On the Road to Santa Fe

 By Kathryn Lane

Just beyond the Santa Fe Opera, on
the road to Los Alamos National Laboratories, is Camel
 Rock Monument. I
traveled that route as a young CPA on my way to perform financial audits at the
Labs. Camel Rock sits, almost Sphinx-like, guarding the southern fringe of
the Española Badlands in New Mexico. Back then, the geologic formation seemed
to speak to me every time I drove past. In the Land of Enchantment, the idea of
spirits in the desert inhabiting an eroded rock and speaking to travelers
seemed perfectly normal.

Then I left New Mexico. My new corporate
job gave me the international
travel I
had dreamed of doing.  My life took such
an interesting turn that I completely forgot about Camel Rock. After two
decades of traveling the world in my corporate job, I resigned and moved to
Texas to follow my dream of writing mysteries.

For the past two years, my
husband, Bob, and I have spent the summers in northern New Mexico – my writing
retreat. Being here has brought me face-to-face with Camel Rock again. Every
time we drive past it on the road to Santa Fe, it seems to whisper, “welcome

At the Bell Tower

the past couple of months, I’d been working so hard on the Spanish translation
of my novel,
Waking Up in Medellin,
that Bob suggested I take a break
and we spend a couple of days in Santa Fe. Maybe even catch a sunset from the
Bell Tower, the rooftop bar, at the historic La Fonda hotel. With hardly any
tourists in Santa Fe, we had the Bell Tower almost to ourselves

two men arrived and sat at the next table, social distancing observed. When one
of the new arrivals discovered I was originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, he
asked if I’d ever been to the border town of Palomas. I told him that was the
port of entry we used for traveling between my hometown in Mexico and the US
when I was a kid. He immediately asked if I’d ever heard of Tillie.


famous Tillie from Palomas, Chihuahua?” I asked. “One of my high school friends
married her son Pedro.”

In the sheltering and social
distancing world of COVID-19, I was amazed at meeting a man from Amarillo,
Texas, who knew a woman from the tiny border town of Palomas, a short distance
from where I grew up.


A case
of six degrees of separation. Except here, I was connected by one step, not

Bob and I enjoyed our visit to Santa Fe. The
entire trip brought back memories from the years I’d lived in New Mexico. And
the Camel is right. I’ve come home!

Ever had an amazing or personally
touching six-degrees of separation event? I’d love for you to share it!

Photos: By Kathryn Lane or from the public domain: Camel
Rock Monument; Bell Tower Poster, and the adobe style façade of La Fonda Hotel.


The Nikki Garcia Mystery Series and her short story collection – Backyard
Volcano and Other Mysteries of the Heart.
All available on Amazon.


Kathryn Lane started out as a starving artist. To earn a
living, she became a certified public accountant and embarked on a career in
international finance with a major multinational corporation. After two
decades, she left the corporate world to plunge into writing mystery and
suspense thrillers. In her stories, Kathryn draws deeply from
her Mexican background as well as her travels
in over ninety countries.

https://www.kathryn-lane.com                                https://www.facebook.com/kathrynlanewriter/

5 replies
  1. Gay Yellen
    Gay Yellen says:

    When life folds back on itself as in the convergences of the past and present in your post, I find these kind of moments to be exhilarating.

    • Kathryn Lane
      Kathryn Lane says:

      I agree – there's something magical about life folding back on itself! And I'm sure you have had tons of those experiences!


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