leaves behind.

This journey is beginning to become bigger than anticipated. There is so much to learn and to share. If you have anything you would like to contribute please feel free to comment. Any information on the history of these churches or the people who built them would be great. If you have memories you would like to share about these churches please do.

Time flies when we are having fun. It's time to close for now. More to come soon.

God bless you all! See you next week!....

(Salazar Photography NM) A Camino El Journey Real through Wed, 22 Jul 2015 21:33:57 GMT
El Camino Real Adventure Have you ever felt a nudge to do something, and you don’t know where it’s coming from? It starts subtle but then it just keeps nudging, and doesn’t go away. It’s gentle, subtle, and persistent.

The nudge to travel El Camino Real is one of those things that has been consistently nudging. Many years ago, I drove from El Paso to Santa Fe along what I thought to be El Camino Real. A few years later an El Camino Real Center was built near San Marcial, South of Socorro, NM.

The nudge has been getting stronger lately so…….. we went. Left home around 5:30 a.m. and returned at 1:00 a.m. A loooong Blessed day.

There are so many blessings and such an interesting trip when we let God drive. It’s never ceases to amaze me how things work out and how the blessings come.

What seem like little obstacles along the way turn out to be our own stubbornness in how we “think” things are going to go. Then we realize that there are blessings that come from all those seemingly obstacles.

It’s those “little detours” that lead us to discover a wonderful village tucked into the mountain far from where people can see. And the best treasure is the small church in the middle of it all. Then to our surprise, there’s another little village close to that one, with its own little church!!!

That’s one of the fascinating things about El Camino Real. The people who came through it that settled along the river and beyond, build churches to keep their faith alive. It was the CENTER of their lives in more ways than one.

Back in the day when I traveled this path, we didn’t go into these villages. We didn’t have cell phones. We used a paper map, no such thing as Google search or Google maps. On this trip, we used cell phones to search and to navigate. The great thing about it is that the road to the place we visited was not visible in Google Maps. One of the Villages did not show up at all!

So how did we find it? The “nudge”.

God talks to us in many ways. We don’t always listen. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we did? Amazing things could happen!

Along with the nudge to travel El Camino Real has been the nudge to share what I learn along the way. This is the beginnings of that journey. I don’t claim to be an expert about El Camino Real but I yearn to learn more about it. My hope is to post pictures of the churches along the way. And to share them on the website page, “Churches of New Mexico” in the Galleries drop down menu. I will try to upload more as time goes on and I learn more.

If any of you have more info on El Camino Real or any of the churches along the way, please add to the “comments” on this blog.  Let’s go on this journey together!

We started our trip back in El Paso on what we think is El Camino Real. There are some signs along the road in some places but when the road forks, there are no signs letting us know if we are on the right path. So we followed along as best we could with limited information.

On this trip we started taking pictures along the road in Sunland Park, NM just outside of El Paso. These two churches were near Sunland Park. There were no names that we could see.

So the journey begins, we will need to do this again with more time to look into things a little better. We will post updates as we learn more.

We will be posting the churches on facebook in hopes that we will learn more from local people who are familiar with the area and the history.

On to Anthony, NM.

There is no doubt about this church, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, with a huge sign in front with information on how to contact the office staff, Mass times, and Sacraments. This church is hard to photograph because there is no room on the small street to stand back, so pardon the fish eye view. There are many of our wonderful saints' statues all around the building on the outside! Beautiful! A must see to appreciate.  

... to be continued. Time is not always friendly and I suspect that if i don't publish this now it won't happen until who knows when.  New photos will be updated to the "Churches of New Mexico" Gallery as time permits so visit often for updates. 

Until then, Bienvenidos!! See you next time....


(Salazar Photography NM) Wed, 15 Jul 2015 21:41:19 GMT
Had fun at SASS Wild West Festival and listened to great music too! This was my first time at the SASS Wild West Festival at Founders Ranch near Edgewood, NM. It's a great place and a great event to go to. Everyone was great! Hospitality was great. Friendly people having lots of fun. Lots of vendors, from food to clothes of the 1800's and many others. Many competitors for the shooting ranges too.


The entertainment was great too. The first band we listened to was Sons of the Rio Grande. Listen to their music and award winning song at their website


Then we were entertained by Syd Masters and Swing Riders. Great music and great sense of humor too. You can visit their website at and read about all they awards they have received. Syd wrote and recorded the NM State Song and is from Edgewood, NM. What a treat!

All in all we had a wonderful day. Visit the Galleries link at the bottom of the page and then click on Events to see the photos of: Founders Ranch, Sons of the Rio Grande and Syd Masters and Swing Riders or click this link for quick access. Enjoy and share your comments.

(Salazar Photography NM) Edgewood Festival Geri Masters Moriarty NM Range Riders Rough SASS Salazar Shooting Syd West Wild Wed, 01 Jul 2015 04:23:16 GMT
A gift for you!

Here's a beautiful gift for you. I hope it makes you smile.

In light of what we are all going through with the division of people and the pain that this is causing, let's take a moment to stop and think about how much God loves ALL OF US.

God gives us beautiful flowers in the midst of thorns.

Stand firm in your faith and LOVE as Jesus loves, with compassion and forgiveness.

(Salazar Photography NM) Tue, 30 Jun 2015 19:22:02 GMT
Family Photos Family Photos Thank you, Miller family for a fun afternoon taking your pictures. 

Feeling blessed to be able to do what I love to do.

Children seem to grow so fast. It's great to capture special moments and be able to look back and smile at how precious they are. 

No special occasion required. Everyday is a precious moment photo waiting to happen.

The best photos are those of kids just being kids.

Enjoy them while you can!

(Salazar Photography NM) Fri, 29 May 2015 16:31:22 GMT
Wedding/Anniversary Celebration!!! Had a fantastic time with this happy, happy couple in Austin, TX. Lots of dancing and laughing and hugging and screaming and smiling and dancing some more. Weather was great! Music was great! Food was great! Decorations were wonderful! The facility was great! Great family and friends! Most of all the joy in the Bride and Groom made everything shine!!! Congratulations Toures and Nunu. May God Bless you with many, many more!

(Salazar Photography NM) Sat, 23 May 2015 05:19:34 GMT
Easter Triduim 2016-10-09 G_G©-57332016-10-09 G_G©-5733 These three days are huge for the Church that Christ himself started over 2,000 years ago. 

We are blessed beyond measure. 

Today, Holy Saturday, between Good Friday and Easter Sunday is a day to contemplate all that Christ has done for us, unworthy as we are.

Today we can join with the disciples and our Mother Mary in remembrance of that time of fear, anxiety, pain and sorrow after the Jesus was crucified.

We now know how the story goes, but at that time they did not understand that Jesus would be alive the next day.

My prayer is that all of you have had a blessed Lenten Season and are able to celebrate the fruits of it all in the Easter Season.

God bless you.

(Salazar Photography NM) Sat, 04 Apr 2015 23:13:26 GMT