As a measure of how enchanting this state is, I originally thought I would spend two weeks here, then head on to Big Bend. I did go down to Texas, but I came back to New Mexico afterwards, not yet ready to let go of this state. In total, I spent 60 days in this lovely state and, to be honest, I’m still not done with it. I know I’ll be back, so until then, here’s my farewell to New Mexico, featuring my favorite places so far, in no particular order.
I could photograph the VLA every damn day and not get tired of it. There’s just something about those dishes in the middle of nowhere with beautiful light that just captivates me.
White Sands is an amazing place and I hit it on a day with such blue skies that I’m sure everything will think this image is photoshopped. But it’s not.
Carlsbad Caverns was freaky and weird and I loved it. It’s another place I could go to several times and not be bored in the slightest.
Once you get beyond the obvious tourist spots, New Mexico is full of surprises. I visited the Bosque del Apache on a whim, long after the spring birding migration was done, and it still made me fall in love with it. Now I want to see it with more wildlife.
Somehow, I thought New Mexico was a desert state. A lot of it is, but even there, I found water to photograph. This image from Bottomless Lakes is one of my favorites.
The land and sky are ever-changing in New Mexico and nowhere better to see that than City of Rocks State Park. As my friend said, it looks like a movie set, both the huge rocks and the flat landscape surrounding them.
From north to south, the Rio Grande is still a river of majesty, despite the dams.
Several places have preserved petroglyphs and half the fun is figuring out what they might have meant to the people who created them.
Even in Albuquerque, there is refuge to be found from the hustle and bustle of city life. The afternoon I spent in the Japanese Garden was restorative to both my soul and my creative spirit.
OK, I did save the best for last. This is Oliver Lee State Park. If there is one place in New Mexico that feels like home, this is it. I don’t know why, it just does.
I took so many images of New Mexico that it was hard to narrow them down to just ten. And then there were the friends, in Rock City, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe: I am so happy I got to spend time with each of you, and thank you for your hospitality and your suggestions of things to see. I will definitely be back!
You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.