Wait…there is no spring here, at least not one a northerner would consider worthy of the name. Here we go from bare branches to full blown leaves with no pause for odes to the season in between. That may be an exaggeration but not by much. No falling icicles, no rich earthy smells as the sun and melting snow instigate the Big Spring Thaw, no muddy roads or mud vacations. But the wind…oh yes, the spring wind…that we have. April wind is to the high desert what April showers are to the north—except for the part about May flowers. However, I am gradually re-learning to re-love every sunny dust mote of this sometimes magical, sometimes annoying place.
Sara will graduate high school. Sara will start college. Sara is no longer a cheerleader. But back when she was (up until two weeks ago) what a lithe and pretty presence on the playing fields and courts of Albuquerque. Now, however it’s off to UNM and the next move toward real life. I want to tell her over and over to treasure college and classes and books and the belongingness that college can represent—but whether she turns out to be a perpetual student like me or a normal human being who enjoys moving toward a useful profession, and yet another new stage of life, I hope she finds it exciting and satisfying.
Here are a few photos from the Sara’s last cheerleading competition. Her team didn’t win and she had a horrible cold but she carried on and made us proud.
Thanks to Friend Beth’s invitation I walked/climbed 6.6 miles/1162 feet yesterday. Now granted I wasn’t appropriately grateful on some of those long uphill stretches but nine hours in bed and a pain pill later I am ready to offer up an earnest thank you. One of those goldy fall days, nice people, such a much better way to spend a day off than binging on netflix (really!) Here’s a two-part photo album: The Big Picture and Up Close and Personal:
BIG PICTURE: SANDIAS WITH FALL COLOR FADING INTO AUTUMN BROWNS AND GRAYS.
UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL:
I walked the 10K Walk of the Duke City Marathon 2016. Did It. Who knew it would be so much harder to walk steadily and quickly (for me) for 10K than just to amble along taking photos every few yards? It Was Very Hard. But hey, I was second in my age/sex group—out of two of us! And I’m not sure what the overall categories represent but I was 76th out of 109 in the Division and 60th out of 85 in Gen (?) Rank. I realize that’s probably a C- and I’ve never considered myself a C kind of person (overlooking my Math Sat scores). However, considering I spent years living on mac n cheese and cigarettes; never ever playing a sport or going near a gym until recent times, I’ll take C.
My daughter-in-law Michele went way into serious running for her first time with the Half-Marathon—finishing hardly out of breath. Her foray into all this healthy living is fairly recent also but with the sweat on her brow barely dry yesterday she was already talking full Marathon next year!.
There you have it…another perfectly good weekend wasted on healthful activity outdoors in gorgeous fall weather when we could have been watching porn on the news channels.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
Those last road photos. The visual diary of the road home, complete with my usual dead bug enhancement.