Last Wednesday, I dropped Bella off at the body shop so the bumper could get replaced. I’m happy to report that not only does the new bumper look beautiful, but the car was done a day early AND they washed the whole car so well that there wasn’t a dead bug on her. And I’m very happy to have my tow vehicle back in tip-top shape (they did inspect the hitch, the frame, the wiring near the bumper, etc. and found no issues).
The rest of Wednesday was a Santa Fe day. First up was a tour of the New Mexico State Library, courtesy of my friend, the Principal Cataloger. I grew up in libraries, and worked my way through college in them, and my mom was a librarian, so seeing the inside of a library is always fun for me. This is the maps area and I wanted all of the maps hanging on the walls. And everything in the drawers too! (Note: Flat Eliza will be reporting on this trip in more depth.) Thanks to Brigitte for the wonderful tour!
Then we were off lunch with another friend, who I had not seen in person since 1998 at a race at Fresh Pond in Massachusetts! (At least we both remembered the same event!) We had such a great time at lunch that we forgot to take a selfie 🙁
After that, I took their advice and poked around the old plaza and visited the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. I was kind of disappointed by how few of her works they displayed, but the biography wall gave me new inspiration for my adventures: did you know Georgia did not fly overseas until she was 71? And that the experience of seeing sky, clouds, and earth from the airplane windows started a whole new creative phase in her paintings? Well, now we both know that!
On Thursday, I decided I might as well put some miles on the rental car so I headed north of Santa Fe. At the crossroads where Abiquiu was left and Taos was right, I went right. I had been undecided till then, but right felt like the direction I needed to go, so I went. I had been to Taos 40 years ago, in winter, when all was small and quiet and it was in the middle of nowhere. It’s still kind of in the middle of nowhere, but now it has strip malls and tourist traps and traffic. I was not thrilled by it and got through the city fast as I could, without stopping. Nothing about it inspired me. I was aiming for the Enchantment Circle, a driving loop through the mountains north of Taos, and it was there I found contentment. Think of the huge pastoral landscapes of “A River Runs Through it” and you’ll be pretty close to what it looks like there.
Friday was reunion day, picking up Bella late on Friday at the body shop, just in time for rush hour traffic home. Now I remember another reason why retirement is so great.
Saturday, Flat Eliza and I had adventures in Santa Fe with our friend, Linda. First up was the Farmers’ Market, where the early season produce sold out before we could buy any, so we had to content ourselves with other purchases. For me, a small pair of turquoise and silver earrings as a souvenir of New Mexico. Then it was on to the plaza, and grazing the wares offered by local artists before lunch and then walking through the New Mexico Museum of Art after lunch.
Sunday was a hang out at home day, which even full-time vagabonds need. A bit of housecleaning, some writing and reading, a bit of photography work, and a tiny little nap in there. The only trip I made was to the laundromat, and I wasn’t the only one cleaning clothes on Easter Sunday.
And suddenly, it was Monday and time to leave not only my current campsite but the entire state of New Mexico. As I drove north on I-25 towards Colorado, I thought about the places I’d seen in the last two months and how much I enjoyed my stay in New Mexico. My car has a 12-month camping pass on it that runs out in March 2018 so I’ll be back this winter for more adventures.
The country on I-25 was amazing: high desert plains, a few buttes, and far-off snow-capped mountains. (The photo at the top of this post is the view up I-25.)
And then, the landmarks showing that I was really moving on:
Now I’m at Trinidad State Park, enjoying the sight of water, the smell of pine trees and the sounds of birds in the morning again. I missed that the last few weeks.
I’m here for about a week, and it’s all about relaxing and letting things flow rather than plan out each day. A friend sent me a paper outlining a science field trip she ran here a few years ago and I’m going to explore that after I digest all of it. It sounds cool, so that might be the big adventure for this next week. We’ll see!
The unexplainable thing in nature that makes me feel the world is big far beyond my understanding – to understand maybe by trying to put it into form. To find the feeling of infinity on the horizon line or just over the next hill.
Georgia O’Keeffe (Some Memories of Drawings)