Saturday, February 23, 2013

Paraje de Fra Cristobal Historical Marker: Socorro County

Paraje de Fra (a variant of "Friar") Cristobal is named for Friar Cristobal de Salazar, a member of Oñate's 1598 expedition that founded the Camino Real.

It was said by members of the expedition that the mountain range to the east resembled the friars profile.

This particular paraje, Spanish for "stopping place," was one of the more important stops on the entire Camino Real, which spanned from Mexico City to Santa Fe, some 1400 miles. What made this stop so important is that it was the northern entry or exit point of the Jornada del Muerto (see my post on the Jornada del Muerto marker for more information on this deadly journey by clicking HERE). 100 miles to the south was Paraje San Diego (see my post on that marker HERE for more information). Between these two markers lie the journey of the dead man, a 100 mile trek through open desert with no permanent water source.

This marker sits at a rest stop in sourthern Socorro County about 40 miles south of Socorro (which you can see on a map HERE). There are three other markers at this rest stop that I will be discussing soon, Fort Craig, Vasquez de Coronado's Route, and Women of the Camino Real.

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