1-9-2013 CAVU. Crescent moon. Cleaning crew in CR doing a good job. I passed on the word to management but at this date (1-17-13) haven’t heard back. Sure hope they shared with staff.
Overnight for another: “The healing experience is yours.” (I asked Ariel ahead.)
Entertainment in Denver Airport – sayings along windows. One by Dr. Seuss about the Sneetches. Hats: cowboy, crocodile Dundee, cadet, baseball. Dress: Jeans, leggings (remember to cover your “girl parts”) belt buckles. And here is a picture of large game of Concentration!
Conversation in coffee shop: to do with being in ruts, same o, same o. allow others insight…healers…visionaries.
Glimpse coming into Albuquerque I understood how/why Georgia O’Keeffe painted as she did. Mild and sunny.
Friendly people. Car rental gal walked us around the car and gave information. Christmas decorations still up and people greeted us with “Happy New Year!” In Iowa we have mostly long put this away by New Year’s Day, so this was refreshing to be greeted with new Year’s wishes.
Road signage somewhat confusing, so getting used to regional variations is important. Albuquerque people really run red lights but in other parts of the state were more careful. Especially in Indian Reservations. “Safety Zone” is code talk for the natives own the land and make the rules and enforce the speed limits. Caveat Emptor!
Labyrinths – New Life Presbyterian Church large. Rocks. Lunations. Labyrs. Center candle and gifts left. I left a feather. The labyrinth is used often by evidence of footprints. Lively feel to it.
St. Chad Episcopal Church – several quail flew. Paving bricks. Tucked into a corner overlooking Sandia Mt. A seven-circuit but with different design. Interesting.
Mt. Sandia Tram. We are here only once so take in the sites.. 44 at bottom. 24 at top. 6500 at bottom 10,300 at top. Both of us felt “tipsy” Snow but the ski run was closed. Coffee and chips/salsa in the High Finance Restaurant.
Workers ride top of tram back down! Waiter likes working there except for the tram…that is his commute! Takes about 1.5 hours a day. Never thought of that.
I had entered wrong phone number for Chocolate Turtle B and B, so we just arrived without notice. Chris very gracious. Recommended a restaurant but we decided against a 30+ minute wait. Bought a few items at Sprouts and ate at the B and B. name comes from owners were chocolatiers before buying B and B.
And Sandia Mt. red also means turtle in native tongue.
1-10-13 Rich and Chris talked rain barrels…watched the sunrise…she and husband from NH also and we talked Pinardville and accents. Rich re-told how when our friend, Susan Turbyne, was here she wanted to see a real Iowa ‘fahm’. “I’d show you one, but I don’t know what a ‘fahm’ is,”Rich replied dryly.
Looked for one labyrinth at an Episcopal Convent. Unfriendly feel. Gates. Camera. No signs. Could not find way in. Left.
Petroglyphs Nat. Mon. visitor center not anywhere near the petroglyphs so we backtracked to the trail
head. Sandy trail follows escarpment. Many petroglyphs in groups along the volcanic rock. Turtles, quail, mammals, sun symbols, faces.
Found a truck stand selling chiles so I bought four ristras of them to ship back for Dan and Divya, Nancy and Brian, Laurel and Bob and one for us. Very hot they are! Keep hands away from eyes.
Lots of time so we took the smaller road through the forest past pueblos. Landforms seemed like: Zion then Spearfish Canyon, then the main road running down the spine of the Black Hills – a tunnel of trees. Scrub plants to juniper to lodge pole pines to spruce to ponderosa. Snow on sheltered side and bare dirt on south facing slopes to snow everywhere.
Missed straight away to Los Alamos and turned into the complex. Had to show our ID. Town is relocated on another mesa. Down the slope to Santa Fe.
Lunch at Harry’s roadhouse. Dee Ann met us just at three.
She is a dynamo. To her home on Bishop’s Lodge Rd. Where the bishop in Willa Cather’s novel, Death Comes to the Bishop, was written.
Her home was designed by Glenna Goodacre, noted artist of the Sacajawea coin and with sculptures in DC and Philadelphia. Four spokes off the hub. The home is itself a work of art with many artifacts like doors and windows bought in various places and brought in. Windows, outside doors, views, secluded. And, within the home Dee Ann has many works of art that she has created and collected.
Guest home is also amazing. Ted Nuttall renting it for now. Lots of nature items – feathers, shells, books on nature. Works in progress.
Dinner at Santa Fe. Very elegant. Too late in night for me. Poor sleep.
1-11-2013. Some stars at 4:30 a.m. I awoke several times in the night and looked at the stars through the sky lights that dot the roof in the guest home. Then snow. Rich left earlier so he could get to Los Alamos in good order.
I figured the routine for the day to include the labyrinths, Dee Ann and the Loretto church where she and Scotty were married, some shops to find the spirit rocks.
We met about 9:30 a.m. and managed to find the E.J. Martinez Elementary school. Nancy Olivares was friendly and directed us to the labyrinth. “Straight out the door. You can’t miss it.” Well. We did. So, Dee Ann said think like a labyrinth and in the corner overlooking the hills but separated from the main playground was the labyrinth. Beautifully sited with a cedar tree blocking the parking lot. Painted rocks lined the path. A cold wind and blowing snow truncated our visit, but we enjoyed the walk in and returned the pass to the principal.
Off to the International Folk Art Museum on Museum Hill overlooking the town. The labyrinth is contained within low walls with gaps just right for running along and leaping from section to section. That is exactly what two home school boys were doing! Simply Delightful!
I swept away the light covering of snow to determine the pattern and later Dee Ann mentioned the shape was like the ravens that are
common in the area. This labyrinth indeed had several ravens that flew over us! The low wall creates an echo inside the labyrinth, which adds a certain mystery to the place. But one should not get wrapped up in this too much. Physics. Pure physics and that is OK. Science and spirituality can and should co-exist. Hit the shop and had coffee and an excellent conversation. A new director needs something to sink his/her teeth into and that he/she can claim as own.
Downtown we visited the Basilica of St. Francis with the statue of the first indigenous woman beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. There, tucked into a corner and fittingly so, was a small stone-laid labyrinth. Dee Ann was amazed because she had never seen it before! Took my picture and waited inside while I walked. Then, I joined her and was myself amazed by the beauty of the Basilica. Gothic. Handsomely crafted stained glass windows that played intriguing patterns on the carpet. The reredos behind the altar depicted St. Francis and many New World scenes. We could not get into the Loretto Chapel because it was closed for renovations and inventory. This is the chapel where Scotty and Dee Ann McIntyre were married! Very cool!
Lunch at one of her favorite places which ended up having some rather loud women dining, too. But the ambiance and food presentation and taste were wonderful. We walked the streets a bit and I bought some spirit rocks for people home. Erica Larson, Julie McPartland, Sarah Stutler, Kelly Souza. WTD.
Back late afternoon. Cold. Snow blowing. Rich and Dee Ann talked at the house some about nature centers and what he saw on Friday at PEEC.
Late night dining again at a favorite eatery of Dee Ann’s. I think she really misses Scotty and wonder if that is partly why she is always on the move.
1-12-13. Saturday we packed up. Put all the keys and openers where Dee Ann wanted. Packed up the chiles that we had bought to send
to the kids and give to Laurel. Then, we headed out to Taos. Up the High Road and to Sanctuario de Chimayo. Mary Swander visited here as described in her book The Desert Pilgrim. The atmosphere was a bit odd. Combination of spiritual and also commercial (Pizza $2.00) I walked to the small area where the “holy” sand is, let it sift through my fingers and thought of Mary and how she rubbed it into her arms, neck, legs. Rich didn’t like the feel at all. For me it was OK, but I am less comfortable with the liberal mixing of superstition and religion. Many icons and the ever present “gory” crucifix which we do not quite get – the emphasis on suffering and death but the “next world will be better” position. And, crosses made from sticks and hung on the chain link fence along with ribbons and other artifacts left by pilgrims. Some crosses were large and constructed of 4x4s treated wood with bent nails. But, it was interesting and felt special. We both were reminded of Ecuador – the narrow streets, the over all feel. A hawk being pestered by ravens was one of our last views of Chimayo. At the overlook where I gathered some rocks were icons of a different nature. Beer cans and abandoned underwear. Hmmm. Susan Holford really likes this place.
On up to the ski slope Sipapu which refers to the opening where the ancestors access this world. Neat forest service ski area. Low key. Into Taos, the visitor center where we learned about two rock shops which we later visited. Nice to tuck into the motel because it was cold. The next morning we found overnight temperatures had dropped to -16 F. Wow! Orlandos restaurant where locals frequent.
1-13-13. By chance we took a pokey road that followed the Rio Grande River ice choked and filled with ducks with a bald eagle
overhead. A steep and deep canyon full of wonder. I mused why no one had mentioned the canyon to us. “We do weird stuff,” was Rich’s reply. I guess that is true. Who in their right mind wants to follow a gravel road up a steep incline with -0 degrees along a river with no guard rail….We do! That is who! Then, up on the plateau – remote and wind swept. Eventually we found our way to Los Alamos and met Terry and Jim Foxx who toured us around Bandelier National Monument. Incredible! This is what I came for. Rich really liked it, too. The Foxxes were excellent guides giving some information but not too much. Rich and Terry talked some about Pajarito Environmental Education Center while Jim and I made plans to visit labyrinths the next day. The experience at Bandelier was ineffable (my favorite new word). Warm in sun. Cool to cold in shade. A peacefulness yet vibrancy. The Indians were Cochiti. Jim and Terry’s daughter worked on the pueblos one summer and then later did roofing in AZ! Good practice. Hot…Hot…Hot! Pictographs and some petroglyphs. Vast tuff deposits riddled with holes that make excavating possible. One of the coolest sights was the “star” hole I noticed. Jim said
because he usually takes a different route back he had not noticed it before, either. Sun was just right and we were in the right location, too. Rich and I bought some food stuffs at the local market and tucked into the warmth of the motel. Hmmmm seems to be a common theme here, cold outside and warm inside! Watched “Bones” on TV and a silly “Moonshiners” program. Either really put on or real? Odd.
1-14-13. Snow began early. Like goose down, but it changed our plans. Jim Foxx came by about 9:30 a.m. and we chose to stay in Los Alamos rather than trek to Ghost Ranch which would have been – down slippery White Rock canyon past Espanola and up the steep road to Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch. So, as we had agreed the day before, we were flexible. Off to Bethlehem Lutheran Church where the secretary directed us to the far left corner of the grounds. Jim went one way and I the other. “I didn’t see any likely candidates,” was his assessment. Meanwhile, I saw a grove of trees which I had “seen” before. Later I thought that I had seen it on Locate A Labyrinth but now in looking there is no picture. But, I have “seen” it before. We approached the pines and saw under the light carpet of snow bricks. So, we started to scrape away the snow. Jim, being very practical, went for a shovel. He followed one edge of the bricks and i continued to use my foot to sweep away the snow. Soon, we had a discernible pattern. How pleasant to work side-by-side in silence. Just the scrape of the shovel on brick and the swoosh of the snow with my boot. Comfortable. Then, when we were satisfied, we took a feather and walked the labyrinth. Very sweet! The pattern is unusual as it twists and turns around the trees ending in the circular center. Someone took a lot of time to renovate it. Pastor, Nicolé Ferry, and administrative assistant, Kris Frain, engaged in conversation after we walked it explaining how it had been recently renovated. And, well done, too! This was my favorite walk! I particularly love the picture I took of Jim leaving the labyrinth with a big smile on his face. I asked, “Did you ever dream you would be spending the morning shoveling off a labyrinth with a person you had just met?” He just smiled. This church and labyrinth are indeed, “A Place of Grace.” Wonderful!
Later we did the “just right” sized museum, met Director Katie’s mom from Brookline, MA, had lunch at a 50s diner and back to motel for a rest. In the evening Terry and another board member and the director, Rich and I had dinner then the board meeting. Rich does an amazing presentation – compliments, some concerns, some suggestions, ending with compliments. The energy in the room was overall positive and I appreciated one younger board member who I think can be a colleague with Katie.
1-15-13. Up and away down the icy slopes to Albuquerque. Walked one labyrinth at the Center for Action and Contemplation. By this time I was ready to go, but I am glad we stopped. Flight delayed so I had more time to admire the unique Albuquerque Airport designs, think about the bridges with interesting patterns on them, consider the mountains. Then, a young man switched our flight pattern and we were off to Atlanta, GA! 65 degrees and humid there. As we descended into Atlanta and before we dove into the heavy cloud cover, I looked west and there in a break in the clouds was an incredible sight. The clouds parted in a wide V formation. Two contrails from other jets formed the Tibetan Dai Ko Mio symbol! Then, we were near the ground.
On to CR. In only an hour and a half later than originally scheduled. Laurel and Bob there to meet us. Home again, home again, jiggity jig.
I’m still reflecting on the labyrinth portion of the trip. However, each day I was able to connect with the earth, which made a huge difference. The raven totem seems to hang with me from this trip. So, that is all for now.