Feb 22, 2017

Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe, New Mexico

This Santa Fe landmark is one that has many people impressed and staggering for answers to this unsolved mystery at the Loretta Chapel: the identity of its builder and the physics of its construction.

When the Loretto Chapel was completed in 1878, there was no way to access the choir loft twenty-two feet above. Carpenters were called in to address the problem, but they all concluded access to the loft would have to be via ladder as a staircase would interfere with the interior space of the small Chapel.

Legend says that to find a solution to the seating problem, the Sisters of the Chapel made a novena to St. Joseph, the patron saint of carpenters. On the ninth and final day of prayer, a man appeared at the Chapel with a donkey and tools ( saw, carpenters squae, hammer and tubs in which to soak the wood )looking for work. Months later, the elegant circular staircase was completed, and the carpenter disappeared without pay or thanks. After searching for the man (an ad even ran in the local newspaper) and finding no trace of him, some concluded that he was St. Joseph himself, having come in to answer to the sisters' prayers.

The stairway's carpenter, built a magnificent structure. The design was innovative for the time and some of the design considerations still perplex experts today.

Loretto chapel
Mysterious Staircase @ Loretto Chapel
The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails—only wooden pegs. Questions also surround the number of stair risers relative to the height of the choir loft and about the types of wood and other materials used in the stairway's construction.

Many people flock to see this miraculous staircase as it has also been telecast on T.V. The staircase has been the subject of many articles, TV specials, and Movies including "Unsolved Mysteries" and the television movie titled "The Staircase." along with TV specials and reading articles that have been made surrounding the mystery of this staircase. Above excerpt from the Loretto website.

Someone sent me this video. I do not know the origin and hence cannot credit it to anyone. If you know who this video belongs to please let me know so that due credit can be given.

This Chapel is now privately owned and is a museum for preservation. If your visiting: Please call ahead as the Chapel may close for private events. There is a small entrance fee. For more information please visit : Loretto Chapel.

Here is a picture of what it would have looked like before the banners were installed.

Simulation staircase pic
Staircase without banners

Altar @ Loretto Chapel
Altar @ Loretto Chapel

Loretto Chapel, Santa Fe
Loretto Chapel

Unique Sights/ Names New Mexico

New Mexico has some unique sights and names of small towns! If your an avid fan of roadside attractions, these are some that you can PIN to your bucket list. More links are here on my Pinterest Page

This quick stopover is along US 54. It has this large famous single pistachio just outside the store. You cannot miss it as it towers above the highway. Pick up some delicious pistachios for the way when your there and your good to go. This destination is close to the White Sands National Monument.

McGinn's Pistachio Tree Ranch; Arena Blanca Winery 
7320 U.S. Highway 54/70, Alamogordo, NM 88310

McGinn's Large Pistachio


This has been one of the most pinned pics on my Pinterest Board. It looked unique and since we were driving all the way to NM, and it was just a few minutes drive off the highway where we were put up it made sense to actually see this piece of art. 


Intersection of Rio Bravo Blvd SE and University Blvd. 

Take Exit 220 from I-25 to Rio Bravo. Turn East on Rio Bravo and go to University Blvd, only about 0.2 mi. The snake is to the right on University Blvd, just beyond the intersection. There is every possibility that you may miss seeing it as it comes just around the bend. It happened to us and we ended up making a couple of round about turns. But it was worth it. 

giant rattlesnake new mexico
Giant rattlesnake made of rocks


Close to Albuquerque downtown, this Large Red Arrow sticking to the ground. It is one of the many unique picture points found in New Mexico. 

The address: 2101 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110. Located at the intersection of Indian School and Carlisle. Park within the Wholefoods parking lot or across the street to get a full picture.

new mexico
Cupids Arrow New Mexico



This website I fell upon has more names added on to it. Check it out It's only in your state :-) You might want to check it out. It has loads of information about each state.

unique town names
Unique New Mexico town names

Socorro, New Mexico

Socorro is well known for its well known bird watching opportunities. We drove through this little town via Magdalena on our way from Albuquerque to Very Large Array. From Socorro it is about a 51 mile drive to VLA an acronym for Very Large Array. 

We missed out on this but have mentioned it here you include it on your trip itinerary. Ref pic from San Miguel Mission website.

1.) The San Miguel Mission is one of the most photographed missions here. 

San Miguel Mission
Pic from http://www.socorronm.org/attractions/san-miguel-mission/

403 El Camino Real
Socorro, NM 87801

2.) Visit Southwest's greatest natural treasure: Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. The Festival of the Cranes happens between November 18-23. It is one of the largest annual events celebrating the sandhill cranes return to winter habitat. Other birds that may be sighted are blue heron, canada geese, light geese, bald eagles, American coot, owls, swans and American white Pelicans. 

Roswell, New Mexico

This small town is famous for something unusual that happened in 1947 during a severe thunderstorm. For a detailed look into the events that led to this world famous place click HERE. Was it a flying saucer, a baloon. Many still believe that they were UFO's and sightings have been recorded by many.

Passing through this town we made a brief stop at the museum to check it out. I was surprised to see almost everything from street lights to stores had flying saucers, aliens or UFO related memorabilia attached.

A great place to start your quest for information regarding the UFO's is at the International UFO.

Museum is located at 114 N. Main St. Roswell, NM. There is a free parking lot adjacent to the museum.

Average time needed to visit: Ranges from an hour to a couple of hours depending on your curiosity for UFOs.

flying saucer
Flying saucer above a store

Street lamps Roswell NM

UFO International centre
Entrance to UFO International Centre

aliens ufo
Aliens UFO International centre

New Mexico

We took a break from long roadtrips and instead went to our hometown in Goa for a long two month relaxation visit with family. We have been taking short weekend drives here and there that kept us going for a while.

After our last long trip to Yellowstone ( 17 hour drive to Wyoming ) we planned a quick weeks getaway from California to New Mexico - The Land of Enchantment! We were on the road for 8 days driving through California - Arizona - New Mexico - teeny bit of Texas - New Mexico - Arizona - California. What an experience that was! From deserts to plain long stretches of nothing but vast untouched land, we saw it all.

Outlined below is our road map route and our itinerary.


Day 1: San Francisco to Joshua Tree - 8 hours drive ( an hour additional for breaks )
Day 2: Spend a day in Joshua Tree staying within 2 miles of the park.
Day 3: Drive from Joshua Tree to Las Cruces, NM - 12 hour drive nonstop ( additional time for breaks )
Day 4: From Las Cruces, drive to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM - 3 hour drive, stay in Roswell,NM for the night.
Day 5: Tour Roswell UFO Museum, then drive from Roswell to White Sands National Monument ( 3 hour drive ), head towards Santa Fe ( 4 hr drive from White Sands ), stay for the night.
Day 6: Spend day in and around Santa Fe. Stay night in Albuquerque.
Day 7: From Albuquerque drive to Very Large Array in Socorro ( 2 hours ). Stop for night in Barstow ( 10 hour drive )
Day 8: Drive home