I suspect a lot. I’m so close to ditching everything I own and moving to a trailer in the desert. Here’s a great read in the NYT on living with less. I’d head to Santa Fe if I did. I fell in love with the place a few years ago and still toy with the idea of moving down there. I have so much crap I need to get rid of, I really need to simplify my life.
(I’m…erm… borrowing this photo off the Web but it links to the source)
Yes, the dirt really is pink like that. In fact, this picture is a lot less pink than it is in real life.
I can hardly describe the sense of elation I felt while there. I drove over the Rio Grande River at one point and squealed like a child. I’d heard the name so often in old westerns that it had taken on almost mythological proportions in my mind. Here are some shots I took in Bandelier National Monument, which is just outside Los Alamos (where the Los Alamos National Laboratory is located, and the Manhattan Project happened).
As I drove in the road wound past some smouldering, recently burned areas, some of which were flaring up. When I got to the kiosk to pay to enter the park I mentioned to the ranger there about the flames. He brushed it off, saying they had just done a controlled burn, and it would take awhile for everything to completely go out. Dubiously I accepted this and went on. Two weeks after I was there a major fire swept through that consumed the park and did some damage at the Lab. As I understand it, it was caused by still-smouldering embers from that controlled burn. Luckily I missed it.
My penchant for taking photographs as I drove probably started here.
I parked here when I first got into the park. I had the place to myself for awhile, and just sat on a rock listening to the breeze, sunning myself like a lizard. Then a couple other cars came so I went on.
Santa Fe is high desert, elevation 7,260 feet, so it’s not like Death Valley. There’s a lot of vegetation here, birds in the trees. There was a stream just behind where this was taken, I think. They also get a fair amount of snow in the winter.
Some of the ruins of a ceremonial area.
A marvelous tree.
Top photo is a kiva, a ceremonial a ceremonial cave, built way up in the cliff wall. Seriously, it was 140′ up wooden ladders to get to it. I wasn’t really prepared for hiking that day, I was in sandals, carrying a purse, but by god I was going up. I had no idea when I might ever be back there so I did it. I felt the elevation difference, though, it was tough going for someone accustomed to life at sea-level. The view from up there is quite breathtaking, and well worth the climb. (these last two photos are actually postcards, I don’t know where my photos are that I took from up there). It’s nice to be reminded what blue sky looks like.
If I could find a way to support myself there I would have moved down years ago. And I’d get to use my telescope, which I hardly ever do here in rainy Oregon.