Montana Wolf

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Landing in Ranchos

The journey from Colorado to New Mexico was a glorious one, over passes, through canyons and forests...  another sun-laden day with highs in the 50's. I stopped on the border to winterize La Perla, aware that the three weeks of warmth I had enjoyed was due to change within 24 hours. I arrived Ranchos de Taos at sundown and stepped out of my truck to the haunting, delicious smell of pinon smoke; the Ranchos church bell tolled in the distance. I was back in the "Land of Enchantment," about to be served one of her delicious sunsets.

I am still in awe that I have ended up here. It was not on my list of possibilities that included Arizona and a Mexico beach, yet, here I am at the invitation of friend to house sit while he goes to Belgium for several months. My second day here I walked into the Ranchos post office, saw a long line of people bearing Christmas packages and uttered, "Oh dear, I only want one stamp." A woman responded, "Just one stamp?" I turned and looked into the eyes of an old friend. We were shocked. Suzanne laughed and said, "Have I got a stamp for YOU!" and laid one on me. And that's the way it's gone since my arrival: a transition as rich and beauty-full as can be.

Rio Grande Gorge
River Spirit
Yesterday a good friend Phaedra and I revisited a favorite area that has figured largely in my writings. The opening bike scene in Drive Me Wild was the winding road along the Rio Grande. I listed the bench hike along gorge in my NM sacred sites book. Our purpose was to see the big horn sheep that have been re-introduced to the area. We didn't see any this day, but the prospect alone was invigorating.

Today is New Moon. I am going to take advantage of the warmth and sunshine and re-visit Grandmother Tree, the spirit of the forest that sent me on my way ten years ago. The nights are filled with shooting stars as the energy bursts from the Milk Way begin, to culminate on the winter solstice and the end of the Mayan Calendar.

Here I am, back where it all began, as I prepare to write the sequel. The flow of life picked me up and sent me down an unexpected channel. I wonder what Grandmother Tree will have to say about this? Or the sweet Hispanic woman who is going to deliver a dozen green chile/pork tamales later today? As if to up the ante, I asked her to include some heat.


  1. I have loved all of the photos, especially the blue pond freezing on its edges with the golden grass and red weeds on its borders, and the river sprite. Had to look three times at that one. Winter wonderland continues here, but with warmish damp days. Bring on the tamales! Nance
    P.S. I am "choosing" Anonymous profile because I don't know what URL means. And I have a funny story for you.

    1. Any story of yours is a great one! Can't wait to hear it. xoxo

  2. Cannot wait to enjoy some of the enchantment!
    Strange - it asked who I was but put me as anonymous. Emilie

    1. I can't wait to show you some very special places. And no, you're on as Emilie. Finally. Thanks for persevering.

  3. So glad to hear you're back in Taos for awhile! Today we were returning from a drive out past TP and as we drove over the gorge bridge I was thinking how wonderful it would be to finally see big horn sheep. I was looking to my right along an outcropping of land about 50 feet below the edge, a wide-ish area before it drops into the abyss with the river so far below. No sheep sighted. Oh well! I looked to my left and there on the other side I spotted 7 or 8 big horn sheep! Wow! In my excitement at seeing the sheep I blurted to Steve (my husband)sheep, sheep. We proceeded over the bridge to a place where were could turn around, went back across slowing to see the sheep again, made a U-turn and drove back across and this time as we were crossing Steve spotted a large group of them further away making their way up the side of the cliff onto the mesa above. You could clearly see those white butts moving single file, almost straight up the cliff. What a gift! Again, welcome back. Try going out to the gorge bridge just before dusk and look on the northeast edge. The first group was just off the road near the north-eastern end of the bridge. The larger group was north of them - wish we had the binoculars in the car.

  4. What a blessing to see them... and from the bridge! They move around a lot! The friend I was with had actually sit and had lunch with about 30 where we went this day. But this day, they were for your eyes! Yes, so good to know they have returned. A wild dimension has been added to a wild river and a dramatic gorge. Life is good! xoxo