Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

Well, gosh, doesn't the time just get away from me?

I really do mean to post more often, but stuff comes up. What kind of stuff? I can hardly remember.

But this morning I made a vow to spend the afternoon manipulating a bunch of pictures and working on my next blog, which I'd decided to call

"Introducing Wrangler Terry (and Ted)"

Please note that a stranger they met on the trail took this picture, so it's not quite as sharp as I'd like. But the feeling is certainly right.

Just as I sat down to start my blog post, the campground phone rang. It seems that a group had gone out for an overnight camp out and one of the horses had cut his foot and was bleeding badly (actually squirting blood when he put any weight on it). Since Terry and our neighbor volunteer Ted have been being the horse guys, could they hook up a trailer and come and get it?

Well, geez, Terry has never driven a horse trailer before, much less one with a wounded horse in it, so I said I wasn't sure but I'd ask. I called around the ranch and it seemed that due to unforeseen circumstances, there was no one to help. He thought about it a bit and went to discuss it with Ted (who was born and raised on a farm). Together they decided that they would go and try to help this poor horse.

Did I mention that the camp out was at Blackie's Cabin? Blackie's Cabin is an old homestead on the ranch (circa 1910) and a couple of miles of VERY rough trail off the highway. This is literally a dirt trail, and with the recent rains, it was a stretch to call it a trail. Lots of holes, gullies, etc.

You get the idea.

The skies were darkening and I was kind of worried, but what can you do?

Guys will be guys. They step up and do what needs to be done and off they went.

Several hours went by, the skies got darker and the winds came up. Now it's time for dinner, so I decided to go to the dining hall and help in the kitchen. We love all the folks who work in the kitchen and we've both been helping clean up when they're short of help. I figured this would help keep my spinning mind occupied.

Now dinner was over and we had almost finished cleaning up. The people in the kitchen had made up plates for me and Nancy to take home for Ted and Terry when they returned.

I was beginning to really worry, as it was getting really late. Then I looked around and there they were!


They had gone out and brought the horse back! They got the bleeding stopped, stabled the horse and plans were been made for the vet to come tomorrow morning (after talking with the vet, he assured us it would be fine).

Are these guys just the best or what?

I can't even begin to tell you
how proud I am of both of them.
Especially the really cute one on the left.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Ms Georgia O'Keeffe

I just wanted to let you know that a movie on the life of Georgia O'Keeffe will be shown on the Lifetime Network tomorrow night.

It will star Joan Allen (one of my personal favorites) as Georgia O'Keeffe and Jeremy Irons as Alfred Stieglitz. None of us here at the ranch have seen it yet, but filming took place earlier this year throughout New Mexico, including here at Ghost Ranch.

We'll be having a potluck and watching it all together tomorrow night (I'm bringing Mamie Eisenhower's fudge, anyone interested in the recipe?). After the viewing I'll post a review here.

And in the very near future, pictures of Terry the Wrangler!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Just Hate This!

I just read that Mary Travers has died.

Such an integral part of the sound of Peter Paul and Mary. Has anyone not heard her amazing voice and been moved?

I was an enthusiastic teenager, mad about folk music and the whole counter culture movement. This was 1963 and we lived in San Jose, close enough to San Francisco to smell the smoke.

I had discovered Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger, the Weavers and of course Peter, Paul and Mary.

I was infused with a passion that seems endemic to fifteen year olds. It was a wonderful time in my life. I hear on the radio that Peter, Paul and Mary will be at the Masonic Temple up in San Francisco.

I want to go. I NEED to go. But what are the chances? I beg and plead with my older sister, who says no, she could care less. I'm going crazy. It's almost my sixteenth birthday and I'm just this close to getting my drivers license, but the concert is too soon.

Fifteen year old thoughts race through my mind. Lie to my parents? Take the bus to the city? Hitch hiking briefly crossed my mind (but that would come later in my life).


I'm happy to say that my sister came through and presented me with an early birthday gift. An evening in San Francisco, topped off with a magical concert.

I had never been to such an event and I was truly transported.

The auditorium, the sound, the people, San Francisco in the sixties . . .

But the picture of Mary Travers, singing on stage, with the spotlights making her blond hair shine like silver and gold. This is one of those memory pictures that I will carry with me forever.

Pure magic

Years later I read that the trio would be performing at a local winery. I decided we should go. Upon inquiring about tickets, I was informed it was a charity concert and tickets were well beyond our means, so we had to pass. I was heartbroken.

Then, as so often happens to us, a few weeks later, our good friend Norm called and said "You know, I have season tickets to the Hollywood Bowl and I just heard that Peter, Paul and Mary will be coming. Would you guys like to come down and be my guests?"


To be honest, it wasn't quite the concert I remembered from my youth. But then I wasn't quite as wide eyed as I had been at fifteen. Still, it was a lovely evening and holds as special a place in my heart as my first "live experience" with the trio.

And now that lovely voice has been silenced forever.

But aren't we lucky that we have all those recordings to continue to inspire and thrill us forever?

I'm especially thankful for this talented woman and all she has contributed to so many lives.

Get out one of your old Peter, Paul and Mary albums and prepare to be amazed all over again.

Mary Allin Travers

and remember
a gift
to be treasured and appreciated.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just a Few Photos

I keep thinking I should be posting lots of adventures, stories of travels, exciting fables, you know what I mean.

But the truth of the matter is that we're so happy here and have settled into such a free and easy routine that there isn't a lot to write about. Don't get me wrong, our life is far from boring. We meet a lot of wonderful people, old and new friends visit, life is truly good. Just not the exciting stuff of which to write thrilling blogs.

So I guess I'll just continue to post a few pictures and write about our day to day life.

I took this picture of Terry
when he didn't know I was there.
It's one of my favorite shots of him.
He's standing out in the alfalfa field
under Kitchen Mesa.

Our campground.

The main office at Ghost Ranch.

Some friends visited
and I took this photo of their dog Jack.
While pets aren't allowed
if you're staying at Ghost Ranch,
if you just come in for the day,
you're free to bring them along.

Just a shot I liked
(I have hundreds of these!)

Our friend Wayne
was playing with my camera.
The results are below.

another visitor to the campground,

We have an Arts Building.
I like how it's rounded shape
adds to every picture I take of it.

Many artists visit the ranch,
and often donate their work.
This is one of the newest pieces,
my very favorite.

I'll try to get the artists name
and post it in a future blog
(Make sure to click to enlarge this one).

That's it for now, I love my life.

Monday, September 14, 2009

This and That

We've been busy doing a whole lot of nothing. Visiting friends, watching movies, enjoying the landscape. Nothing exciting, but just my kind of entertainment.

I was out in the campground
and took this photo
of one of the bluffs on the mesa.

I looked a bit closer. . .

And realized
someone had decided
to take special advantage
of the astounding views.

Pretty cool, huh?

While I'm writing about a little of this and a little of that, I wanted to share information about a local entrepreneur who has caught my interest. His name is Robert Archuleta and he has a small one man shop in the village of Los Ojos. He takes old tires and plastic beads and makes wonderful floor/door mats. Not only are they incredibly durable, but they are so good looking! And very environmentally friendly.

A few weeks ago, we bought one for outside the rig, using all red beads. Then I got to thinking . . .

We have a step right inside the door which has a permanent rubber mat, but it is ALWAYS dirty and not very attractive. I spoke to Robert, gave him the dimensions and had him make a mat for that space. He made it up to my specs and charged me a whopping $8.00. What a deal!

Now, all the small rocks and dirt sink to the bottom of the mat and the rig is staying much cleaner.

Here's a photo.

We have so many thrilling adventures that this kind of a find is exciting enough to warrant mention on the blog!

What can I say, except that

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Taking More Photos

It's been a while since I've been shooting pictures, but today, it was just like old times and there I was, shooting everything in sight.

Oddly enough, it started when we were looking for mud boots at Lowe's. We figured (incorrectly it turned out) that a garden department was a good place to start. While we didn't find any mud boots, I was just amazed to see the beautiful fall colors on all the flowers. I love the colors of northern New Mexico, but these colors, which I haven't noticed for some time now, were so intense, I just had to pull out my camera.

You might want to click
any of these images
for a larger, clearer view.

I never noticed
the fly on these flowers
till I looked at this photo
on the computer.

I don't believe
I've ever seen this shade of red
on a lily before.

Since my camera seemed
to once again be attached to my hand,
I shot pictures all the way home.

I don't know what about this picture
appeals to me so much,
but I really like it.

The entrance to Ghost Ranch.

A few hundred feet up the road,
looking back toward
Abiquiu Dam and Pedernal.

In my last blog,
I talked about the films
that have been shot at Ghost Ranch,
(including City Slickers).
This is City Slicker cabin,
which was used in the movie.

We see these cliffs every day.
Are we lucky or what?

I actually took this shot
a couple of days ago,
but wanted to include it here.
I enjoy taking these kind of shots,
which are so filled with color,
then desaturating them a bit
and playing with the color.
I hope you enjoy it too!

And now I have some news to share.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before, but the folks here at Ghost Ranch have agreed to take some of my pictures for possible sale in the gift shop. I've been waffling over the issues of printing, pricing and just being a bit nervous about trying to sell my photos. But tonight I was fortunate enough to talk with a fellow who sells in quite a few galleries in the area. He was nice enough to look at my pictures and on his advice, I've decided to go for it.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

the Films of Ghost Ranch

As you may have realized from reading this blog, I'm just crazy about the scenery here at Ghost Ranch. While I try to post a lot of pictures, I fear they really don't do it justice.

If you REALLY want to take a good look at the ranch, I suggest you watch City Slickers. About 90% of the movie was shot here at Ghost Ranch. When you first come into the ranch from Highway 84, you'll be driving on a dirt road. About a half mile up, you'll see an old wooden cabin in a field off to your right. This is known as City Slicker Cabin, and is the last remaining part of the set of the film. As you watch the movie, virtually all of the cattle drive was shot here, right up to the time they deliver the cows to Colorado. It's a pretty entertaining film and the scenery can't be beat.

Last night, the volunteers got together for a night out. One of our museums has a small theater, so we sometimes get together and "Go To the Movies". Right now, we're in the midst of showing some of the movies that have been shot here at Ghost Ranch.

Have I mentioned that Ghost Ranch is a favorite location for many Hollywood pictures? Well, it is, and it's just a hoot to be watching a film and recognize the exact location where a scene was shot.

Last night we watched Silverado, great western with just a few scenes shot here at the ranch. Every time we recognized a shot, we all clapped and cheered, it was great fun!

If you're at all interested, here's a partial list of other films that contain scenes shot here at Ghost Ranch

Wyatt Earp
(Kevin Costner & Dennis Quaid)
the Missing
(Tommy Lee Jones & Cate Blanchett)
Comanche Moon
(prequel to Lonesome Dove)
(Geena Davis & Michael Keaton)
Indiana Jones
and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

(you KNOW this one!)
3:10 to Yuma
(Russell Crowe & Christian Bale)

Pretty cool, huh? Especially for a couple of movie buffs like Terry and me.

Later this month, Lifetime Television will be airing Georgia O'Keeffe, a film about the famed artist who is so closely associated with Ghost Ranch. Part of the film was shot here, and since it stars Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons, I have a great feeling about this movie. Stay tuned and after I've seen it, I'll be writing more on it here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Moving Again!

We're just about at the end of our stay here in Santa Fe, back to Ghost Ranch tomorrow.

We haven't seen one single film! But we have had a great time visiting with friends. Unfortunately, we didn't get around to everyone, but we'll most likely be back here in six or eight weeks. Maybe we'll get around to more visiting then (hopefully).

Wow, lots of comments on the last blog entry. I've been neglecting the blog this week, so I'll try to answer some of the comments here.

Suzanne, if we had gone to the movies, Julie & Julia would have been at the top of the list. The time just got away from us, so we'll most likely see that one when it comes out on DVD

SM, we never did get to the new Sunflower Market. While we've done a bit of grocery shopping, we're trying not to stock up too much since when we're back at Ghost Ranch, once again, they'll be feeding us. When we return to Santa Fe, we'll definitely give it a look.

Sistertex, Thank You so much for the award, I've never gotten anything like it and don't really know how to respond! I do enjoy photography and it's really great to know someone is looking at my pictures!

Julie and Lisa, regarding RV accommodations in Santa Fe . . . We are fortunate to have good friends who have a place for us to stay. As far as other places, are you by any chance Elks? There is a lovely Elks Club here with very reasonable RV spots. There's also Hyde State Park, about eight miles out of town (OK if you have a toad). Past that, there are quite a few RV parks but the cost is generally around $35 and up per night, ouch. Sorry I can't be of more help.

And Tumbleweed, Thanks for your kind comments on my photos. I think you're doing a great job with the FZ28. It's a phenomenal camera, it just takes a bit of time to learn all it's special tricks. Keep on shooting!

Thank you all for reading the blog, as always, I love hearing from readers.

Once we get back to Ghost Ranch, I'm sure I'll be posting more pictures. It's such a magical place, I can hardly stop shooting photos!