Thursday, June 9, 2011
Day 8. June 8, 2011-Santa Fe, NM
Meet Aimee, Audra, Jana and Lisa, my very cool campground neighbors at Black Canyon near Santa Fe, NM. They are taking a girlfriend get-away from the heat of Norman, OK. Aimee’s an art therapist, Audra a painter and high school art instructor, Jana a former Habitat for Humanity employee now going to start a grant writing and non-profit consulting business with Lisa, formerly a director of a homeless shelter. How lucky am I to have this campsite!
It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a day since the smothering heat of the Sand Hills of Texas. Here in the canyon, the elevation is high and the air cool and piney. I’m wearing a sweater at the campsite, with Etta at my side. She’s suddenly perky, and pulling to get to a campfire nearby that’s cooking meat. My headspace has cleared. The anxiety and nerves are gone.
The journey today was a monochrome trek through varieties of desert flatland. I stopped at Pecos TX near the New Mexico border to acknowledge the heritage of cowboys. The West of Pecos (river) Museum commemorates the city where the first rodeo was held.
Onward into New Mexico, mountain time, more miles of dry brush and a target-practice-welcome-sign that I much prefer to the fancy state signs at the official Welcome Centers.
Etta and I stopped for lunch at an abandoned truck weigh station outside of Loving, NM. It was already 100 degrees. My body and mind do not like this climate. I saw my first tumbleweed blow across the road and a dust twister that ran alongside me as I drove out of Carlsbad.
In silence I plowed through miles of rolling desert highway interrupted occasionally by an oasis of irrigated farmland, or groves of pecan trees.
We stared at signs but did not go to a lake in the desert, or to see UFOs in Roswell, NM.
In the late afternoon, the landscape morphed into hillocks and little red mesas pushing up out of the ground. The San Andreas Mountains shimmered in the haze far off to my left. The Sangre de Christo Mountains and canyons of Santa Fe stretched out their promise of blessed relief. I am not disappointed.
I did not deliver any Hand to Hand Project artwork today. If you are unfamiliar with H2H, find out more at http://www.handtohandproject.com/