Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Flying S Ranch

After all these years...Guy shares The Flying S Ranch with me!

The day after Memorial Day we took the same journey north of Santa Fe, but this time we stopped at Abiquiu.  After a breakfast of honey buns and juice boxes at Bode's General Store, we ventured up the hill to Georgia O'Keeffe's home.  This is an honest-to-goodness small western town!

Ms. O'Keeffe's Home

Abiquiu's Catholic Church
Remember I mentioned being a new fan of Georgia O'Keeffe?  She said, "Why would I just paint a picture of what I can take a photograph of that!  I paint what I feel when I see a thing of beauty."  And now that I was standing here looking at her view I totally got it!

Just 5 miles down the highway we passed the Ghost Ranch museum and a small sign directing us to a dirt road and the Monastery of Christ in the Desert.  This, my husband tells me, is the Ranch Road.
Before us stretches 13 miles of unpaved road twisting and turning through the high desert...BEAUTIFUL!  On our left the Chama River twists and turns as well.  The only sign on our way states that we have entered the Santa Fe National Forest(After Guy Sr. died in 1969 the ranch was sold to the Federal government.)  At the 8 mile point my husband recognizes the trees where the Flying S Ranch gate once stood and around the next turn he sees the bridge his father had built over the Chama River to the Ranch houses.

Fasten your seat's going to be a bumpy ride!

The buildings Guy inhabited when he spent his summers here are no longer standing, but he did find some of the original fence posts.  And so I heard the whole "used to be" presentation.  Including all about the ranch hands, Jack & Orville; his quarter horse, Sandy and Bowser, the three-legged dog.  (He lost his leg to a rattlesnake bite!)

It had been 35 years since Guy had walked these was an emotional moment for both of us.

Back in the Tahoe we traveled the remaining 5 miles of the Ranch Road to the Monastery.  As a boy, Guy got to knock-off early every Sunday, wash up, dress in his good clothes and go to Mass.  His dad would drive him and wait in the truck.  Again, I was simply amazed at the natural grandeur surrounding us.  If you have the opportunity when in NM, seeing is can actually stay at the Monastery.

  Desert garden dedicated to Pope John Paul.

Can't you just imagine a young Guy at church?

A view of red rock cliffs through the windows


Stations of the Cross

The Monastery has a lovely gift shop that is truly on the honor system.  Handcrafted items from the monks here or other monasteries and convents, with a basket for your cash or a self-serve credit card machine.  Try some Frankincense & Myrrh!

Back in the Tahoe we made our way back to the High Road to Taos.

Taos is a small town which is described as an "artist's colony."  Our opinion...mega retail in a quirky western setting.  On the way you can stop at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge(This is where some giant sliced the Earth like a pie!)  Seriously, the impressive bridge is 650 feet above the canyon floor. 

*Okay trivia experts, the wedding scene from what movie was filmed here?*

Speaking of movies, as we made our way into town, we noticed flags at half-mast and dozens of roadside memorials.  Many people were wearing black armbands.  Once we were familiar with our server at Graham's Grille, I asked her about this. 

Her reply, "Haven't you heard...Dennis Hopper died.  He's our Honorary Mayor."  It seems Mr. Hopper filmed "Easy Rider" here, fell in love with the place and made Taos his home.  (In fact, the next day he was buried in Taos.) 

After lunch, we bought T-shirts for our grandsons and headed back to Santa Fe.

*Answer to trivia question*
"Natural Born Killers"

Again we were traveling through Indian reservation lands.  Another thing you should know about traveling with Guy...he sees an interesting 2-lane road or dirt road and he's there!  (This is why we rent 4-wheel drive vehicles.)  Now in this part of NM these roads are referred to as the Turquoise Trail, so I didn't object!  But you should also know, GUARD RAIL does not exist in this part of our country.  (The roadside memorials were no longer for Dennis Hopper.)  There are no photos because I was holding on for dear life.  (And I was so glad we had spent the morning walking the Stations of the Cross!)

This was NOT our rental!

Dinner that evening was in the hotel bar.  I didn't want to get back in the Tahoe and I needed a drink(s)!
And on that note I will end this post from the Flying S Ranch.

Next time...Muchas Gracias!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Liz & Guy,
    I am loving reading about your adventures! What a beautiful blog. Thank you for sharing. You will need to post-date all your trips!! Then make a book.
    Happy Trails