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Published: August 19th 2015
Today the plan is to visit Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch – camping at Ghost Ranch. In spite of familiarity I don’t know what to expect from either location or the points in between.
What I learn is that Abiquiu is a beautiful spot, but I think that it is lucky O’Keefe wintered there. It wouldn’t be so much a destination if she didn’t create such beautiful art there.
Ghost Ranch on the other hand is a place of epic proportions and beauty. This is where O’Keefe spent her summers. We will well and truly be back here for an extended stay. First of all, the campground is primitive yet civilized in a unique way. No electricity or water at hook ups – and big RV’s have a hard time getting in so it’s mostly small camping. In the center of the campground is a toilet area, showers, laundry facilities and a kitchen that you can use for cooking and clean up. Yet it’s pretty primitive.
My view out the window of the camper is one of the many mesas that O’Keefe painted. The striations and layers of soil are familiar yet new. It’s starkly beautiful. Every direction I turn, every change of light yields a new view. The threatening skies and storm hold off until dark, allowing us to enjoy the ever-changing scenery. We are both staggered at every turn.
This place is as quiet as our house – this presents a bit of a problem when we set out to camp. It’s noisier to camp than to be at home. Come on people – isn’t quiet why you camp? Our house is so quiet that it is hard to find sites to camp that have the same firm foundation of silence. Ghost Ranch has that silence, the kind of silence that you can use to clear your mind and heart.
At the end of the day, I am left feeling that Ms. O’Keefe painted the area much better than I could possibly describe it. Check out her paintings for a glimpse of the beauty we saw.
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