Monthly Archives: May 2019

Travelling Close to Home

This post is written mostly for Paul’s mother, who isn’t going to be travelling much any more and will certainly never see the landscape close to where we now live. Sometimes, you can (and must) travel from a bed instead of a van.

This morning we went out on a short 4 mile run, mostly on trails around Galisteo. The weather wasn’t particularly sunny, but the photographs below capture some of the details of the neighborhood as well as a few broader landscape shots. Sorry that the photographs do not link to larger versions, but even the larger versions where not really worth viewing due to graininess and the odd morning light.

Ask not for whom the bell tolls …. the gate to the local cemetery

The two shots above come from the edge of a property owned by a British couple. The husband is a fairly famous architect who grew up in Woodford and like me used to ride his bicycle into Epping Forest as a child.

Above are examples of the different way that color and a particular kind of botanical beauty occur here in our semi-desert climate.

The Jemez Mountains to the west
The Sangre de Cristos Mountains (still with snow) to the north
Cerro Pelon, a landform that defines an edge of the Galisteo Basin
The Galisteo Creek, which flows (almost) perenially a few 100m from our home
El Puente de Galisteo, which we almost always have to cross when going home

Finding our way back home

One thing I was hoping to do more of on our west coat trip is swim. The coastal water was too cold so Paul and I decided to find a lake in Arizona. Alamo Lake SP is a large lake in the middle of the desert. It opened in 1969 after a dam was built to control the flow of the Bill Williams River. It is popular with boaters and fishermen. There is an abundance of spring wildflowers and we enjoyed listening to the wild burros. There were many spots to choose from so we got a terrific lake view. It was a new moon so the stars were extremely bright and easy to pick out many constellations.

Having a few days to relax and not move the van, I napped, played guitar and read while Paul worked. We enjoyed swimming but wore our wet suits as the water was a bit choppy and colder than I like. You could definitely swim by the shoreline without one. On an early morning run I spotted wild burro on the road. They all just stopped and stared looking surprised to see me. The drive into the park was 40 miles so Paul took the opportunity to ride his bike out while I drove ahead.

Our next stop was a special treat to visit my cousin Kelly, Mark, Finnegan, and Delilah. They have a beautiful home in Fountain Hills and we spent the evening there having dinner and catching up. We talked till late then Paul and I slept comfortably in their driveway(in van of course). Next time we will remember to take a few photos.

We try our luck at another park but Lyman Lake State Park is not appealing for swimming. Dirt beaches and when we tried to walk in it was muddy. Probably just good red earth but couldn’t motivate myself to jump in. We did enjoy the park trails quite a bit. You could piece together a bunch of trails for a longish run. There are large rocks with petroglyphs, adobe ruins, and plenty of peace and quiet. Dark night sky with shooting stars.

Bluewater Lake SP is located in the Zuni Mountains, New Mexico. I wanted to check it out for future swimming. It was super windy as a storm was coming so I didn’t get a chance to go in. We parked our van near the pinon and juniper trees for protection. I think this place will be enjoyable in summer when warmer as its altitude is at 7,400 ft. The lake can freeze over in the winter allowing ice fishing. I managed a beautiful, short run on park trails. A wide variety of birds, canyon walls, a dam, and expansive views. The wind picked up even more and it started to snow. Time to go back to Santa Fe.

But wait….Why is there snow in April? ugh