Monday, October 28, 2013

New Mexico

Fall must be the best time to visit the Southwest.  No crowds, great weather.

The vistas are absolutely breathtaking.  Ecological diversity withevery 1000 feet of elevation change and with every 100 miles in any direction. Desert floor to subalpine mountains...botanist's dream.

Monday morning I awoke in a box canyon on the shores of the Pecos river, in Villanueva State Park, NM.

Our run was more of a rock scramble!

By late afternoon I was in Santa Fe.  This city knows how to preserve its architectural heritage. Three main styles exist here:  Pueblo (or Pueblo Revival), Territorial and Northern New Mexico.  All new construction (apartments, shops, homes, ect.) must conform to  either of the first two styles.  Everywhere the eye sweeps is an unbroken harmony of styles. I had a bunch of pictures but the computer gnomes discarded them.  Go figure.

250 art galleries and museums, mostly in the pedestrian friendly downtown.  I spent hours looking through all the gallery windows.  Cole was very patient.  3 large health food stores were within a couple blocks of each other.  Yup, I like this town.  Super friendly people, a little on the zany side!

Cole having lunch in the dining hall/sleeping quarters/ backseat of the Hyundai RV.

I spent the remainder of the daylight at a Laundromat and left Santa Fe after dusk.  All the signs warning of free range cattle finally unnerved me enough to force me to stop at an inn in Abiquiu.  After only spending money on gas and one overnight camping fee of $10, I was reluctant to open my wallet!  Feeling miserly.

In retrospect, I was happy to be seeing this countryside the next morning.  The famous painter, Georgia O'Keeffe, lived in the valley for decades.  Now, I understand why:  the landscape colors are indescribably vivid, impossible reds, vibrant yellows and skies so blue.

"I have this longing to live in one place and call it home forever, but some part of me requires longing, rather than the satisfaction of that longing".  Carl Phillips