Abby and I drove to Santa Fe, New Mexico at a leisurely pace with our Chihuahuas, Max and Sierra, in Abby’s new Nissan Frontier 4WD pickup, which travels well and comfortably.
•Driving the long route to Moab
We drove from Santa Fe to Moab, Utah via Taos, the Rio Grande Gorge, Tres Piedras, Chama, Pagosa Springs, Colorado, Durango, Cortez, and Monticello, Utah.
We stopped and made excellent pictures together at the San Francisco de Asis Church. Neither of us had ever photographed it.
Our route continued via the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, where there were roadside vendors. Abby bought several gifts for her co-workers.
Just up the road was the Earthship Biotecture World Headquarters, which is a commune-style cluster of homes dedicated to living off the grid using sustainable means and recycling items like cans, bottles, and tires to build their structures. I had stopped at a different place in that same cluster in 2007, a competitor called “World’s Nest.” Abby and I made some unique images.
We shot several locations in the mountains of northern New Mexico.
At Chama, we got an excellent late lunch at a place called High Country. We pulled into Moab after dark.
•Delicate Arch and the Windows
We left the dogs at the hotel for our traditional hike to Delicate Arch, where we got married. It was a cool day with a breeze, but abundant sunshine kept us warm. The hiking went fairly slow due to Abby’s knees, but despite quite a bit of pain, she was determined to make it, and did fine. Tons of friendly people wished us happy anniversary. Near the top of the trail, I broke from the route and made a short move north into a series of pinnacles while Abby continued to the arch. It was a worthwhile detour, as I saw some neat stuff, and made a couple of images that improved my perspective on the overall landscape.
After Delicate Arch, we drove over to The Windows section, which Abby had never visited, and made a few decent images, followed by a quick sunset visit to Balanced Rock. Abby discovered a portion of desert varnish in The Windows that she swore looked to her like a fresco of Christ, but I was unable to visualize it.
For dinner we walked from our hotel room to Moab Brewery, possibly our favorite place to eat in Moab, and had a veritable orgasm of dining.
In all, it was an excellent day; Abby and I loved sharing this time together.
•Abby’s Day Off
Abby stayed in our room with the dogs while I hiked the Onion Creek Bench trail and the Porcupine Rim trail in the morning. After lunch, explored the Garden of Eden section of Arches, followed by Double Arch. I drove to the Delicate Arch Overlook and hiked some distance to the east, where I was able to make some very interesting images. At sunset I photographed the Fiery Furnace, and made some exceptional images.
• Introducing Abby to Canyonlands
I took Abby to the Island in the Sky district at Canyonlands, where we hiked the Grand View Point trail and the White Rim Overlook trail, both among my favorite short trails.