Hello Again From Santa Fe

Trip Start Jul 29, 2011
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Trip End Aug 02, 2011


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Where I stayed
What I did
Ghost Ranch - Abiquiu
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Sunday, July 31, 2011

Hi There!

Saturday was a very full day and I didn't have a chance to write something, so as I write this, it's Sunday morning at 8:50 local time.  Yesterday started off beautifully, sunny and in the mid-60s...once again, little or no humidity!  It was perfect for heading northwest to the area known as Abiquiu (AH-bee-cue) where the great American artist Georgia O'Keeffe lived and worked.  She lived a VERY long and productive life (1887-1986) and first came to this area in the late 1920s.  She became a permanent resident in 1949, buying the property we toured at that time (just after electricity came to the area!)  Unfortunately, they don't allow photography of any kind, so I can't send any shots of the place.  I did take plenty of the surrounding area, which will be up on my Website and my TravelPod blog when I get home.

Abiquiu was first settled, believe it or not, in the early 1700s and portions of O'Keeffe's home date from 1740.  It's on a bluff with spectacular views of the valley around the Chama River and the mountains beyond.  It's not all dry, either: There was plenty of green grass out there where cattle were grazing.  15 miles north is an area called Ghost Ranch, where O'Keeffe spent a lot of time painting, drawing and camping.  She had quite a backyard and an endless variety of subject matter to use in her work!

O'Keeffe lived simply, but had every modern convenience we've become accustomed to.  (She didn't know what a cell phone was, though and even if she did, she wouldn't have been able to use it.  There's no cell service anywhere in the area!)  The home is exactly as she left it when she died, including her working area, office, kitchen (all the tables were just sheets of finished plywood) and a spacious living room, which was off-limits, except to look through the doorway.  Its adobe floor is fairly soft and we were told that too much foot traffic would ruin it.  I did try to get a good look at her stereo system, which was--amazingly--a classic MacIntosh integrated amp with what looked like a Thorens turntable.  I don't know what kind of speakers she had (I asked) but the fact that she had that kind of gear waaaaaay up there is astounding!  (She had a 1970s vintage Marantz amp in her studio.)  Okay.  Enough on that.  Our guide was very knowledgable and brought along reproductions of some of O'Keeffe's paintings as well as pictures of her taken in various locations around the house.  One painting is of U.S. 84, which runs below the house.  O'Keeffe painting the winding road during winter.  We stood in the same spot O'Keeffe used to paint the picture in winter.  Calling it "Winter Road" our guide said she took people through the home when there was 10 inches of snow on the ground last winter.  As they looked at the painting, then the road, a dark streak snaking through a pure white landscape, she said it looked just like the painting.  How cool is that?!  After the tour, I made a quick drive up to Ghost Ranch.  The scenery there and the drive itself was terrific and I took plenty of shots there.

A very friendly, talkative gentleman named Leonard was the groundskeeper at O'Keeffe's home.  I struck up a conversation with him and told him I was visiting from Chicago.  Before I left, he took me aside and asked, "So what are you guys gonna do about Cutler and the Bears??"  I laughed out loud as he told me he was a football fanatic! 

Today I'm headed to see some Native American ruins at the Pecos National Historical Monument, then back into town.  Thanks for checking in and we'll update you ASAP!

On the road again...and liking it a lot!

Dave    

My Review Of The Place I've Seen



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