For those who have no idea, a sopapilla is a triangular bread that has been deep fried fast so it's not too greasy, used to scoop up food, or drenched with honey as dessert. As a kid I was required to eat one taco, then I could have all the sopapillas I wanted. Needless to say, it's one of my "soul-foods".
After sharing a luncheon steak smothered with chopped green chile and avocado, feasting on the best pinto beans and half a sopapilla each, we headed home. Rheta had picked up a brochure for the Bond House museum so we stopped there. Neither of us knew there was a museum in Española. WalMart, Lowes, a gambling casino, yes, but a museum?
What a delightful find.
Franklin Bond and later his brother, arrived in Española from Canada, when it was little more than a dirt railroad yard next to the Rio Grande. Some form of town had existed there for 300 years, but the early 1900s were the boom times. The Bonds became relatively wealthy as merchants. The home that now houses the museum is partly adobe. The original house had a flat roof. As children came along, they put a second story up and expanded ground floors.
The current exhibit in the museum documents the Arriería, the mule packers whose work kept the northern provinces of Mexico in luxury goods. Sheep were the big product in the 1700 and 1800s. Wool was sold in its natural state, but also, much of it was woven by locals artisans into blankets that became the trade goods. The aparejo packing system was a relatively new invention and was widely used in the southwest. The exhibit tells how it worked, and chronicled some scary adventures, including one loaded mule that fell off a cliff, landed in bushes, rolled off and landed on her feet!