Beautiful Abiquiu


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North America » United States » New Mexico » Abiquiu
March 18th 2009
Published: March 21st 2009
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As usual, Cem and I scrambled around in the morning and were late getting on the road. We are still too used to

working and sleeping late. Our current morning routine mostly involves figuring out how to situate the contraption

on our roof so the straps don't make a noisy racket while we are driving. Though it does sort offsets the awful

noise our car is still making. Thus settled, We beat a hasty exit from Santa Rosa on our way to Santa Fe. Once

there, I decided we had driven enough and needed a break so we checked into the Silver Saddle early - a kitchy low

-budget little adobe motel on the outskirts of town. I comforted myself with the knowledge that it was recomended

by the Lonely Planet. My whole reason for coming to Santa Fe (other than properly exploring the artsy community)

was that I wanted to see where Georgia O'Keefe lived and was inspired. Abiqiui is a small town some 50 miles north

of Santa Fe. On the way, we did make the requisite stop at the museum in downtown Santa Fe where many of her

paintings are hung. I enjoyed seeing her work, but got that stiff feeling I always get in a hushed museums where

everyone acts pretentiously reverent. I got the feeling that Georgia herself would've much preferred to be in the

open expanse of the high desert she so loved. So off we went. Her house is a walled hacidena fronting a small and

innocous village with a charmingly beautiful adobe church. We would not even have know it was her house if not for

Napoleon Garcia. A lifelong resident, he is a self-appointed guide of Abiquiu, O'Keefe and the surrounding area, and

offers his services for a small donation. His brochure actually details his resume as a guide, historian, artist,

poet -- I think there is more but I can't remember. We sat on his unassuming front porch and it was clear from the

outset that he had his routine down. I thought we were going to get the charming rambling story and even

encouraged it with a few open-ended questions about his life in the small village. But he stayed on message about

the history of O'Keefe's house, her time there, where you can find the places of her famous paintings. He had this

long willow branch he used to point at a cheat sheet hung on the wall about the chronology of events. If you asked

him a question he would use the willow twig to point at like a third grade teacher uses her pointer on the

blackboard. Unfortunately, I think we must've interrupted his lunch becuase the entire lecture was punctuated by

loud belches. We took mercy on him, made our donation, accepted the prettily hand-drawn maps he offered (which

late proved quite practical) and departed on our exploration of Abiquiu and the surrounding area. It was as

beautiful as O'Keefe's amazing paintings -- if you're near Santa Fe, don't miss the drive up scenic 84, Abiqui uLake

and Whiterock Overlook (see pictures). Tomorrow: Monument Valley.


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Cem at Whiterock OverlookCem at Whiterock Overlook
Cem at Whiterock Overlook

This stunning view of the Rio Grande Valley sits at the end of a lane in the small town of Whiterock - you pass soccer fields to get there. Cem thinks he'd like to live in this small town.


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