Back On The Road

After close to a two-month break away from living in Tamasté, I’m back on the road again.

After spending this week back in New Mexico, I’ll head to Forest City, Iowa, for some Tamasté warranty work. After that, I’ll head to Findlay for 10 days, followed by 10 days in Ann Arbor. Just as Tamasté needed his “doctor” time in Iowa, so must Tamasté’s driver get some annual poking and prodding split between numerous Findlay healthcare providers.

After Ann Arbor, I’ll head to New England and the Northeast for at least three months of extensive exploring, including, hopefully, another time-away from Tamasté via train to play in New York City. Or maybe Boston. Or both.

Ghost Ranch

Among the many natural treats in the Abiquiu area is the Ghost Ranch Education and Retreat Center. Situated on a small portion of the 21,000+ acres of awe-inspiring mesas and Northern New Mexico landscapes that make up Ghost Ranch, the main compound area is a delight of scattered and varied adobe structures, some dating back to the beginnings of Ghost Ranch. Artist Georgia O’Keefe spent much of her time in the area at the Ghost Ranch acreage which inspired some of her work.

Roy Pfaffle won the property in a 1928 poker game, and his wife Carol Stanley set up Ghost Ranch as a dude ranch after her divorce from Pfaffle. She then sold it to Arthur Pack in 1935, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude for having the foresight to protect Ghost Ranch for future generations by donating it to the Presbyterian Church in 1955. The church still owns and manages the education and learning center, and continues to protect and preserve the ranch’s vast acreage. You can read more about Ghost Ranch’s diverse and deep history here and here.

Part of the Ghost Ranch compound taken on the hike up to Chimney Rock

As for me, just being around these vibrantly colored mesas, big sky views of distant mountains, including O’Keefe’s beloved Pedernal, combine with the varied adobe structures and working ranch atmosphere to offer an amazing escape from the modern world. I stayed in the RV campground here one night, but have come back for multiple day visits to explore the exhibits, eat in the dining hall, and take a five-mile breathtaking 600′ elevation-change hike up to Chimney Rock.

Chimney Rock

This place, as well as Abiquiu itself, feels like somewhere I’d like to stay for a long time. As of this writing, I’ve lingered in this area for 20 days, the longest stay in one natural place so far on my nomadic journey. It’s hard to explain to those who haven’t been here, and even harder to those who have but don’t get it, that these landscapes and histories have an energy, draw, and intense raw connection to nature making one wish they could stay and enjoy a slower, uncrowded journey through the varied days of every season.

Ghost Ranch grounds


Mystical New Mexico

I’m in the middle of a two-week boondocking span in a semi-remote area outside Abiquiu, New Mexico. Staying isolated on a friend’s land nestled between mesas, among the pinions and red dirt with vistas that melt you troubles away. So beautiful, raw, wild, and natural. So much so there’s no cellular signal here (despite my WeBoost tall antenna pole). Brief times for connectivity occur when leaving the site to visit the tiny town of Abiquiu (population 231).

That town name may ring bells for some of you, since it’s the long-time home of artist Georgia O’Keefe, along with the famous Ghost Ranch resort. There’s a long history associating her with this town located somewhat between Sante Fe and Taos. And while that population count may seem trivial, a good portion are resident/part-time artists scattered though the hills and valleys around Abiquiu.

Nighttime here is pitch black, save an infrequent set of vehicle headlights moving though the black like a slow, alien ship cruising by. Stars are, as you might expect, sprinkled in the sky overhead like salt on a black velvet tablecloth. I am going to try some night photography soon, so hopefully the outcome of that cold adventure is worth sharing soon.

This state, and especially this place, is mystical. Steeped in Native American history and presence, the stunning geography of the place has a grounding effect with its authentic essence that has to be experienced to be understood. A place like this humbles me and connects me more to nature and its power of patience through time than any other place I have experienced. There’s a draw to my soul here that’s fleeting to understand, but easy to sense something’s happening, burrowing in, and holding firm.

Hiking opportunities seem endless and each one more amazing than the last. Photos below attempt to show the stark beauty and amazing forms the geology takes, but they pale by comparison to what one sees hiking here. Days are sunny, and nights are dark and cold — perfect for reflecting on the experience and influence from walking the Earth in such a stunning place.

Lots of pictures in gallery below, and more coming soon.