Scouting New Mexico

My first visit to New Mexico was brief, less than 24 hours.  I came down from Colorado on the dark side of the mountains one night and was glad to arrive (safely) at the hotel in Santa Fe.  Not until morning did I try to find Fenn’s place.  I had the address.  I had GPS.  I had an invitation.  But.  The car was leading me out of town, back into the mountains.  The streets were one way this way and that.  And narrow.  No view.  Claustrophobic.

I’d allowed plenty of time but it was fading fast.  Aha, I thought.  I’ll go to the bookstore.  They must know where Forrest lives.  When I asked the nice guy behind the counter in Collected Works, he said, “Why don’t you just call him?  He’s in the phonebook.”  I said just point me in the right direction.  I made it on time and there he was, just like he says in the book. to show you care.

Cactus

Cactus

I had to head home then, and didn’t explore the mountains north of Santa Fe, or even Santa Fe, for that matter.  And between you and me, I was relieved to be out in the open sky again.  I’m not a desert person.  I don’t get it.  Give me green;  changing seasons;  trees.

Book Signing at La Fonda

Still, when the approval/opportunity came up to return for one of Forrest’s book signings, I jumped at it.  Leaving in the midst of harvest?  Well, I’d pay the piper later.  Short notice, but what did I need to pack, really?  Camera, phone, the book to be signed.  Good to go.

About halfway to Santa Fe, the climate changes, the trees disappear, the dirt turns red.  Very red, and it was flying where the farmers worked it.  And of course, it was hot when I left and got hotter the further west I went.

Blue Hole details

First tourist stop?  The Blue Hole I’d read about.  It would make living in the desert bearable.  Almost.  If I scuba dived.

Cold Water in Blue Hole

Cold Water in Blue Hole

Another thing that makes it bearable, is altitude.  (It turns out my car’s GPS does have an altimeter, after all.  Wish I’d noticed it on my last trip to the Rocky Mountains, where I was gauging altitude by how short of breath I was.)  By the time I hit 6,000 feet above sea level, Santa Fe, in other words, it was a bit cooler and a lot livelier.  So.  I had two or three days, depending on an incomplete arrangement, to explore the land of enchantment.

First up, the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway loop around the mountains above Taos.  It was by (fortunate) chance that I chose to drive the loop clockwise that Sunday, since there was some sort of mountain bike event and dozens of bikers were taking it counter-clockwise.  Nine or ten thousand feet above sea level –  I don’t know how they do it.  (A couple of them looked like they were wondering if they could do it.)  My car didn’t care for the altitude, either.  The capless fuel flap didn’t want to give.  Thank you, kind station attendant!

P1000309I knew I wanted to visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Angel Fire. (See this post.)

And this.San Francisco de Assissi Mission Church in Rancho de Taos

And then I thought I’d stop at the Rio Grande Visitor Center on my way back to Santa Fe, but I made a wrong turn and ended up here.

Ojo Calientes

Facing this,

One lane bridge

One lane bridge

and, nearby, Bears Again

Seriously.  Bears, again?

Actually, it wasn’t bears that scared me away.

New Mexico Museum of Art

New Mexico Museum of Art

I stuck to Santa Fe proper on Monday and saw the most amazing “painting” made of found things (think Forrest’s Holiday Ornament Contest) in the New Mexico Museum of Art.  Pansy Stockton  (1895 – 1972) used things like bark, moss, twigs, and so forth and created beautiful images that from a distance looked finely painted.  The one on display was of a waterfall, and the milkweed silk gleamed perfectly as falling water.

Pirates

Pirates – Captain Hawkes Sets Sail

Bronze Elk

As I played tourist, I scouted for parking for the evening event at La Fonda, remembering the difficulty I’d had on my first visit to Santa Fe.

Miracle Stairway

Miracle Stairway

Monday evening was the book signing and the chance to meet some fellow treasure seekers, one of whom brought a box of fabulous French pastries to share!

La Fonda Blaze

La Fonda Blaze

Arrangements fell into place for Tuesday evening, so I had the day to explore more of the mountains north of Santa Fe.

66,000 Links North of Santa Fe

66,000 Links North of Santa Fe

Audubon Primitive Fat Tire Trail Etiquette

In particular, the Ski Basin and the Audubon park.

Bold BoulderIn the WoodsRock BandTrail Marker

National Forest

And then, when it was time to head home, I saw the blaze.

Morning Blaze Over Santa Fe

Morning Blaze Over Santa Fe

Do, do, do, looking out my backdoor…. (CCR)

Red moon

Red moon

For a very cool montage of Forrest Fenn created by Iron Will, see this over on Dal’s blog—   http://dalneitzel.com/2015/04/04/scrapbook-one-hundred-thirty-five/#comments

Another winter gone and I haven’t gotten any closer to the solve.   Still pondering. . . .

From a former back door…

Maybe I need one of these tools:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Horus_Sundials_Portable_Horizontal_Sundial.jpg

Panther-Passing-Across-The-Sky

I love a good meteor shower.  And I once stayed up with the kids to watch the Russian Mir fly over.  Pretty cool.  I missed Friday night’s sky show here, but it put me in mind of a story which circles around to broken potsherds.  Well, I guess all sherds are from broken pots, and Forrest has a slew of them in his backyard and at San Lazaro.

According to Alan Eckert in The Frontiersman, the night Tecumseh was born, March 9, 1768, a brilliant meteor flashed across the sky.   This shooting star was, according to the old tales, The Panther, a great spirit passing over seeking a home in the south and it was a good sign.  The Shawnee newborn was, therefore, named Tecumseh,  The-Panther-Passing-Across.

English: Possibly a painting of Tecumseh, the ...

English: Possibly a painting of Tecumseh, the Shawnee Indian who tried to unite all Native Americans to defend themselves from the growing Unites States of America. (Photo credit: Wikipedia 

 

Tecumseh’s brother was called the Prophet, but according to the author, Tecumseh himself foretold the coming New Madrid earthquake several years before the event.  In addition, another great meteor blazing across the sky  would be a sign for the tribes to begin the countdown to the earthquake, which was itself the sign for them to gather as one to defend their land against the Americans.

Tecumseh had given each tribe a slab of red cedar with symbols on it and a bundle of red sticks.   Each month they were to toss one stick away.  When there was one stick left, they were to watch for the sign.

Just before midnight on November 16, 1811, the flash of light came out of the southwest and crossed to the northeast.   The chiefs were to cut the last stick into thirty pieces when they saw the meteor.

At 2:30 am on December 16, 1811, the earth shook, from the south of Canada where the Great Lakes sloshed,  to the western plains where bison stampeded and earthen vessels shattered.  And those tribes that kept their pledge headed for Detroit.

An observer in Louisville recorded 1,874 separate quakes between December and March.  The diary of George Crist is compelling reading:

16 December 1811 —“It was still dark and you could not see nothng.  I thought the shaking and the loud roaring would never stop…..I don’t know how we lived through it….”

23 January  1811 —“What are we gonna do?  You cannot fight it cause you do not know how….We lost our Amandy Jane in this one…. A lot of people think the devil has come here…..”

8 February 1812  —  “If we do not get away from here the ground is going to eat us alive….”

20 March 1812  —  “We still have not found enough animals to pull the wagons and you can not find any to buy or trade.”

14 April 1813  —  “We lived to make it to Pigeon Roost…..From December to April no man…would dare to believe what we lived through.”

Another great eyewitness account was written in March 1816 and published in 1849:  Lorenzo Dow’s Journal.

Can you say, “Teremoto“?

But, back to the pottery.  I’ve been digging deep in the chapter of Too Far To Walk, the one where Charmay and Forrest are doing archaeology at San Lazaro.   Not to put too fine a point on it, I was going to email Forrest about another rabbit trail I was on.

Now, I’ve always been a bit cryptic about my ideas, even when emailing him.  Not that I didn’t trust him.   I do.    I just figured  some 12-year-old whiz kids could tap into people’s communications, if they so chose.  Have I been cryptic enough?   Too cryptic.  Hmmm.

So.

Sorry.

You read all this way and it’s a dead end.  No clues for you.

No.  Really.  Sorry.

Fade to music:  Gordon Lightfoot singing “If You Could Read My Mind, Love, What A Tale My Thoughts Would Tell…..”

From Forrest Fenn’s Collection See more at Old Santa Fe Trading Co dot com

Or, Kermit, the Frog, singing “The Rainbow Connection”

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Friday Foto Talk: Photographing Rainbows

Rainbows make me smile.
The pot at the end of Forrest Fenn’s Rainbow? I’d be more than smiling.

Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest

Forrest Fenn’s Treasure Chest

MJF Images

A rare morning rainbow in the desert graces my campsite one morning on the Baja Peninsula, Mexico.  Click for purchase options. A rare morning rainbow in the desert graces my campsite one morning on the Baja Peninsula, Mexico. Click for purchase options.

With springtime right around the corner, the weather in many areas, including here in the Pacific Northwest, will be ‘unsettled’, prime conditions for one of my favorite things: rainbows!  Throughout the world’s temperate regions in fact, the change of seasons that is about to happen results in clashes of warm & cool air masses.  That means frequent showery weather and a sky that’s often broken into clear and cloudy parts.  When the sun is relatively low in the sky, whether morning or late afternoon, and there is precipitation in the area, you’ve got the perfect setup for rainbows.

By the way, all these images are copyrighted and not available for free download without my permission.  They are small versions anyway.  Click on the image you’re interested in to go…

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Serendipity II — Right Time, Right Place, Right Stuff

How much pure luck or chance do you think it will take to find Forrest Fenn‘s “blaze“?

So often, it’s the unanticipated that turns out to be the treasure.

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A full moon.

A shuttle launch.

A fortunate location.

Serendipity II close 1

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Thor (-ium) Ablaze // Road Food

Miss Muffet

Miss Muffet

{Not a happy post.  Not a Fenn treasure post.}

When I packed for my road trip to search for the treasure chest, I filled a cooler with frozen juices, healthy food, waters, and even falafel mix. (I know, but when you’re trying to dine gluten-free and non-GMO and non-ractopamine, etc, etc, what are you going to do? )

It was a cooler apparently in name only, and with the 105 degree days, I was adding copious amounts of ice within 48 hours.  I ran low on my rations early on, but once I hit Wyoming, I started ordering steak salads,  (and was never disappointed!)

Thor (Marvel Comics)

Okay.  So how does this relate to Thor, you ask?

—  See prior post– a reblog of Regenaxe’s Nuclear Fire.  It gave me pause.

Once upon a time, I was avidly against nuclear power plants.  After Three-Mile-Island, I was ardently antinuke.  Post Chernobyl–fervently  so.

As I said, I thought it was difficult to eat on the road and avoid gluten and gmo’s (biotech)  and other toxins.  Now, post-Fukishima, I find it hard to eat even at home.

Grocery shopping:  I hesitate to buy seafood now.  Pasture-raised meat and dairy?  Doesn’t excite me like it used to.

Can I even find non-gmo corn products?  Only if it’s organic, and now I’m not even sure about that.

Does it really only have to be 95% Gmo-free by weight to be considered organic?  Just how much can an engineered gene weigh?  And I just read that organic doesn’t mean Round-Up free, either.  What the ….?

Remember that first week after the tsunami and the reports of spikes in the  readings starting on the West coast, and then the East?  And then, no more news?

We’re sort of ‘fuked’.

So, back to Thor.

THOR

A couple weeks ago I heard an interview on the radio.  Someone promoting a book promoting nuclear power.  Before changing channels though, I heard enough to be interested.

Thorium reactions can’t go critical (into meltdown mode) and create maybe only 10% of the waste  current technologies produce.  Not a bad thing.

While China and India are pursuing this technology,  America is burying thorium as a waste product.  (Somewhere, I guess.)

Other minds know more about this.  The book is Thorium–energy cheaper than coal by Robert Hargraves.

Is it too late?  Who knows.  With three reactors in meltdown and spent rod cooling ponds running out of water storage space across the ocean, and fish freaking me out on the scale of their radioactivity, I kind of try to ignore it.

No Fishing Allowed

No Fishing Allowed

When Japan got hit and the news trickled out, I sent my kids emails and told them to eat seaweed and kelp.  Not that they listened, but it was the least I could do.  Now I won’t be buying any more seaweed products either, not that I was a big fan.  I still have some pre-Fukishima capsules.

Okay.  Back to the Chase.  I need some fun.

Nuclear Fire

RegenAxe

There was a total eclipse of the sun yesterday, but unless you were hundreds of miles off the US Atlantic coastline, there was no chance for North Americans to see this eclipse in its totality. If you were on the eastern seaboard, you could enjoy the partial eclipse version of this celestial event, but we here in the Midwest were too far inland to see anything. I have seen one total eclipse in my life, in 1979; I flew up to Manitoba in February to witness it, not exactly a peak tourist season there. Last year, there was a mini-eclipse of sorts, the transit of Venus. I was able to photograph it from the front yard. Last month, at the U-City Circle in a Square quilt show, Jerri Stroud displayed her The Transit of Venus quilt. All of these astronomically themed pictures are simply preamble to what I really want…

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