Friday, April 29, 2016

Tripping (out) in Abiquiu

There is a place where dogs lay about in the warmth
of November sun. Where a stream catches shards of light
before reflecting them back up into the cottonwoods.
A place where dwellings quietly crumble into the dust of centuries.
Where wooden crosses grow in their Spanish garden.

Where the forbidden welcomes only those who understand.
Where piƱon smoke wafts and curls its way to join
white clouds in a brilliant blue sky. Where the old ones
peer out of soot-darkened corners, their gnarled hands grasping turquoise
like old cedar trees holding together piles of rocks.

There is a place where countless footsteps catch countless more.
Where silent hawks circle high above; their spirals pulling spirit into the sky.
Death is always nearby here. I come here to die, as I have before.
To shed the unnecessary things, to waste away until
the dust swirls by to gather up the pieces of old skin I’ve left behind.

~ D. Stribling

The red clay road leading down to the banks of the Rio Chama River was like quicksand.
The place we wanted to set up camp and call home for three days was impossible to get to that day.
If it wasn't raining, it was hailing. And then it snowed. And snowed. Everything was cold and grey.
About a quarter of a mile down the road we met a jeep full of monks from the monastery. The Christ in the Desert Monastery was just a couple of miles further than our primitive camp site destination. It's a place I had been to before and wanted to show Cathi this peaceful abbey tucked into the mountains, on a river at the end of a red dirt road. I wanted to be there again. It had been calling me to go back.
The brothers warned us, "unless you have a high clearance jeep, you cannot get past."
Reluctantly, I turned my Subaru around with Cathi following behind in her Prius.
We drove to Ghost Ranch to discuss plan B.
We bought books in the gift shop and chatted with the girl behind the counter. She was helpful in suggesting the only other place to camp in the area.
We ended up on a bluff overlooking Abiquiu lake.
The flat topped Mesa called the Pedernal.
Georgia said "It's my private mountain, It belongs to me. God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it."
She did make many paintings of it, and her ashes were scattered on top.
We pitched the teepee tent with the flap opening up to Pedernal mountain.
My longtime friend, Cathi. Desert girl. Woman of the Rio Chama.
She drove from Tucson to meet me in Georgia O'Keeffe country.
We spent the majority of our time in the teepee sharing stories, reading, snacking on bread & cheese, fruit, and chocolate. We waited for the weather to change. Cathi would open the canvas flap every now and then...I'd say "what's it doing now?" She'd give me the look..."still snowing."
I was wishing I had a jet boil. You can use those inside a tent, can't you?
On our last night camping in Abiquiu, we decided to go out to eat somewhere. Cabin fever was setting in. We were cold. The temperature was 27 degrees. We were out of Saguaro bread!
At the Abiquiu Inn, we nestled up to the Kiva fireplace and enjoyed a plate of tostadas and hot peppermint tea. We lingered for hours. We even talked about getting a room there! Ha!
But, like brave women of the Rio Chama canyons, we crawled back into our teepee, covered ourselves up in Mexican blankets and giggled ourselves to sleep.
We awoke at sunrise, with the Raven singing a new day and leaving us feathers.
She brought me homemade bread with a Saguaro design.
She is an Animal Medicine card reader. She's been reading my future for twenty-one years.
Based on the signs the natural world sends us and the great wisdom animals give us, readings guide the way to healing the body, emotions, mind and spirit, and provide insight into and understanding of one’s unique purpose.
The first card I picked was the Badger.
If Badger has pushed it's way into your cards today, it may be telling you that you have been too meek in trying to reach some goal. The power of Badger's medicine is aggressiveness and the willingness to fight for what it wants. They do not give up.

I also chose Whale: Acknowledge your mission. Trust your path. Become your chosen destiny.

Dolphin: Breath of life

Buffalo: Prayer and abundance

Earthship community outside Taos.
Boat on an ocean of sage. Before the storm.
Driving back home in a blizzard. But, when I saw this herd of elk I didn't care!
Wild Horse Mesa in southern Colorado

And this band of brothers. I wouldn't have missed it for anything.



  1. For someone who doesn't like being cold you are one tough woman! Beautiful pictures and a true adventure.
    And you found more horses. Beautiful, wild snowy horses! That's a special place:-)
    Love following your free spirit all over the place:-)

    1. Let me tell you, if I had known it was going to SNOW in NM in April, I would not have gone. The weather forecast predicted none of that. (Figures)
      We had planned that trip way in advance and I got that time off from work...
      Average temps for Abiquiu in April is 70 degrees! Well, at least 60.
      I'm not that tough. But, I'm not a quitter, either. ;)
      Love that you're here!

  2. Hello, my friend :) always god to see your poetic posts. The feather picture in particular is quite poetic! And I LOVE the snowy horse pics :) sending you greetings from Germany!

  3. This is magical magnificent beyond wildest imagination....I want to go there with you xoxoxo

    1. Let's! We could reserve one of those earthships through Airbnb!
      And y'know what? There is NO traffic, Mona. Far far away from LA! ;)

  4. Just wow! I wish you gals could've had warmth and sunshine ..... So awesome to see and hear about your adventure in the gorgeous GOK country. I did not know her ashes were spread there - it looks like she was floating about the Mountain. Warm hugs Prairie Sis!

    1. GOK was e v e r y w h e r e...!!!!!!

  5. :) *sigh* Wow!!! Heavenly and free...

  6. You and Abiquiu. Perfect match. And it's a good thing you visited when you's been hotter that heck lately and waaay too windy!

    1. I agree...we were made for eachother. Hehe.
      I don't mind the heat. Not one bit.
      But the wind? I've had just about all I can take of that nonsense. ;)

  7. ohmygosh....the horses in the snow!!

    lovin' the muted colours of that region....

    1. That was the best part of my trip! :)