Week 159 April 15, 2017

Happy Easter! Loren and I were still in Santa Fe earlier this week. I had a milestone moment of progress in my Bikram Yoga practice, and after class my instructor gifted me a ladybug pin to mark the occasion!
On leaving Santa Fe, we chose to drive partway on a dirt frontage road along the Chama River, with the reward of breathtaking views. We only knew of Chama River thanks to our Colorado cousin, as they have vacant property along the river. It was gorgeous!
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We stopped at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, where we hiked a little in the stunning terrain. Then we took their Landscape Tour, to see some of the sites that Georgia O’Keeffe had painted near her studio/home here. I repeat, it was simply stunning to see the landscape in person, to see her rendition of it brought to the canvas, and especially after we had already been enthralled by her work in January at Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe.
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We tried to stay at Chaco Canyon – a place that has been on my bucket list since we traveled nearly three weeks through the southwest some years ago. However, we had been unsuccessful in reaching the campground for advance reservations. We took our chances, ignoring the “Campground Full – Make Alternative Plans” sign. It was a long, poor dirt road most of the way in. We saw what seemed to be a wild horse, jackrabbits, and another pronghorn antelope, while neglecting the second “Campground Full” sign, hopefully trusting that it was out of date. “How could the campground be full on a Monday?” we wondered.
Alas the signs were accurate. The Ranger who flagged us down as we drove through – to make sure it really was full, offered that he knew there were only two campers at Angel Peak on Bureau of Land Management property, a two hour drive away, and this was nearly dusk. So we said a disappointed farewell to Chaco. To our great fortune, Loren’s idea of another BLM was less than an hour away. We drove more poor roads in to Bisti and De-Na-Zin Wilderness, where we were the only campers! We slept fabulously well here. In the morning, we hiked about 5 hours in the wilderness areas. The sights were otherworldly, some almost like above-ground caves of stalagmite/stalactite formations.
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I wrote another poem from this experience:
     Bisti De-Na-Zin Wilderness Wash
     Claire Adalyn Wright
     On our hike in the wide, dry, sandy wash,
     I noticed foot prints and paw prints,
     some hare prints, hoof, and claw prints,
     pebble prints, and fossil prints, as well.
     But the best, by far, were the water prints.
Speaking of experiences, my brother wrote,
    “Life is definitely made up from experiences we have, not just how long we live, so it
      sounds like you guys are living to the fullest. Keep it up.”
Thanks so much, I think we will!
Back in after being out of civilization during the week seeing elk, the southernmost Rocky mountains still covered in snow, and, beautiful wide open terrain, we made our way to a campground in Chama. Yes, we made a big circle in northern New Mexico this week. Compared to the BLM property the night before, our sleep here was periodically disturbed by barking dogs, artificial street lights, traffic noise – all at an RV park that was still “officially” closed for the winter.
The next day, after driving through more incredible scenery, we stopped to indulge at Ojo Caliente Historic Hot Springs for the afternoon on our way to Taos, where we are now. Loren’s favorite of the seven hot spring pools was Lithia, because it included jets that were similar to the ones in our backyard tub at home.
In Taos, we have attended two evening readings by local poets – after all April is National Poetry Month. We had a delicious vegetarian langar – lunch, at a Sikh Temple in the nearby town of Espanola, and, on Good Friday, we joined an annual six mile pilgrimage with the San Francesco de Asis – St. Francis of Assisi Church here, that included stops for recognizing the fourteen stations of the cross. I knew I would feel a bit more comfortable at our AirBnB, as our host’s front door graced us with familiar favorite images of mine.
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Our host has taken in three rescue dogs, while also cat sitting for Magpie, who has a thimble-full of white on her tail. Fortunately, the property has a large back yard where the animals are able to be outside some. Fun!
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