new mexico

road tripping [part iii]

Sometimes, things don't go according to plan. No matter how carefully scheduled one's itinerary is, it seems that God always has something different in mind. Case in point: I had planned to post this last night, but Blogger crashed, deleting nearly everything I'd done. Then wildfires broke out five miles from us (one of which has grown to over ninety thousand acres since its start three days ago), forcing us to rethink our journey.

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 Smoke billowed from the blazes, the plumes raising to thirty thousand feet above the ground. Everything was bathed in a strange orange glow and the smell of smoke was strong in the air.

So I'm back in Taos, though this time I'm tapping at my keyboard from a cozy hotel room instead of watching the sun slip behind the mountains. While I'm a bit disappointed we didn't make it to Santa Fe, due to the severity of the smoke there as well as evacuees, Taos has by far been my favorite stop in New Mexico.

at taos pueblo
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There were times when the city girl in me reared her head, lamenting over the dust that seemed to find its way into everything, the gnats constantly buzzing, the walks to the bathroom in the darkness of night (where MeMe ran across a rattlesnake one night...eek).

on top of chimney rock

But then there were moments like seeing the world spread out before you after hiking to the top of a mesa seven hundred feet above the ground – it made the bugs and dirt worth it. Heights make my palms damp and heart race, but while balanced (slightly precariously) on the edge of a rock, gazing at everything below me, it wasn't quite so bad.

lilly
pensive [179/365]

The temperature – which, we were told, was unseasonably high – dipped for a few hours, giving us some time to go to a lake. The water was choppy from the wind, and against a backdrop of smoke shrouded mountains, it was beautiful. I sat on a rock jutting out over the water, absorbing my surroundings. The wind snarled and twisted my hair into knots, but at that moment it didn't matter.

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Today we being the trek home. These past nine days have been brimming with new things and time spent with family and friends – a combination sure to garner a lovely time. Our time here will be slipped into the well worn journal that is our family history, a vacation that will evoke laughter and smiles when thought of. While I'll be glad to return to a soft bed and not having to live out of a suitcase, I'm going to miss New Mexico and all the memories we've made here.

mesas [180/365]

Today I'll say goodbye to New Mexico and all its beauty and say hello to the wind swept plains of Oklahoma that I call home.

Happy Thursday, friends.

-carlotta

road tripping [part ii]

The fifth day of camping, exploring, and cross-crossing through the state has drawn to a close, and I'm perfectly complacent. Blogging while sitting under a waning New Mexico sky (those of you that guessed this beautiful state as our next stop were right!), the sunset silhouetting the Rocky Mountains, is an experience I haven't had before, and likewise an experience I'm not likely to forget.

It's funny, I haven't been missing the internet as much as I though I would. On the contrary, I'm rather enjoying time away from electronic distractions and just being with family instead. Though I'm not complaining about having wifi at this campground in Taos, it's nice to be away.

In the five days we've been traveling around, I've learned much about this beautiful state, like the following.

rocky mountains

[one] We rolled into New Mexico yesterday. You'd think I'd be accustomed to wide, open spaces, with only fences here and there to break up the land, but the area we drove through was unlike anything I'd ever seen. The road seemed to stretch for miles and miles on end; except for the occasional abandoned ramshackle homes, there was nothing in the vast prairie.

new mexico sky
eating watermelon

[two] Everything tastes better outside. Whether it's wedges of watermelon or an ice cream sandwich, nothing rivals eating out in the fresh air.

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ice cream sandwich

[three] Seeing "The Shadow of the Cross" in person was breathtaking. A seemingly normal painting of Jesus with the lights on, it is transformed in the darkness. A cross appears over Jesus' left shoulder, the painting glows, and Jesus becomes three-dimensional.

ranchos de taos

Though I didn't see it, some also see the water of the Sea of Galilee moving, as well as Jesus' robe flowing. You can read more about the painting here; the fact that the second part of the painting simple appeared and was not made is astonishing.

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[four] Taos is one of the most beautiful cities. Ever. True, I've traipsed through the streets of Paris, weaved my way through many a town in Europe, but there's something special about this town.

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jeremiah

Adobe styled buildings surround you, making even the tackiest shop seem not quite so cheesy. The atmosphere is sublime, from the sounds of street musicians to the smell of food.

turquoise and lace
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[five] The color turquoise is everywhere. The shades vary from cerulean to deep azure and they're everywhere from window frames to the stunning sky. I can't get enough of it, y'all.

chippy window

I love New Mexico. And vacations. And road trips. And life.

-carlotta

road tripping [part i]

I'm burrowed in a mountain of hotel pillows, relishing in having internet access for the first time in over two days. Not having something for awhile makes you realize how much you take it for granted.

sunset
sweet baby

For the past two days, we've been nestled in the rocky cliffs of northwest Oklahoma. Sharing a cabin with dear friends, it was perfection.

clouds
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Within three hours of being there, we saw a tarantula crossing the road (talk about a freak out) and this giant.

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a comparison shot...is it not huge?
We explored the trails cross-crossing through the woods and discovered a natural spring.

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Looking at it for the first time, I gasped. Dragonflies, hundreds of them, flitting back and forth in the dappled sunlight. The soft babble of the brook paired with the chirp of birds made a song more beautiful that anything man made. It was gorgeous. Perfectly mystical, looking like it hadn't changed in two hundred years, it was straight out of a film. 

natural springs

The spring gushed piercingly cold, clear water, evoking involuntary wheezes as the frigid water came in contact with skin, shooting tingles throughout one's body.

at the springs
natural springs4

After frolicking in the springs, there's nothing better than ice cream from the general store. We ate it on their patio, decorated with strings of lights, bits of lace, and checkered tablecloths.

sparkly bokeh

I love road tripping.

Any guesses on what state our next stop is going to be?

-carlotta

PS I apologize if you're awaiting my reply to your email...I'll do my best, but it's rather difficult when internet access is sparse. I hope you understand!