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

Discovering a real Jurassic Park

What a cool opportunity!

highland hind

P1080035A ranch. Somewhere high in north-western Montana. We’re fly fishing in the baking heat, casting for trout, listening to the trickle of clear spring creeks and glimpsing sleek, fast-moving shapes in the shadows.

It should be relaxing, but I’m distracted. I discovered in a chance conversation with the rancher’s wife earlier in the morning that at least two dinosaurs are entombed in rock on their land and she promised a ride to where the university volunteers are digging – and spending the long scorching summer.

“Yeah, they’re all living up there in the rocks, right beside the rattlers,” said the woman with a  real life Jurassic Park on her land. “Someone flew over the ranch in a hang glider years ago and discovered the site and they’ve been working on it on and off ever since.”

The Jeep bounced, rattled and shuddered its way over a track more suited to cowboys…

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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

Fathers and Sons

Marvin and Forrest Fenn

Lawrence and Dan Fogelberg

Yours and mine

    “The Leader of the Band”FogelbergBand

1942 DeKalb All Grade School Band Concert

Dan Fogelberg‘s father Lawrence

Dan certainly had a way with words-

                  “I’m Just a living Legacy to the leader of the band”

2nd verse:  “A quiet man of music
Denied a simpler fate
He tried to be a soldier once
But his music wouldn’t wait
He earned his love through discipline
A thundering, velvet hand
His gentle means of sculpting souls
Took me years to understand”

It puts me in mind of Marvin Fenn as school principal and Forrest’s tales of lessons learned.  (See the books.)

Full lyrics here: Dan Fogelberg – Leader Of The Band Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Pondering

Pondering

1972 Dinosaur National Monument

(Missing my Dad, too)

First fish?

 

The Sonnets

Forrest Fenn is writing poetry again.  I’d love to watch over his shoulder and see him at work. Is it a messy process with lots of words crossed out?  Or does he compose it in his head and only write what works? Does he adhere to form or formula?  Or is he a free spirit, free verse wordsmith?

English: Title page of Shakespeare's Sonnets (...

English: Title page of Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Photo credit Wikipedia

Apparently William Shakespeare  worried about leaving a legacy.  At least the young man narrating the Bard’s first  dozen or three sonnets did.  He stood gazing marvelously in the mirror, pondering, and concluded that he’d just have to get married and have a son. {Okay.  That’s more abbreviated than even a Cliff’s Notes version.} But, it made me think of the last chapter in Forrest Fenn’s Too Far To Walk where he gazes with marvel(?) in his mirror in a closing poem.

Legacy~~~

“Oh very young.  What will you leave us this time?” Cat Stevens

Skydiver almost hit by meteor [Video]

WordPress Echo for ThisIsIons.com

This is the first ever film of a meteorite hurling at terminal velocity towards Earth. It was filmed by skydiver Anders Helstrup who was almost struck by the object as it hurled through the sky.

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66,000 Links

 

Stair rail “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
– Henry Miller

Dinkelsbühl_stadsmuur_stadtmauerDinkelsbühl_stadsmuur_stadtmauer (Photo credit: duitsland-reisgids.nl)

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” ― Frances Burnett, The Secret Garden

This was once carved in stone above a fireplace in Wisconsin.  I only remember the first stanza—

It may be never, it may be soon, 

But I hope that it will be some afternoon.

I’ll hear a step on the creaking stair.

I’ll open the door and you’ll be there.

 

Keats's Grave, by William Bell ScottKeats’s Grave, by William Bell Scott (Photo credit: Martin Beek)

 

 

 

Kindness is the golden chain by which society ...

Kindness is the golden chain by which society is bound together. JOHANN WOLFGANG VON GOETHE ( 1749-1832 ) (Photo credit: frank carman)

Image taken from page 288 of 'Goethe's Italien...Image taken from page 288 of ‘Goethe’s Italienische Reise. Mit 318 Illustrationen … von J. von Kahle. Eingeleitet von … H. Düntzer’ (Photo credit: The British Library)

“Every day one should at least hear one little song, read one good poem, see one fine painting and — if at all possible — speak a few sensible words.” ― Goethe

 

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Whatever you can do...Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Whatever you can do or dream you can do … Begin it now (Photo credit: symphony of love)

[I’ve been in the garden, waxing poetic, and not having any luck solving the clues in THE Poem…..]