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Category Archives: Southwest

Chimera

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From a window seat view

I watch clouds casting shadows

In puzzle-like fashion

Beauty mimicked from skies, majestic

To desolate, desert floors

In solitude they roam

Longing for home

I cushion them gently between

My thumb and pointer finger

Dreaming each piece into place

 

 

Its Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and I am your host.

You are welcome to join in! Doors open at 3 p.m. EST.

Photo taken in flight over Nevada.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Door

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Through these doors, one can only imagine the interior of Van Patten Mountain Camp, a historical resort built in 1897. It was worth the hike to see these ruins nestled in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico.

 

Related Articles:
http://lascrucesblog.com/las-cruces/2008/hiking-dripping-springs-part-2/

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Way (Destinations of New Mexico)

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Southwestern skies create a soothing back drop for miles along desert roads of New Mexico. This photo was taken on the way back from exploring the Badlands.

 

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Driving south on Highway 125 towards Las Cruces, Nogal Canyon is a slight little dip along the way.

 

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There’s one in every major desert? Hard Rock Cafe makes it’s presence known against blue skies and cacti on the way to Albuquerque.

 

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Autumn adds colour to the drab of the desert. A blurry but beautiful western scene accompanies us on the way to Socorro, NM.

 

On Dead Horse Point

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Indigo on the horizon
Cauliflower clouds
Drawn childlike
Merely touch ups
On this ancient artwork
Like a desert backdrop
I wait for the curtain to fall
To end this dream
And here lies
The beauty of reality
The reality of beauty
Am I afraid to take another step
For fear of falling off this stage?
I am but a spectator
In this production
One descending particle
Over sandstone cliffs
Where wild mustangs roamed

~

Gabriella joins the team at dVerse and inspired us to write a travel poetry piece.

This view will be forever imprinted in my brain along with the

 Legend of Dead Horse Point.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

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Dead Horse Point, Utah

Bring your worries here

Misery dies in deep canyons

Dissipating like dust

Into panoramic perspective

You are but a speck

Compared to this masterpiece

That stretches your mind

To the clouds

Your arms to the sky

Your heart to forever

Until all you feel is the wind

There is room here

~

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/room/

 

Badlands

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Out here

I could slip away

Fall through the cracks of

Time and existence

Mesmerized

By all that it is,

Unstirred and forsaken

Cosmic creation

A sweeping silence

That deafens the demons

And nourishes the soul

These are not bad lands

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Musings of a Traveller

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Does this blur have a beat?

My journey, my song

Is unwritten

Notes on pages

Lines on roads

Tarmac, tat-a-tat

Feeling kind of sick of that

Let me hear the wind

Drumming on mesas

Harmonizing layers

Of earth and sky

Tumbleweeds will try

To rock and roll my soul

And clouds can dance, you know

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Written for dVerse Poet’s Pub

This week for dVerse Poetics, our prompt was the “rhythm of the road”.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hue of You

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Terra cotta

terra cotta poem

The colour of clay has a way

Of subduing the hues in my head

Earthy tones seduce me again

So predictably

Like an organic kaleidoscope

That doesn’t need to flaunt

To get my attention

~

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/10/18/hue-photo-challenge/

50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years….#18

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#18. “Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures.”

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The last “best thing I ever ate” was a Green Chile Cheeseburger in Hatch, New Mexico.

What is green chile?

It is NOT a jalapeno.

It is NOT just a chile pepper that happens to be green. It is what it is…green chile.

There is nothing like it. The flavor is so unique and the first time I tried it, it reminded me that there is so much in life that I still need to discover!! I know, I know, it’s just green chile. My point is that along my journey of 50 (ahem) years, I have become more open to new experiences, new places, new people and new foods.

Life is too short to waste a minute saying “eww, what is that, I don’t think I will like it”.

Green chile is now a staple in our house as an addition to breakfast burritos, chicken enchiladas and my personal favourite, green chile stew.  Yes, this Canadian girl can make a mean green chile stew. Hatch has it’s own brand of green chile and you can find it by the can in many local grocery stores.  You can also buy it freshly roasted or roast it yourself!

roasting chile

My husband and I go “home” to New Mexico approximately once per year to visit his family. My father in-law has made it a tradition to drive to Hatch for the green chile cheeseburger experience. Consisting of the freshest ground beef I have ever tasted, a perfectly melted slice of cheddar and….drum roll please….a slathering of one of New Mexico’s greatest treasures…GREEN CHILE!

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 Hatch, New Mexico is located about 40 miles north of Las Cruces. Rows of red ristras dress up this quiet rural town and can be purchased for a reasonable price at many roadside markets.

Driving into Hatch, you would not expect to find any culinary magic happening here.

Actually you would not expect to find much of anything happening here.

Population:  1,680

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Then you see it…a line of people gathered in front of a small restaurant called “Sparky’s”. This speaks volumes considering the unusual array of familiar, yet unrelated statues adorning the entrance. Maybe they are there to disguise the true identity of this gem. Seating is minimal, after all.

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You can choose to dine outside with Ronald McDonald and Sparky the robot constructed from tractor parts or inside surrounded by even more whimsical decor. I know what you’re thinking, but trust me.

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Whether you find this place to be amusing or just plain odd, one thing is for sure. If you’ve been here once, you will be here again….and again.

It may be a good thing I am only in New Mexico once a year because the spicy potato wedges and old fashioned milk shakes are also delicious!

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So if you are ever in the area of Las Cruces, New Mexico, be sure to visit Hatch, the self proclaimed Green Chile Capital of the World.

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http://sparkysburgers.com/

What’s the last “best thing YOU ever ate” ?

Lessons in the Land of Enchantment (50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years)

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#11.”The best fry bread I’ve ever had was made by an elderly Navajo woman at the edge of a dusty road leading to Shiprock, New Mexico.”

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New Mexico is my other home. It was there that I met my husband and discovered a new landscape. I fell in love with both of them.

There is a peaceful feeling that I can only find there, a need to explore the rock formations and lonesome desert flowers, a desire to just sit and feel the sun caress my soul.  I have had many opportunities to see the Land of Enchantment but this particular adventure will be forever imprinted in my mind.

This was a day trip in the Four Corners Area highlighted with a visit to “Shiprock”.

We were travlling on Red Rock Highway that takes you to this glorious sight.  At the side of this deserted road, we could see the figure of an elderly woman dressed in a long dark skirt sitting by an outdoor grill of some type.  As we drove closer, I insisted that we stop. My sons were with us and I believed this was one of those “once in a lifetime, you just have to stop” moments.

Getting out of the car, the aroma of oil and bread combined was surprisingly wonderful. The desolate desert backdrop transported us to a place of long ago, of recipes passed down….a place of simplicity, family and survival.

As we approached her, she smiled slightly, which pronounced the deep wrinkles set into her weathered face. Her long hair was pulled back with a beaded barrette but the dry wind of the southwest sent it in a few different directions. As she poked at her creation in a cast iron skillet, I noticed her hands. This was a working woman. She placed the fry bread on a paper plate and handed it to us.

4708057612_c63bac4ea6I pondered about what this meant to her compared to what it meant to us.

This was her living. This was our…..hmm…..entertainment?

Fry bread was a common staple to her.

Perhaps to us it was an initiation into an unknown land that was only a privilege to visit.

We paid her the four dollars she had advertised with her cardboard sign and thanked her.  The bread was round, flat, yet puffy, soft and warm…..delicious.  Our first bite could not wait until we returned to our car. We were in the moment, cacti at our feet, surrounded by blue skies and sunshine. Most of all, I think we honored the old woman by eating it right away. It was too good to wait for.  Driving away, I thought about the way we had a brief encounter with another place, another time and then we simply moved on. We leave it there and come away with a few photos and a memory.  We carry on with our travels, our lives, our problems, our ways, but our past is someone else’s present. The native woman selling fry bread still sits there, waiting for her next customer to slow down, completely intrigued by her or maybe just hungry.

Shiprock is the name of the small town governed by the Navajo Nation as well as the amazing landmark itself.  This magnificent peak rises 1500 feet above you, but it is not the height that makes this formation unique. It stands out in an otherwise barren and flat desert plain, and the shape of Shiprock reminds me of Disneyland.  The only difference was that this magical place is real. Geologically speaking, it is a stunning tower of volcanic rock, the neck of a volcano that erupted millions of years ago, with rugged walls of lava leading out of it. To the Navajo people however, Shiprock is a sacred monument. They strictly prohibit anyone from approaching this religious and historical site that they call “Tse Btai”.  As I looked towards this masterpiece of nature and the long, dusty road towards it, my husband warned me that we could only admire it from afar. That was fine with me. As much as I love to be hands on and this mountain screamed “climb me”, I found myself scanning the wide open desert, half expecting someone of authority to jump out of nowhere or fire off a few warning shots. It was not the only thing that stopped me from getting closer to Tse Btai.  I felt a presence. It was as though a spiritual circle surrounded this beautiful creation. The Navajo have many stories and legends about their “rock with wings”. It didn’t matter what Shiprock meant to me because what it meant to others brought it to life.

This isn’t really about Shiprock.

It is about appreciating a natural wonder without touching it, without invading it, allowing the wind to be the only one to carve and caress it.

It’s about restraint and respect of others beliefs.

 

This isn’t really about the fry bread.

It’s about a quiet lady at the side of a dusty, desert road, trying to make a living and at the same time, upholding the traditional ways of her culture.

It’s about entering another world, another time, another feeling and then leaving it behind.

It’s an exchange between curiosity and a few dollars.  It’s real. It’s pure. It’s sharing at its best.

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Shiprock Oct 2003

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lava wall in sun

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