Drive Date: Thursday and Saturday, April 26 & 28, 2018
Distance: 156 miles (round trip)
Estimated Total Time of Tour: 7 hours
The Chimayó Valley is an oasis extending from the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains into the expanse of the Rio Grande Valley. Because this is a fertile growing area where three streams meet, people were drawn to this valley in both prehistoric and more modern times. Native Americans inhabited the piñon-covered hills surrounding the valley, and the name “Chimayó” itself is from the Tewá native language meaning superior red flaking stone.
We’ll start with a visit to the Oviedo Ranch and Art Gallery. The ranch houses the workshop and foundry for bronze castings and wood carvings by Marco Oviedo. From the Smithsonian in Washington DC to the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, Marco’s work is displayed across the nation. Marco is a car guy too!
Next, a short drive to the Santuario de Chimayó for a docent-guided tour. Each year some 300,000 people from all over the world make a pilgrimage to this small Catholic church during Holy Week. This Easter weekend pilgrimage was originally started by U.S. soldiers and sailors who prayed to the Santo Niño during the infamous Bataan Death March. Built in 1856, many visitors to the church take a small amount of the "holy dirt" in hopes of a miraculous cure for themselves or for someone who could not make the trip.
Lunch at the Rancho De Chimayó will be memorable. This family-owned restaurant, which has been in operation for over 50 years, received the 2016 James Beard Foundation America’s Classics Award.
Drivers are welcome to spend more time in Chimayó. For those who wish to return together, we’ll depart for Tamaya shortly after lunch. During the return trip to Tamaya, you can “peel off” into Santa Fe (see additional map).
Oviedo Gallery: http://www.oviedoart.us/index.html
Rancho de Chimayó: http://www.ranchodeChimayó.com/
El Santuario de Chimayó: http://www.elsantuariodeChimayó.us/Santuario/Apparition.html
Tour Meister Note: Marco Oviedo’s work is beautiful and his art gallery is full of affordable items that make wonderful gifts. I have seen the Santuario de Chimayó story many times on travel shows (including National Geographic). Lunch will be delicious!
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