Ghost Ranch – Abiquiu, NM

The "Chimneys" at Ghost Ranch
The “Chimneys” at Ghost Ranch

Yesterday, I went back to Ghost Ranch and hiked the 3 miles up to the top of the mesa from which the “chimneys” are slowly eroding.  (Click on any image to enlarge)

The "Chimneys" from the top of the mesa, looking south.
The “Chimneys” from the top of the mesa, looking south toward the Pedernal on the horizon.
Looking east from atop the mesa.
Looking east from atop the mesa.
Looking west from atop the mesa.
Looking west from atop the mesa.
Changing light (looking west).
Changing light (looking west).
Descending the trail to Ghost Ranch as the storm clouds move in.
Descending the trail to Ghost Ranch as the storm clouds move in.

copyright symbol All photographs copyright Max Vollmer

Northern New Mexico

I’ve been getting around.  Did a tour of Truchas, NM, last Wednesday, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truchas,_New_Mexico  and a couple of the art galleries there.  A very interesting community on the “High Road” from Santa Fe to Taos,  a part of the Spanish “El Camino Real” that linked settlements in the early 1600’s.  Then we drove up into the national forest to see the aspens which were at or near the peak of their color.

Another day we drove over to Abequiu, NM, and Ghost Ranch, https://www.ghostranch.org/, artist Georgia O’Keefe’s country.  Old Abequiu, where her last home is located, is a characteristic little New Mexico village clustered around what was once a central plaza.  At Ghost Ranch we were treated to some late afternoon/early evening clouds from the recent rains that were lit up beautifully as the sun was setting.  The Pedernal, which is a black volcanic truncated cone and sacred to the pueblo people, over to the south, was lurking the whole time under dark grey/ purple clouds with “walking rain” off to one side.  “Walking Rain,” if you’re not familiar with the term, is/are rain sheets coming down from passing storm clouds that touch the ground and appear like legs under the clouds.  Best viewed from afar in this vast open country.

Last Saturday, I toured the Santuario de Chimayo,  http://www.elsantuariodechimayo.us/, and the nearby Santa Nina chapel, followed by visits to the traditional Chimayo weavers, the Ortegas and the Trujillos, as well as the Chimayo museum located in the remnants of a fortified adobe plaza dating from the 1600’s when the Spanish were raided by Commanches for food and slaves.

Then Monday I headed over to Chaco Canyon,  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaco_Culture_National_Historical_Park the most sacred site and spiritual center of the pueblo culture that existed here from about 900 to 1150 A.D.   Here’s an artist’s rendering of what Pueblo Bonita in Chaco Canyon may have looked like at the height of its occupation: http://earthwalks.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/ichacocanyon.gif   I camped there Monday night then checked out the ruins yesterday.  The rising moon in the canyon home of these ancient people Monday night was incredible. It was a hoot since the skies were clear with a  high pressure system overhead.

The weather here at 6,000′ is turning cold (frost at night) although the sun is warm in the daytime.  There is already snow on the high peaks nearby.

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable; and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly… this is my way. (Anonymous)