We drove up to Abiquiu where Georgia O'Keeffe has a home that is now a tourist spot for those who want to see the home and gardens she kept. We didn't get a reservation in time (I was disappointed) but my husband said, "Why don't we go up there and just look at the landscape that she loved?" So we did.
This was just a little ways from her home. A beautiful Cottonwood that had turned bright yellow against that fresh blue sky.
From Abiquiu we went to Ghost Ranch where Georgia O'Keeffe first visited and would stay for several months in the summertime to paint the landscape. Later, after Alfred Steglitz had died she would move to Abiquiu permanently.
She loved The Pedernal (this beautiful mountain with a flat top) and would paint it over and over (always in hues of blue and purple). I thought she was taking some liberties with the colors (as she did sometimes) but the day we saw it The Pedernal was really blue. She loved to paint The Pedernal against the sky and bones. She said that she thought God would give her the mountain if she painted it enough. After her death her ashes were spread across The Pedernal. In some ways I think she gave herself to the land as the land could never be owned.
The Pedernal in the distance
We ate some beef stew (that had green chili's in them so we drank a lot too!) and then set off on our hike up Chimney Rock Trail.
We kept stopping to take pictures and read our trail guide that talked about the different plants and animals. The day was just perfect, sunny and clear but cool.
I love the twists and turns of this tree. Much like the Bristle Cone Pine it grows in these rocky, dry conditions. Look at the shades of color just in the bark alone. I also liked seeing it against that blue sky.
We made it!
Such a wonderful time with my husband. We have always loved hiking together and it was great to get to do it again.
Abiquiu River that feeds into Abiquiu Lake
I love the juxtaposed colors in this one. The reddish rocks with the bright yellow trees mixed with that deep blue and sparkling water. Doesn't get more rich than that! Truly, an amazing place.
My Dad grew up in Northern New Mexico so we would visit this area whenever we were in the U.S. for a time. I always loved Black Mesa. It's so stark and moving. My Dad has painted it several times. I took this shot for him.
This was the next day on our way to Bandelier State Park. There had been a bad forest fire during the summer (the worst in New Mexico history) so they were shuttling people down to the valley. I read that the fire started by a tree falling over on a powerline.
One of the many Aspens along the valley floor lit up by the sunlight.
We spent several hours touring the sites of the Ancient Pueblo People. After lunch we hiked up the valley to the top of the Long House (the volcanic rock that was like a home to many of the people). It was a bit nerve wracking for me as I am scared of heights! I kept having to look at the rock wall and not out at the valley. This was something else I realized: The Ancient Pueblo People were great climbers and were not afraid of heights!
The Trail is like a switchback going up the valley. You can see the tiny staircase at the bottom.
I have so much inspiration. I can't wait to get to painting.