looking down from the San Diaz (here high in the mountain it snowed last night)
Hmmm i have to tell a little more, actually i am painting right now, 'floating in white sand'.
Michael took me up the San Diaz, Jason took me around town. And to get from one to the other, i had to drive after sunset, this is a Big City! i don't know how i managed with all these interstates , but hey i did, i can find my way in the bush, this only just a tat wilder.
Jason lives close to the Rio Grande, and i walked down to the river, a gardener let me through a private garden, which lines the river. And there on the river i saw my first Roadrunner, and what are all those birds flying over, they are sandhill cranes! That i imagined left from the Yukon before me. (Later in Bosque El Apache i learn different) and i see Pink Pelicans.(Many more later at Elephant Butte) and a little Quail.
Who can not love a big city with treasure like that.
As Jason drives me around, the city is quite varied, towns within a city, roads weaving everything together, no high rise, mostly adobe architecture.
White Sands, New Mexico: "White Sands, a National Park in New Mexico, has enormous sand dunes of the mineral gypsum, and it was a vision quest site of the Native Indians."
I knew i would love the White Sands and i did. The sight is incredible. I hiked them, rolled down the dunes, tasted them, put on my dress to celebrate them, studied them and everyday i still touch the sand as it is in my coat pocket. And i slept on them under the stars, no one in sight for many many miles, just maybe three campers, half a kilometre apart, crawled up in a sleeping bag.
all alone in this perfect spot, which felt like home
This is going too slow, now, this posting of my trip Not then. I loved it how we went slow, staying were we liked it, sometimes moving only 20 miles. Hey, i could live like that there in New Mexico. Being a nomad. Being a dreamer. one moment of many in the morning
one moment of ancient times
one moment in the evening.
And as my camera didn't work when we were at the White Sands ages later, i post a link and tell that story in the next post, because from now on, i tell only the ultimate high lights.
Ahh.... then i should talk about yesterday too, which was a sort of historic day for me, but somethings...... just don't reach the keyboard...not here, not yet.
Do you often have that feeling, that there is so much , all day could be show and tell...
hmmmm, I went all the way to the blue china pond today, on snowshoes. Alexander will be home here shortly, he is home for the holidays, but out most of the time. Today he was snowboarding, it was cold on the hill he said And Don he went out on the skidoo, icicles hanging from his skidoo mask, it's cold out there he said. I say, what! i'm just starting to warm up to it...
Nov 5 2010, waking up in the Jemez Springs campground. Most often we didn't camp on campgrounds, but i liked this one a lot, right by the river. And for the traveller on a budget, the right price. With a golden eagle pass (or something:) i think we paid 4 bucks. For the discount it has to be a Federal Park. Normally it was 10 dollars for tenting. Nights and mornings are cool, so i kept a fire going with driftwood.
Talking to the camp host (i love your campgrounds America! hosts included) about hotsprings, he told us about the San Antonio one. When you were a boy scout ever, you might have spend a summer camp there. But now it is open for the public. So off we go. What did a store keeper, closer to the road that leads to the Springs say? "You might make it, there's no telling, some do and some don't.... Anyway i am driving :) and a drive it is, a real test for me and the car. I take things very slowly, and only a few times i come precariously close to the edge, a few puddles, who knows how deep or soft, only a steep section in the beginning, and many many big boulders. We make it!
When you enlarge this photo, you'll see some sweethearts. They walked the 5 miles (two hour) And by the looks of it, he asked her to marry him while in their private pool (nobody dared to disturb them, just smiles).
I found the highest pool to my favor, being the hottest.
I was going to post sunshine, snow and spiders, but i thought 'tarantula' maybe is more captivating.
Sorry, no photo of this spider, you have to take my word for it. The camera often didn't work, remember the horse kick.
I think it is still November 4.
It's around Jemez Springs.
The desert is hot, the red mountain shines brightly. And into the mountain are all these canyons. I think you can only go on a guided tour into such red canyon. Hmmm i forgot, if it was a money issue or the idea of being a tourist, or if we just wanted to be alone with the spider.
Away from any canyon we just climb the sidehill towards the red. The rock here is sand color, i suggest going parallel to the road, staying low, but we climb higher and higher, this man's on a mission. I start to fear we never reach canyons or red rock, "we are past the layer of red for sure now. " And i am sure my 'guide' doesn't know either.
Suddenly the land breaks open, we look down in the reddest deep canyon to be.
As the water has made these canyons, we climb into it lowering our self one terrace. A chamber of smooth rock. Peering over the edge we wonder what is below, we do see water in the pool on a deeper terrace.
Now when you look at the photo, we decide to go the other side, where it is possible, and follow the rim that you see. That all is a most beautiful hike on it's own, When we reach the bottom, we walk in. The water sculptured amazing rocks, the canyon narrower and narrower, at places a metre wide, it's dark and rather scary as the walls are higher and higher. surprisingly fast we reach the place underneath the terraces, " lets try to climb up!"
And tonight i am (with many others) waiting for moonlight. let's keep our fingers crossed Who of you out there has clear skies? Back at the Tunnels, the sun did reach into the gorge and it was beautiful, but as it turns out hard to capture the splendour of the water, the light, and being inside the mountain, high vertical walls of rock.
Up to here, i liked New Mexico very much: the adobe houses, the desert, the arroyos (very much), the red mountains ( real red and sunsets).
I drove through the tunnels into the rock
New Mexico Rocks!
I can not believe the incredibilities going through the rocks we camped on the other side on the mountain where the big Ponderosa Pine grow. An upside down world. I am used to empty mountaintops and trees in the valley, here things are upside down somehow
The next day i took lots of photos waiting for the sun to shine into the gorge, i will post those pictures tomorrow.
Nov 2 2010 This is at Jemez Pueblo, the cows are still at the White Mesa.
But the story i want to tell is about my life as an opportunist, the cows seem to live a good life that way, the second night we camped at a stock pond, a dammed up arroyo, it had water in it.
Here at home i was happy to see that not all the feral horses are caught. Because to me these cows and our horses living in their own harsh environment seem healthy and happy ( a happy cow?)
I giggled when i saw here on the highway that they raised the fence at the coral to catch the horses, yes they had jumped out! i cheer for freedom.
My life as an opportunist. Here is one funny incident that happened on the first. At sunset we drove to San Ysidro, for water. As Michael was filling up, trying to hold our water container close to the hose. This beautiful wild lady ran up to us, if we had a propane container. yesss we did...
if we would like to sell it, they needed it , they were shooting a commercial in the beautiful red light quick quick the light is fading. Now.... Michael was straining as it is to fill the water tank and he didn't like the lady commanding him. I just thought well this lady has an emergency.
Anyway i played my part well, this should have been a commercial for propane. Because somehow she bought our 5 dollar half full tank for 20 bucks. Now i say!
By the way i got my Christmas tree today, now that was hard, now my glasses are not used to the cold yet. Outside in the beautiful finally sunny snow world of Mendenhall i could not see a thing.
(I did see roadrunners! A bird i indeed did not know exist for real.)
But i just got an email from the bird club here in the Yukon who asked us to curb our energy consumption.
I forgot again how to copy something like that on this page here, but i can give you Meandering Michael's blog, that addressed the same issue.
And Michael i thank you so much, because due to your post i was prompted to make a change, however little.
It happens to be that my modern phone (when it goes, i will go back to a phone that doesn't need to be plugged in ) always has two lights on. That bothered me because, at night, nothing is plugged in here in my house, and the only thing on batteries is a tiny alarm clock. So only that phone, and actually the lights bother me at night, i can sleep in broad sunlight, but two tiny lights bother my eyes at night.
Anyway i finally dealt with it, I take the phone of the base during the night, one light gone. And i switch of the answering machine when i am home. Voila! no lights. Now of course the phone probably has to charge extra when i put it back on the base. I do believe even the littlest things help. And i will not put it back on the base till daylight, because actually Yukon Energy is having to put on its oil generators in those dark morning hours and at night. And that's what we want to avoid.
More often than not, i have so many stories in my head. And somehow i don't write what i think of the best ones, or i start writing but don't really come to the point, or i don't really get across what was significant for me. How do you do it? So there's arroyos. I had never heard of arroyos and 11/1/10 i fell in love what them. And if stories where water, I would let them come pelting down on me, set the desert in bloom and lead them through arroyos and let most evaporate, where only few will reach the Rio Grande and maybe a very few the Ocean. Where as here they all freeze.... Whatever, So as we leave the city that morning, I am taught all these new words,for these new features. (it took me many days to actually learn the word arroyo) So i remember as we crossing many of them, i am trying to look into them. Then it happens to be we camp on the White Mesa close to San Ysidro. I forgot if we camp on Tribal land, or BLM land, anyway there are cows, but no fences that i can remember.
When we arrive i soon go for a long walk, towards those white hoodoos, This land is beautifully open, you know i have no fear anyway, but the openness makes me feel totally comfortable. Above here as you might already see, in the above post are some pictures of that walk.
But these Arroyos! The dry creek beds of the run-off when it does rain here (in all those 6 weeks i have actually felt one drop.) They are path ways through the desert, the rocks. Here they are winding sandy paths, with sandy canyons, lined with trees and plants, deep shadows, the bright sun above me, here and there wet sand, lots of animal tracks.
Everywhere i went this holiday i would explore the arroyos to some extent, but there is a deep longing in me for more, to walk there paths from where ever i am till i come to the sea.
This photo is taken November 1 on a Monday, so that means i am only missing one day, as Taos was on Saturday. And here i even find it in my journal; "Oct.31 i think, we drive to the locker a white stucco castle like building, Hispanic?
The way i wrote my journal was starting at the moment; "I am crying. My gosh i almost sat on a cactus, a fruit of a cholla i think. Nothing is for sure in my world now. Is it a Raven or a Crow talking to me? The sun is as hot as it can be, i am naked, i move onto a towel in the sand. Now what? Birds are chattering in the Juniper bushes. Scattered bushes 10 feet high and 20 feet wide. Are the Robins they fly off when i come close. There are tufts of dry grass in the sand and dried rounded woody plants. They have seeds." That was Nov 6, and every next day i write i try to back track what i missed. So now here it is hard to figure out from my journal what happened when.
I know i did figure myself out, it must have been the pink rocks, if you come upon rocks like that, rocks that must have been painted by someone and arranged, everything is going to be okay.
And that Sunday i stayed over at a friend of Michael's in Albuquerque and prepared the van i was going to travel in.
circumpolar polar arh.. there is a ring around the moon it's faint, it's cold there is a star beside it does it light it up? circumstances are there's lots of snow this year i whisper in your lips our breath visibly one the North circumscribing us
I just wrote this after i saw an announcement for a writing contest. Actually i think it kind of rattles (maybe our breath formed icicles?) but if you want to improve on it, we can share the 200 dollar prize. Some lines actually formed closer to the equator then to the North Pole, still even the equator is circumpolar. It was the lines of one breath. In the cold desert nights Michael and I would lay whispering our lips almost touching. Contest
I have seen cacti before, in Southren Alberta, and as it turns out this cactus, one of the most widespread ones of the Opuntia family, might even grow there. I did not know that on that day when i laid down beside this cactus. First (on the day of this photo) i just take joy in seeing so many cacti (i still say cactusses). But you know me i feel more of a relationship with them if i know there name. And at the end of my trip, in Arizona, when i see yet a different Prickly Pear and i can say; hey! "stop the car, there is Santa Rita!". My heart rejoices. (She is truely beautiful, big and lovely shade of purple. I am going through my photos day by day, and i hope in the end i can show you her) Then there is also the fact that this month i have pulled out many spines and pricklies, from fingers and feet. (Besides cacti, the whole desert is full of prickly things). I also ate the fruits of Prickly Pears, which are very good. One can also eat the pads, but they claim to be best when newly formed in the spring. hmmmmm i still long to know the desert better and wonder how to hug a cactus, will they ever let me?