SRT RSS Feed

Abiquiu, New Mexico

I always feel late to the party. Never having an urge to follow trends or trendsetters, I confess to harboring a secret desire to be cool, and/or the first to write about a place few have experienced. Oh I realize there’s really no place left where I could be first and I understand the ‘Momconsolation’ about any place having the capacity to be lent a factor of cool just by having viewed it from your own unique perspective, “dear”.

But still.

I just discovered Northern New Mexico. Really?

Northern New Mexico

Northern New Mexico

Following that with another shocking fact– it’s not Wyoming. But I love it like that.

To contrast the two in a broad sweep, my favorite region of Wyoming, the Teton/Yellowstone region, is male. The Rio Chama valley, female.

The Teton/Yellowstone area is an in-your-face jack, masculine, egocentric, chest-thumping, robustly virile environment. The topography is massive, imposing, bigger than life. The mountains are mighty, the mammals large, the water flows fiercely. You do things here that are dangerous, macho, vigorously physical, and more often than not, controversial. Vistas overtly fight for attention; not one component is subtle in its call to attention. An arrogance of survival and natural selection permeates the thin air. The largest volcanic caldera on the planet lies chugging underfoot. The area lends itself well to rap lyrics.  Not only is it male, it’s 14 year old male.

Rio Chama River

Rio Chama River

As I look around from a perch on a ridge in the Rio Chama valley, I see that the high-desert environment is also vigorous. The elements here, if not respected will kill you, but quietly so and without fanfare. Strength without intelligence to match is punished by this environment. It’s also make-a-grown-man-cry beautiful. But the beauty here is erudite. Abstract. Humble. The primary colors of the earth are riotous but gently turn your head with their rebellious outbursts; nothing here yanks obnoxiously at your lapels.  Life is older; wiser. Long deep breaths are induced during sweeping, lazy gazes at the horizon. Where the Tetons are brute force and prideful in the face of their aging, Northern New Mexico is heartbreakingly fragile and makes no apologies for it.  It’s Pavarotti. Not only is it female, it’s an old, eloquent, eccentric woman that everyone wants to be when they grow up.

Taos New Mexico

West of Taos, somewhere

On the October road trip, I drove west trip from Taos with the intent of not stopping until I had driven the truck into Arizona and made a U-turn. Abiquiu (Ab-i-que) stole those plans. Then made me like the change-up.  I arrived here and didn’t leave for 4 days.

New Mexico

New Mexico

Abiquiu New Mexico

Northern New Mexico

Abiquiu New Mexico

Colorful New Mexico

Other New Mexico related posts in this series:

The Abiquiu Inn

Abiquiu – The Penitente Morada

Abiquiu – Plaza Blanca

Abiquiu – The Dar al Islam Mosque

Abiquiu

The Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail

New Mexico Travel Sites:

Hatch Chile Festival – September 3,4, 2011

New Mexico Tourism

Where to buy hatch chiles

Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.

The Abiquiu Inn

Seldom does my choice of lodging impact the road trip.  I come away with hardly a memory of where I slept.  The stipulations of clean, cheap and quiet aren’t exactly fodder for a story about architectural elements, or the rarity of the wood used, or how the original paintings made the room museum like.  I don’t plan to be in the room long enough to enjoy such decorative perks; subsequently I darn sure don’t want to pay for them.

There are the road trip nights spent at motels like the Cozy Motel that spawn and spin memorable yarns that emanate from something other than the IPE deck surrounding the private hot tub.  Like way colorful characters.  And a lapse of observation skills on my part.  But those sand man related moments are rare.

The Abiquiu Inn, Abiquiu, New Mexico was the only visible lodging in the area.  I broke a rule allowing dark to find me before I’d found a place to sleep.  Reason enough to check in the first night. But I continued my stay for the 2nd and 3rd nights.

Because of this.

The Abiquiu Inn

The Abiquiu Inn

The Abiquiu Inn

And this.

Dried Chiles

Tractor Crossing

I’m partial to tractor crossings.

And this. The breakfast.

Eggs Benedict

New Mexican Eggs Benedict – perfectly cooked eggs rest on dense and moist corn cakes, topped by mole sauce, bacon and goat cheese. More, please.

And this.  The towels. And Kiva fireplace.

The Abiquiu Inn

great towels and good water – two simple pleasures on road trips

Other New Mexico related posts in this series:

The Abiquiu Inn

Abiquiu – The Penitente Morada

Abiquiu – Plaza Blanca

Abiquiu – The Dar al Islam Mosque

Abiquiu

The Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail

New Mexico Travel Sites:

Hatch Chile Festival – September 3,4, 2011

New Mexico Tourism

Where to buy hatch chiles

Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.

Abiquiu – Plaza Blanca

Plaza Blanca, or the ‘white place’, rests protected and guarded in a valley of the Rio Chama hills.  Made famous by a 1940 painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, the sense inside the walls and spires of white sandstone is that it’s been long forgotten; so lonely that it whispers to itself for company. And for the pleasure of an experience like that on a planet with nearly 7 Billion people, the short trek is well worth it.

The White Place

Plaza Blanca late day

Having hiked in 3 times during the Abiquiu road trip, if you’re wanting to photograph this place, late afternoon presents the most dramatic lighting.

The White Place

Plaza Blanca, The White Place. Taken at 5:48 pm in November.

The White Place

Plaza Blanca. Taken late in the day, mid November.

Not that a morning hike can’t yield something worthwhile… they just take a little more work in the darkroom.

The White Place

Plaza Blanca in the morning, 9:06 am.

The White Place

Plaza Blanca taken at 8:31 am, mid November.

The White Place

Plaza Blanca in the morning.

Now that I see my photos side by side, forget what I said earlier about late afternoon. You can’t go too early or the sun won’t have crested the horizon enough to light the area. Same goes with evening – too late and it’s all shadow.

Carry a small backpack and water. Don’t take too much photography gear else you’ll miss the point of the place.  Which is something you’ll figure out once in there (the important thing to know is that there IS a point).  Me – I thought about dying in there and the tragedy of missing out on another Bode’s green chili cheeseburger but quickly jumped to how hard it is to fix our shortcomings but we can do a darn good job with well placed patches, that my camera gear was a burden, how interesting the miniature spires mimicking the big ones were and that several phallic symbols were prominent, the footprints I keep seeing could be God’s, yikes is that a coyote, look at the rabbit, I need to see the eye doctor when I get home, cursing how hard the rocks are as I lie back while the sun warmed my face and the air tickled my hair, the camera gear forgotten, death replaced by life, tears at the beauty, solitude whispers, the peace and quiet everywhere, including my head.

The White Place

Plaza Peace

Other New Mexico related posts in this series:

The Abiquiu Inn

Abiquiu – The Penitente Morada

Abiquiu – Plaza Blanca

Abiquiu – The Dar al Islam Mosque

Abiquiu

The Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail

New Mexico Travel Sites:

Hatch Chile Festival – September 3,4, 2011

New Mexico Tourism

Where to buy hatch chiles

Join the Road Trip Revolution at the Solo Road Trip Facebook Fan Page, here.

 

 

The Grand Climb

 

Tammie DooleyAbout SRT... I’m a traveler, writer and photographer for whom the open road frequently summons. Adventurous solo road trips are a staple for me, and a curiosity. So I created this website to share them and inspire you to step out and give them a try. Welcome!

A soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone – Wolfgang Von Goethe

  • Categories

     

  •  

    Connect with SRT

    RSS Connect on Twitter

    Subscribe by Email
    Email me
    Become a SRT Facebook Fan
    Follow me on Twitter
    See my photos on Flickr

    I want to hear from you!
    ~ Tammie

     

    World Reviewer adventure travel blogs

     

    Solo Road Trip on Facebook