THOSE ROCKY MOUNTAIN HIGHS…

Can’t resist…   

 But the Colorado rocky mountain high                                                                                                            I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky
The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullabye
Rocky mountain high (Colorado)

My cameras are no longer new and clear and not taking the photos I would like…or maybe it’s me? Susanna, Chloe and me on our September Road Trip.

NEW MEXICO…FOR BETTER OR WORSE

DSCN3212

“Billy the Kid shooting all those people over in New Mexico has made gunfighting real popular with the public.”  Larry McMurty, The Last Kind Words Saloon

So that’s how all this craziness started?

It’s hard to maintain an ongoing photo album of the immediate natural environment or the sights along the highway if you’re neither walking about or driving about. And I had such good intentions. I still intend to use this blog, Walk Abouts & Drive     Abouts to fall back in ‘small love’ (or ‘big like’) with New Mexico…which does have its own parched beauty, and summer mornings and autumn evenings are as good as anywhere. With no bugs to speak of, sometimes better. The history of this state is comprised of all those things compelling history demands—tragedy, bravery, duplicity, felicity—we were a territory of pueblos, then Mexican, then American. Manifest Destiny conquers all.

I haven’t loved it here for a number of years. Harsh culture, hot weather. Dry economy, dry weather. However it’s home and I will die here. I should try to love it again as I did the first twenty years. How to do that? Through the best of the natural environment I suppose. There are great walking trails along the Bosque, maybe in the mountains. And it is an almost perfect driving state. Space, big space, big sky. Mountains if you need a change. New Mexico’s open spaces are never boring…well almost never…because there’s always that odd outcropping over there, butte there, rain shower to the west, bright sun to the east, dust storm just ahead chasing tumbleweeds every which way…I’m making myself want to go for a drive.

DSCN3226

I can’t start the ‘loving’ project right now because I’m going on a month-long trip North, Denmark, Greenland, Norway, England.  When I get back though…

It will be August. If I can fall back in some degree of love with New Mexico in August I can do anything. Meanwhile I’m including a great FB post today from a guy named Seth Biderman.

 

Seth Biderman on Facebook13528882_1773882426181968_8298175203297575136_n (1)

ALBUQUERQUE DOWN THERE
ALBUQUERQUE DOWN THERE
SHOOTING AGAINST THE SUN
SHOOTING AGAINST THE SUN

 

 

 

Elena Gallegos Open Space

I have found my place in the foothills. And it’s only been 33 years since my last visit–which is the next story. But for now, I’m thrilled and relieved to have found a place I will love to walk and walk and walk near my new home. Just a few starter photos.

WEATHER

DSCN3308

I now live much closer to the mountains and there is more WEATHER up here. Really. Higher altitude, closer to the mountains, up high enough to see the inspiring space of the high desert.  I didn’t think I would like it; in fact I might love it.

Walk Abouts & Drive Abouts is a renewal. A previous blog called Road Trips now turned photography blog for all manner of getting around. Preferably with something photogenic in view. All these blogs replacing all my pretty-covered, college-lined notebooks. Well except for a Moleskine and a Diary and another daily journal and my Daytimer. Because…blogs have pictures.

THIS BLOG ON HOLIDAY

Blogs are like all the pretty notebooks at Office Depot. Different shapes, fonts, color combinations, formats. It is all too exciting for my own good. Having little willpower when it comes to anything to do with WORDS, I’ve acquired too many blogs.

Cutting back means I’ve eliminated one site I wasn’t using and this blog, ROAD TRIPS, will go on holiday. I’m not going anywhere in the near future–well, there is that road trip to Lubbock…but does that count as ‘anywhere?’ So any travel-related writing will go on Time and Place. Google mneset.me

Road Trip photos from 2012.

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Maybe it's a painting?
Maybe it’s a painting?
That was the drought summer.
That was the drought summer.

 

O’Keeffe Land

Lovely trip with my friend Tom to Ghost Ranch and home the back way. I’m nervous enough about The Big Trip coming up to have to remind myself what a perfect thing a road trip through beautiful land with a good friend is…Fortunately it did not take long for me to remember. More about the trip tomorrow, including that interesting little village of Abiquiu.

Meanwhile some teaser photos.An O'Keeffe tree.

An O’Keeffe tree.

This whole area was an endless source of inspiration for O'Keeffe.
This whole area was an endless source of inspiration for O’Keeffe.

DSCN1663

I admit it…it is beautiful.

PERIPHERIES

P1090014

“Your days of lengthy solo road trips are numbered,” I said to myself not so long ago. Which led to the following lively discussion.

“No, that’s not true. I have a good car, I’m a good driver, and besides heading out of town in the dawn light, gas tank full, Starbucks next to me, camera at the ready is one of my favorite things in the world.”

“Do you not remember you are getting old(er). Oh sure, maybe five more years of open road but that’s about it! And how are you going to fit that time in with that every-country-in-the-world thing you keep going on about?

“Yeah, I see what you mean. Okay, guess I’d better decide where and when to finish up the road-tripping part of my life”

I have been doing just that for the last few weeks. Driving from Barrow, Alaska, USA to Ushuaia, Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina is finally off the table. I’m sad about that but I have a new plan. Not quite as daring but at least half as interesting.

I will drive the entire periphery of the United States. The outside edges, the borders, the boundaries. How many miles I wonder? From Blaine, Washington to Hodgdon, Maine. From Hodgdon, Maine to Key West, Florida. From Key West, Florida to San Diego, California. From San Diego, California to Blaine, Washington. Always taking the roads the closest to the oceans, Canada and Mexico.

I must do this in five, at the most six, years so the east and west coasts can be done in an annual trip each, but the northern and southern borders will have to be divided into two separate jaunts each. Is this possible? Maybe.

Each segment gets a week. After all how many pictures of winding roads and cows and windmills and abandoned buildings can one take? And I’ll become very ill if I spend more than a week at a time living on Cheetos, caramel malts and fish sandwiches from you know where.

Yes, I have a plan. I think it will go into effect with a drive taking the southernmost off-the-beaten-path roads to my brother’s house in Panacea, Florida next spring. South to Las Cruces, then off the freeways and all around the edges of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, right into the Redneck Riviera of the Florida Panhandle. This may be my toughest stretch of all. Except for getting through NYC.

“Can I make a joke?”

“Sure, will it be any sillier than the idea that you can drive the periphery of America AND go to all the countries in the world before you die?”

“So as we age we keep getting more and more peripheral to other people and events. Why not be exploring geographical peripheries as I peripheralize?”

“Funny. Not. And besides peripheralize isn’t a word.”

“Now it is.”