“Pedernal is my favorite mountain,” the famous painter, Georgia O’Keefe, once said.
|Robb Carter, Ghost Ranch guide|
“God told me if I painted it often enough, I could have it.” O’Keefe instantly fell in love with
New Mexico when she first visited, in 1917. Eventually, she made northern New Mexico her
permanent home. My first visit was 18 years ago,and I have been returning on and off with a love and fascination for the land that develops with increased potency, each time I
|Georgia O’Keefe’s small adobe on 8 acres at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu’, New Mexico|
Riding horseback among cliffs and painted desert flats, we curve around cactus and delicately cross arroyos where sands and gravels are left behind in abandoned river channels.
Earth colors…red dirt and pastel-colored shales; gypsum and limestone cover embedded dinosaur fossils, millions of years old. Named Ghost Ranch; this is a place of bones.
Whose bones? The skulls of dead steer, wrangled in the searing heat? Or the bones of the legendary red-haired,
six-foot tall “earth babies” that howl late into the night?
The ghosts of men fill these canyons. Men killed in battles between sheep and cattle ranchers…and outlaw livestock thieves fighting over a buried pot of gold.
Flat-topped mesas, stones that shine at sunset, colors of autumn bloom…the fragile high desert, mountains and mesas are all sacred places to those who love this precious land.