We completed our trips in June with a visit to the Northeastern area of New Mexico near Abiquiu and the landscapes made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe. Though commonly attributed to the same geological make-up; including once ancient ocean and volcano sediments, this area presents a striking difference compared to the Northwest area of our New Mexico journey.
We visited the El Malpais (pronounced el-mal-pie-EES) National Monument that is the location of a massive area of lava flows extending at least 17 miles. The volcanic features include cinder cones, lava tube cave systems and fragile ice caves.
Our visit to the Four Corners region of Northwestern New Mexico certainly left us as travelers in the other-wordly. Reaching the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness (pronounced Bis-tie), commonly known as the badlands. Over 41,000 acres of the bizarre awaited us as we approached the wasteland after traveling miles of washboard riddled dirt roads. As we finally approached the onset of the wilderness we were captivated in the absolute barren landscape that was quietly observing our entry…
It was our great pleasure to visit the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Reserve for trip number five in the Walking Enchantment Series.
“Established in 1939 to provide a critical stopover for migrating waterfowl, the refuge is well known for the thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl that winter here each year.” U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Our walk in enchantment continues as we completed a successful shoot of four additional locations on our journey. We stay close to center after our last steps along the Historic Route 66 and begin with an impromptu visit to a hidden gem in Albuquerque, New Mexico, visiting the award winning Albuquerque Rose Garden.
We had an urban experience this weekend seeking the other-worldly along Albuquerque, New Mexico’s piece of the Historic Route 66…
We embarked on our first Walking Enchantment journey and it proved to initiate the inspiration we were out to capture in this enchanted State. We began in the early morning and arrived at The Trinity Site, ground zero to the first atomic bomb testing.
It was a different type of welcome, the site still being an active military location it was clear from the moment we arrived that our access and time here would be limited. The line of anxious visitors grew as we waited on the road leading into the area from the highway and finally the time came to see and experience ground zero…
The radioactivity at the Trinity Site creates less exposure in an hour of human contact than we receive when flying coast to coast on an airplane, yet the warnings of the human interference with this landscape remained very evident…
Just past the warm reception we entered the area that on July 16, 1945 @ 5:29:45 a.m the 19-kiloton explosion sounded and the world was ushered into the atomic age. This obelisk, made from the lava rock native to many areas of New Mexico, marks the exact location the detonation occurred.
One of the most captivating forces of our experience today was the mass number of people that were present to account for this location’s history. As we spent time absorbing the area’s voice the number only grew and grew. Above is one of the smaller crowds viewing detonation site memorial. Although in mass, even this active, aware human energy was not match for the oppressed earth. Children running in the area, touring groups in “take our picture” moments and a few friendly demeanor volunteers didn’t add to the quality of the area…it was stifled by human presence and no amount of human presence, even joyful, can be felt in the resonation of the site.
Trinity Site was odd to observe, I commented to Kathleen as we moved about the area that it felt as if the land there had gasped 69 years ago and still had not released. It was quiet and tired in its energy, as if the Trinitite stones found throughout the area were the last tears, yet to be wiped away. (Trinitite is often found in various atomic testing sites, it is the green, glass-like stone that is created when the force of the atomic energy melts the earth in the area and is known to carry trace amounts of radioactivity.)
Only one lost pencil and a lot of heavy energy later we were back on the road and in route to the White Sands of the Tularosa Basin of New Mexico. There is only one way to articulate the captivating beauty of White Sands….
As if a mirage in the middle of this high desert landscape the White Sand Dunes appear and beam with a shimmering warmth. It is a breathtaking place and the creation of this area began millions of years ago in the planets history. After shifting from a once flat sea bed, this area was then raised into the beginnings of the Tularosa Basin approximately 30 million years ago. The area of the Dunes has lived every life path the environment can have, yet these gypsum sands that arose close to 10,000 years ago are the living gift of the area, some dunes migrating 30-40 feet per year. This landscape is living, breathing and still shifting and its clear that nothing will be in the same place it was the last time of your visit.
We rise early tomorrow for more time with the sunrise in the dunes and are certain this inaugural trip on the Walking Enchantment journey will be a remarkable experience that we are grateful to live out. A portion of the proceeds from the Walking Enchantment project sales will benefit the top nominated charities sponsored in our fundraising program that will be announced very soon in August 2014! We appreciate your support of this project and our donation opportunities with your friends, family and social media communities!
Until the next location….