Monday, July 26, 2010

Santa Fe & Taos

One more night in Albuquerque and then on to Santa Fe, first to visit the Georgia O’Keefe showing and then a long, wishful visit to the museum’s gift shop. The beautiful scarves ($85) and colorful glassware, plus a multitude of smaller items could rearrange one’s budget but still made interesting browsing.

Before leaving Santa Fe, a few more galleries were visited and a few more pictures were taken. Some even turned out clear enough to share.Distant rains had changed the hot weather into a very pleasantly cool day and the cool weather stayed with us through out the remainder of our stay in New Mexico.

This picture, shown at one of the galleries, is made of rolled newspaper strips. Such an undertaking! Such patience and time! As an alternative to the recycling bin, I'll pass.

The flowers in the glass globe are supported by a group of nude
figures. This is one of a display of almost a dozen similar globes.

Taos, the touristy attraction that has it all: scenery, skiing, artists, and a concentration of small shops and galleries. All this, plus New Mexico’s very obvious heritage of it’s early settlers; it’s adobe buildings with flat roofs, and flowers everywhere. Yards were filled with flowering plants, hanging baskets hung in every available spot, huge clay pots filled with flowers sat along the sidewalks, and every available space holding soil along the paved areas were filled with blooming plants: roses, holly-hocks, petunias…if it had color, it was there.

Sunflowers were plentiful, but these red ones blooming among the yellow, were the only reds that I noticed.

Although this was not my first visit to any of these locations, other visits had been with friends and traveling as campers with our RVs. None of these visits included visits to the galleries and shops! In retrospect, I cannot imagine how this happened, especially as my friend was an avid shopper. Did our husbands, sensing a severe money drain, have that much influence on our activities? Evidently yes!

Right: This rather poor picture is of a box
made of loosely wove wire with a delicate rose at the point the wires
cross. The lid is topped with a tiny grasshopper! Look
carefully andmaybe you can detect the details.

The grey tones in the distant clouds were merely an interesting study in color when we made our decision to drive on in to Amarillo before stopping for the night. It was only another two hours and so much closer to home for the Sunday’s final drive. The predicted rain arrived but we drove on and climbed and descended and climbed again on this beautiful drive through the mountains overlooking the populated valleys…sometimes looking out upon someone’s rooftop no more than 10 or 12 feet from the edge of the highway. Finally, passing through a cloud, all was obscured in the valleys below and only the motorcyclists ahead were in view.

The decision to take our chances on finding rooms without making reservations got us exactly what we wanted, something the early March reservations had failed to do, so despite rock hard beds we rested, relieved that there had been no hassle.

The drive from Amarillo on home was markedly different from that through west Texas. Here, instead of sagebrush and cactus clumps, fields were cultivated, with rows and rows of cotton curving their way into the distance, red soil showing in the curves. The plants grew uniformedly level as though they had been sheared. Any weeds sticking up among the uniform plants appeared to be intruders...and they were. Long gone are the days of workers in a field, swinging their hoes to thin the cotton plants and chop down the weeds. Fertilizer and weed killig chemicals have taken away the human touch...and from my memories of swinging a hoe in a hot, sunny field this took considerably more energy than a mere touch. 'Twas hot, backbreaking, all day labor! Are the effects of the labor saving chemicals upon our invironment an improvement over the old methods? Inproved production, partly due to the irrigation systems marching slowly across the fields, would call for a "yes" answer. Speculating upon future effects, would bring a strong "No". Whatever your opinion might be, I expect it will be years before there is a satisfactory solution.

Leaving the plains of the panhandle, we began to pass through the little towns where my mother once taught school. This part of the drive always brings happy memories of her many stories of those teaching days; stories told as we swung our hoes down rows of tomato plants, or corn or peanuts... wherever the weeds were trying to take over our livelihood.

Now, after another six hours on the road, I opened my door! It was a great trip. We had a nice visit with my grandson and his wife, saw great scenery and great exhibits. Now, 1500 miles later, it's also great to be home: no crowds, no traffic, plenty of parking space....and a hot, humid wind blowing from the south! Ah-h, Texas, we love to leave and are delighted to get home.