This highway isn't exactly the way to Georgia. In fact, we were driving northwest, the exact opposite direction I need to go to get home. BUT since my flight is still two days away, this visit took us to the home of someone I've always been a fan of, the one and only Georgia O'Keeffe.
Though a New York artist, O'Keeffe created many of her most famous landscape paintings in New Mexico. She owned a home in the teeny tiny town of Abiquiu but spent her summers at her house on the Ghost Ranch, an isolated 21,000-acre expanse of redrock scenery previously owned by Arthur Pack, the founder of the American Nature Association.
My pal and I arrived on Sunday to embark on a hike up to Chimney Rock, hoping to enjoy some of the best views this world has to offer. I could just envision O'Keeffe in her chambray, straw hat and lace up leather boots tromping up the same path with her easel and paint brushes as we huffed and puffed in the altitude.
The start of Chimney Rock Trail.
Chimney Rock, the two points on right
It's not the toughest hike by any means but the trail still offered its challenges. When we arrived at the top, it felt like we were on top of the world...at least Ms. O'Keeffe's version of it. The photo below looks fake but it was definitely real. Can't you imagine the dinosaurs roaming around here millions of years ago? (Oh yeah, did I mention they've discovered tons of fossils here and Georgia O'Keeffe even has a dinosaur named after her??)
O'Keeffe had many famous visitors at the Ranch, including Ansel Adams. I could totally appreciate his photography as I noticed the way the light bounced off cliff sheers at different times of the day. One minute a plateau might be in the shadows. The next, it simply glowed.
One of O'Keeffe's favorite landscapes to paint was the Cerro Pedernal, the mesa on my right in the picture below. O'Keeffe once said, "I painted it often thinking that, if I did so, God would give it to me." That quote of hers gives me the chills...what a lovely thought that some day your affection for one of God's majesties could be strong enough to make it yours if only you expressed that you valued it enough.
The Ghost Ranch from Chimney Rock Trail
The fun but exhausting trip left us with only one stone to unturn- a trip to the local Espanola dive bar Saints & Sinners. BTW, Espanola is the low-rider capital of the world. Just sayin.
Now that my visit with Georgia O'Keeffe has come to an end, it's time to shift my focus to the other Georgia- Atlanta! I'll be flying home to NC by way of Atlanta on Wednesday and I can't WAIT! But, for now, I feel blessed to have been sent on this journey and am so lucky to have all the great memories from New Mexico.
Because of this weird week of work and travel, please forgive me if the blog falls by the wayside during this week. I promise to get back to it after I've landed on the East Coast. Until the next time, hope you have a great week!