Thursday, June 07, 2012

A total trip

I was unaware this morning that this would be one of two baby mammals I'd see today. This is shot from inside my studio. I woke up exhausted but went to practice and hit the gym, where my head touched the sadness in my heart for the first honest moment while doing yoga. It's nothing big; I just miss my friends from last month and felt tired by my rambling life where my friends are most often not in physical proximity to me.
After getting the evil stink eye from a resident that I do not jive with, I went to the office for a chocolate fix and had a talk with staff about some of the work in my studio. An artist had just come by for a tour since he will be in residence in August through a special program, and it turned out that he was also a papermaker and had trained in Madison! It's always a treat to meet other paper people. Anyhow, the talk motivated me to jump into a couple of pieces in the studio quickly, since I knew I only had a little over an hour to work before I had to prep for a big journey.
The big plan was to visit Ghost Ranch, where Ching-In was doing a poetry workshop. I had wanted to visit Ghost Ranch regardless, but this was the best motivation and excellent timing, especially when feeling sad about being far away from close friends. Vagner was so kind as to join me for the adventure, and it was Quite An Adventure. It started with a stop for road trip snacks and a bathroom break for me about two miles in (I didn't realize that he didn't get a potty break and this became stressful for me later on the trip). Then, we went in the wrong direction for a while instead of turning a few feet away from the stop.
So, we're on the road, and it seems okay, though I was feeling dubious about the signs I kept seeing for some route 68 or some number that was not the number of the route I thought we were supposed to be on. But it was pretty, hella pretty, so we kept winding along. Eventually a magnificent vista opened up and we pulled over to shoot some photos.
There, we met this boy, who had just been adopted by a woman from Brooklyn who drove to AZ to pick him up and scatter the ashes of her dog that had just died. His bigger canine companion was a big black long-haired something or other. This pup is a Bernese Mt. dog crossed with a Corgi.
But as we drove on and on and on, I saw all these signs for Taos. And then I was like, OMG we are 4 miles away from TAOS. That was not our destination at all. Vagner's phone battery was low but it told us we had indeed lost our way. Unlike the first misstep, this one was not just a few miles off. It was a LOT off. We were definitely going to be late. After backtracking for 30 miles or so, I saw a tiny sign for Abiquiu and swerved right, desperate to start heading in the right direction. Vagner's GPS seemed to agree, we found the right numbered route, and then pulled over at a gas station so he could finally pee. I saw him signal something to me as I was waiting in the car, but I didn't know why until I got out and saw a staffer's girlfriend! She had just swam at Lake Abiquiu. Vagner got us popsicles and we hit the road again for the final stretch. What an insane stretch. The lake was gorgeous but the rest of it was completely miraculous. No words! Stereotypical What I Expected In New Mexico But Had Not Yet Seen And Still So Wonderful That We Kept Exclaiming At Each Turn kind of stuff. I have no pictures; Vagner does. It's also the kind of thing I would never be able to capture with a camera.
I pulled into the dirt road signed Ghost Ranch, but Vagner's GPS said we had turned off too early, so I turned around and we found that his GPS was wrong. But it didn't matter because we were so close! Somehow, we finally found Ching-In at the tail end of a craft talk and then had dinner together, walked around, and had a grand old time hanging out. We saw lots of rows of ants on a bit of trail, Ching-In bust her toe on a rock and it was bleeding, and the tiramisu was very sweet (that's all reverse chronology). When we were first looking for her, I passed a woman on the phone who looked Very Familiar, though I couldn't pin the connection. At dinner, Ching-In introduced her and she said the same thing about me and then we realized that it was a Mills connection! She worked for Julie Chen, I shared an office with Julie, and we met at Julie's party way back last year. I wished I could have stayed longer, but we wanted to hit the road before it got too dark. Then, about 17 or 24 miles away from Santa Fe (I can't remember anymore), we got lost again. It was scary this time, and dark, but luckily my phone's GPS got us back on track. The whole trip, Vagner had to help me start the car because he knows Hondas way better than me. He is a rockin' travel companion and I am so grateful for the whole journey. Also, I don't feel sad anymore.

1 comment:

  1. wow! i'm glad you are found. not lost.


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