Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Great Divide

Lunch, pre-wrap, Chama, NM
Rolling stock

Somewhere on the road from Colorado to New Mexico we passed the Continental Divide. In layman's (laymom's?) terms what that actually means is that one minute all the streams gushing past are headed west, to the Atlantic, and then the next they're all headed east to the Atlantic. Unlike Four Corners there was no sign, hence no pic of Louis straddling the Great Divide. 

Of greater personal significance, we also passed the Culinary Divide. Again, what that actually means is that one minute all the food is slightly dodgy (from a vegetarian perspective at least) and then, bam, suddenly it improves. Unlike the Great Divide, I can pinpoint exactly where that happened: the mountainous outpost of Chama, New Mexico. 

Chama is  the sort of place that you could blink and you'd miss but we'd heard about it courtesy of one of those cheesy local TV programmes we'd inadvertently caught that morning. Just as in 1880 it was the arrival of the Denver & Rio Grande railway that really put Chama on the map, today the teeny mountain community is popular once more because a tourist train runs from there in the summer months. The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railway is both the longest (64 miles) and highest (10,015,ft-high Cumbres pass) authentic narrow-gauge steam railroad in the USA apparently. 

But that train spotting gem didn't excite me as much as my lunchtime sandwich. What was particularly good about my grilled veggie wrap (with jalapenos) is that it got Louis eating again for the first time since falling ill in the Grand Canyon. I guess it must have been the first food he'd eaten that actually tasted of something: I'd been trying to shove baby food down his throat for days but to no avail. Give him a bit of melted cheese and avocado and suddenly he was back on form, happily helping to scoff my wrap, which boded well our culinary adventures to come in the rest of New Mexico, the fifth and final state of our roadtrip. 

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