Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Mexico 2013 Part 2

Slicing all the way down the length of New Mexico runs a mighty river. It becomes the border for a huge section of our country once it leaves New Mexico and enters Texas. The Rio Grande is a truly grand river.

I look down at the water and contemplate how many people will swim across it looking for a better life. I contemplate how many tons of drugs will be ferried across it. I contemplate how many millions of dollars will go the other way across the same river. A hundred years ago I would have contemplated how the hell to get from one side to the other.

The John Dunn bridge provides a majestic crossing. You might recognize this bridge.

They call Montana Big Sky Country. New Mexico has seriously big sky. It is always seriously blue. Bluer than any sky I have ever seen.

Before we went to the hot springs at Ojo Caliente Jonathan and I took a hike. We hiked to some old mines up in the BLM lands.

Mica was the target here. Everything glittered with mica dust in the area.

The hike was nice, but the objective was to take in a soak.

For thousands of years people have been taking in the waters of Ojo Caliente (the 'hot eyes' for you unwilling to take in Spanish). It is said that the hot springs was a neutral zone for all the Indian tribes of the region. I doubt it, but it makes for a good story.

The Spa has been making many improvements over the past few years. A couple of the springs still flow directly out of the ground as they used to.

The Soda Spring is a very peaceful space.

... or it was until our group showed up.

The Arsenic Pool was only 104 degrees. It has been loosing a degree or two for a while now. I still like this one even though it no longer the hottest. I like to go from here...

... to here. The main pool is only 88. Then repeat, and repeat again.

We usually avoid San Diego, I mean LA, I mean Santa Fe. It is a cool place to visit, but it has become very California. Every time we come here a song pops into my head. Take a moment and take in the Boys. I suggest reading on while you listen.

Governors Square has some great architecture. Great shopping, too, if you're into that kind of thing.

Not one square edge. I like that.

Every place you look is a photo in New Mexico.

The graveyard of Madrid (mad rid, not ma drid) was revisited.

I want a fence like this around my grave if I am laid to rest. 

Why is Mr. Flores watching me? He looks pissed even though I swept the leaves off of his grave. 

I sure do like seeing my wife smile like that. Once this is our home I think she will smile a lot more.

I admire the early folks who settled this land. What it must have taken to build this coke plant out in the middle of the desert. 

The kilns are all that remain of a once prosperous community. Man comes, he goes. The land always remains.  Mother Nature always reclaims hers.

In the last hour of our visit, we had a mission to accomplish. We needed to restock for the year. That is our half bushel of extra hot Hatch chiles before the roasting.

We found just the right place...

This was a popular spot at Montgomery and Wyoming in Albuquerque. 

Fire-roasted goodness! 

See the two big bisected circles at the bottom? Each one is centered in a section. Do you know what a section is? 650 acres. Kansas has some seriously big farms. I wonder where all the water comes from.

All good things always come to an end. I wish this good thing had never come to an end. I already long to return to the land of enchantment.

Monday, October 7, 2013

New Mexico 2013 Part 1

Like the monarch, the swallow, and the Canadian goose we migrate South ever year. We do not go as far as those migrants but we return early to recharge and to start anew.  The New Mexico sky seemed angry when we arrived. We dodged rain storms most of our first day. 

On previous visits we have wanted to visit Puye cliff dwellings. We finally made it happen this time. 

The sky cleared as soon as we made it to the site.

There are not many clocks in New Mexico. Here is one, however.

Ancient litter bugs! I wonder if an Indian Chief shed a tear when they threw these on the ground.

On our first morning in Taos, it was 26 degrees when the sun came up.

It made for a perfect visit to the farmers market going on at the Taos Plaza.

Mushrooms are or were in season. 

Chimayo Reds are in season.

The marigolds are going out of season.

This is virtually the last chance for tomatoes. This farmer and I share the same favorite, German Striped. 

Hatch, Embudo, Arroyo Seco--the origin is not important, they are the real deal New Mexico green chile.

Mountain grown wild mushrooms. Chanterelles.

I think this guy had some special wild mushrooms for sale too.

It would not be New Mexico without a raistra.

The farmers had done a last-minute harvest before the hard freeze.   

The produce was simply brilliant.

I was tempted.  A walk on the back streets tempted me more.

Spectacular adobe work.

True old world craftsmanship was utilized.

I saw some new world craftsmanship too. I usually find it on rocks and not on an adobe wall. 

There was some new age craftsmanship.

This is my favorite photo from the trip. It and the next few were taken at the Mabel Dodge Luhan house.

The house was owned by Dennis Hopper in the 1960's.

He rented it out to a hippy jewelry commune. 

The only commune there now is the pigeon commune.

Tranquility abounds at the house.

I find it hard to believe that this house was a hippy commune. It is now a place wealthy Californians come to commune with the tranquility of Taos.

My house will have lots of walls like this.

It will have many windows like this.

And a front door like this. This is Kit Carson's house. I wish it were mine. It is exactly what I want, just minus 100 acres of land.

Many hours were spent doing what you see in this photo. Yep, I just sat there and took it in. I was listening for the Taos hum.  I have not heard it yet.

This is a place I come to be alone and listen for the hum. You are looking due North up the Rio Grande.

We took a hike in the woods.

Big trees, big rocks, big views.

The big basin of Williams Lake. Snow was already sticking on the slopes facing North.

Wheeler Peak is the tallest mountain in New Mexico. Next year I am going to the top.

We went high enough for the day hike we intended to do.

Coming down had its rewards.

We sure are not in Chicago...

At Casa Kush, again.

The Mayordomo gave  our buddy Jonathan the water. It is done just a little different here. Water is managed using an ancient system controlled by the Mayordomo. Water flows through the assecia from the mountains. These small canals are all over Northern New Mexico. Boards are placed in the header box to force water into smaller assecias.

Here it is flowing under the road to the assecia leading to Casa Kush.

I spent a good hour following the head as it slowly traveled down hill...

... until it floods out onto the  land. This system is primitive and not very efficient but it is how it has been done for many hundred, possibly even a thousand years.

There will be more to come...