Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu
Since yesterday, we've been staying at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Ghost Ranch is a retreat and conference center that was originally named "Rancho de Las Brujas" (Ranch of the Witches) by Spanish settlers several centuries ago. Georgia O'Keefe owned a small adobe house here and lived on the premises off and on for fifty years. It has been owned by the Presbyterian Church since 1955 but most of the retreats and conferences are secular in nature. This weekend is a New Agey conference by author Lynn Andrews, and we'll be leaving tomorrow as the hordes arrive.
Mary was the first to visit here ten years ago while traveling through New Mexico with her dear friend Alden. In 2008, we brought our son and daughter-in-law here when we came out West so that they could look at a few graduate schools and have some fun at the same time. Ghost Ranch is a unique place with an awe-inspiring backdrop of multicolored cliffs featured prominently in many of O'Keefe's paintings and drawings.
Today we biked and then hiked deep into the nearby canyon, where deciduous and non-deciduous trees coexist with numerous cacti in arroyos that still have running water in the springtime. Although Tina got a ride in the basket of Mary's bike for the first two miles or so, she hiked like a trooper for several more, enjoying the feeling of drinking the cool water and periodically getting her feet and belly wet to cool off. We swam in a lovely creek ourselves, and enjoyed the breeze and shade of the riparian forest.
Mary has really been getting in shape, biking up steep hills with Tina's additional weight behind her, and hiking and biking are simply part and parcel of most of our days. It's been somewhat chilly and windy this past week, so we were so happy to have a picture perfect day here today.
We're realizing that we'll be in New Mexico for at least the next few months, and the rig is starting to feel pretty claustrophobic to all three of us. Our arrival to our little casita in Santa Fe next week will be sweet---if not somewhat shocking in its inability to roll down the highway---and for the near future at least, we'll be less mobile and growing some shallow roots of community and friendship.
Life on the road has its moments of ecstasy and agony as we can all attest, and today was one of those days when the stars and sun (and weather) all seemed perfectly aligned.