Journeys in the Land of Enchantment

D and I are back from New Mexico, feeling as if run through the wringer a few times – the two-day greyhound ride was indeed…an experience. I certainly did not expect to see Amish people riding the bus, which apparently they do (no photos, as they don’t like that, or so I’ve heard). Nor seeing fellow passengers arrested for gun (a rifle? a huuge beast of a gun, wrapped up in the carriage) smuggling.

And then there were the wonderful overheard conversations between parolees, talking about how many people they’d pulped, or stranger’s theories on the Statue of Liberty (Who used to look like a Black lady before the weather changed her green- France was trying to incite the slaves to overthrow the system) or the history of independence: “The British tried to invade America and take it, but George Washington put a stop to that.”  And how the crabbit bus driver railed at his passenger for not knowing whether their destination was to the East of where they currently where. And the suicidal turns the drivers all took late at night, deciding the best way to take hairpin bends in the dark was at 60 mph, wobbling between lanes.

It will take me a bit to process everything. Certainly New Mexico lived up to the name, “The Land of Enchantment” – a dozen stunning vistas, all different: treed, scrubby, stoney, mountainous, the sweeping plain, the dimming sand, bright red rock, tragic junkyard villages, Canyon buffs with plunging depths… in a few days I’ll try to put up a set of pictures that might change the angle of the book – from when D and I explored an abandoned military base in a sad bit of country called ‘Tierra Amarilla’.

For now, those open roads:

Cliffs on the scrub desert - Just outside of Santa Fe

Dirt road just off the scenic road to Taos - yes, we were a little lost, but startled a wild cat because of it, and saw how verdant the valleys are in that part of Northern NM

Deer, the rollicking ski-and-drinking Rocky Mountain town of Red River

Just outside of the town of Cimarron, where the Rockies...

...meet the plains (this was across the road from the last picture)

Dead general store (?) in Ocate. It seemed a dying town of the plains, separated by 9 miles of bad road (even for backcounty) from the booming ski resort of Angel Fire.

And finally, for now: Georgia O'Keeffe Country - the road to her Ghost ranch (now a conference centre, of all things). O' Keef was an Artist who moved from New York City - not hard to see why this vivid red and textured land appealed.

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Filed under New Mexico, The Now

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