Bob and I bid on, and won, a 3 night stay at a Worldmark Resort and we chose Santa Fe for our short vacation destination. We began our adventure by taking the Turquoise Trail (aka North 14) from Albuquerque and stopped for lunch in Madrid (MA-drid) along the way after browsing a few of the many art galleries in this former mining -> ghost town -> hippie village. We didn’t escape without purchasing a gorgeous horse-hair pot.
Rainy Wednesday made room to visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum where they had an exhibit on O’Keeffe’s trip to Hawaii. Georgia was hired by the Hawaiian Pineapple Company’s (now Dole) ad agency to paint. In return she was to give them 2 of her paintings; neither, it turned out, had anything to do with pineapples, much to their annoyance. Once back in New York the company sent her a pineapple, as if she hadn’t seen one, and she obliged their request with the “Pineapple Bud” painting. Interesting that this painting looks very much like her close-up floral works with the tiny pineapple itself the pistol/stamen-like center.
Motivated by our museum visit, we decided to head out to Abiquiu to see the landscape that inspired O’Keeffe and drive by her home. She had two; one in Abiquiu and one at Ghost Ranch. Her Abiquiu home is open to the public in the summer but closed at this time of year and her Ghost Ranch home is not open to the public at any time.
Plaza Blanca is a less-visited destination, possibly because people are focused on the O’Keeffe residence and Ghost Ranch, and an absolutely stunning white sedimentary rock formation. The property is owned by the Dar Al Islam Education Center – we visited the Mosque; a beautiful building designed by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy.
I was a bit disappointed to learn that Ghost Ranch has little to do with Georgia O’Keeffe other than the fact that she bought land from the Presbyterian church that owns the many hundreds of acres. They allow visitors to hike the famous Chimney Rock and Box Canyon Trails, but other than that the property is a sprawl of disparate buildings.
I didn’t quite succeed in my goal to eat green chile at every meal during our NM visit but I was close and finished up with a green chile and bean filled burrito smothered with more green chile at the famous Frontier Restaurant adjacent to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. This restaurant is a spectacle in itself and a great finish to our New Mexico journey.
Dar Al Islam Mosque
Dar Al Islam Mosque
Ghost Ranch Landscape
Chimney Rock from the Trail’s Highest Point
Chimney Rock and Cerro Pedernal in the Distance
Georgia O’Keeffe’s Ghost Ranch Home from Chimney Rock
Box Canyon Trailhead
Map Location – Chimney Rock and Box Canyon
Map Location – Plaza Blanca