We drove some 2,500 feet above our home in Santa Fe to 9,750 above sea level near Santa Fe’s ski basin. There were so many cars that when you saw them all parked along the road you would think it would be a nightmare, but not at all. There are so many paths and different ways to walk that you only see a few other hikers. Of course, we were there on a Sunday afternoon and if you go on a weekday, just like the beach, there is plenty of parking and many fewer people.
That is the downside of a state as beautiful as New Mexico, people keep wanting to see it for themselves! My wife keeps telling me “we need the tourists” because it is an important part of the economy.
Down where we live only about a mile three-quarters above sea level all is in bloom at this time of year. The color coming from the autumn sun and much of the color comes from the Chamisa, a beautiful yellow-blooming weed. Since every good thing has a counter negative, it is that the whole town is sniveling and sneezing from allergies! (Maybe that will scare away the tourists
At this time of year even the parking lots have beautiful patches of color. Here is an image from an industrial part of town and another from a professional office area. It is all about the desert landscape, the blue blue skies with the amazing cloud patterns that they would look made up if found in a painting.
Along the path we walked between the aspens there were secluded picnic tables, sometimes occupied. At one there was a woman with 2 dogs feeding them lunch. When we found a table to ourselves we discovered a brook running down the mountain bouncing over the fallen tree branches and rocks making a wonderful sound.
Having spent most of my life in a city where in winter you searched out what side of the street you might find the sun, if you were lucky enough to be out at mid-day. On the sweltering days of summer you desperately searched out the shady side. If you were not near a park the only view would be shops and tall buildings that allow no more than a peek at the sky and maybe some shops.
In the Southwest at high altitudes the heat is dry and it remains warm in the sun even as temperatures drop. As the season changes we have vast expanses of land colored in green and gold that absorb the mind. When you look up at the sky and see the deep blue contrasted with the yellow of the sun-lit leaves and trees, all physical concerns desert you.
In graduate school my wife had a professor who said that their papers “had to walk on their footnotes.” I think we will let this missive walk on its images!