A mid-day roadside doggie pee-pee and lunch stop prompted us to look for a destination for the evening. As usual we were traveling without a real destination. We travel that way and enjoy it. Looking at our options, we found ourselves about 3 miles from a US Army Corp of Engineers (COE) campground just two miles off the highway we're traveling. We stopped in for the evening.
COE campgrounds are almost always pleasant, though I must say I don't know why engineers can't manage to lay out level campsites -- but I digress. What we found at Riana Campground on Lake Abiquiu was just about what I'd call "breathtakingly" beautiful.
|Overlooking Riana Campground at Abiquiu Lake near Abiquiu, New Mexico|
|Sunset view from our windshield - Riana Campground at Abiquiu Lake, New Mexico|
|This is the view from our bedroom window. Sweet!|
Next morning the sun was gloriously bright and the sky was blue with big puffy white clouds thrown around in it. No signs of yesterday's gloom and rain!
The Abiquiu Dam is nearby and we always like to see dams. We learned from the campground host that the six mile ride back into Abiquiu would be worthwhile as Bode's General Store served up good food and we might also want to see the house where famed artist Georgia O'Keeffe lived. I'm not really into art, but anytime we're in an area of an artist, writer or other famous-type person, I try to take interest and learn a little something about their contribution.
So, while Wayne was getting dressed, I took a quick walk around the campground loop from where I could get an even better view from the highest point.
|The view from above "zoomed" a bit to show our coach in site #15.|
|The Abiquiu Dam Visitors Center was closed! What? A quasi-government entity that's closed! Hard to imagine.|
|The Visitors Center did have a photo-worthy building and plants.|
Sooooo.... about this mountain.... It's name is Cerro Pedernal and it is famous for being so frequently included in the paintings of famous artist, Georgia O'Keeffe. Locals tell us that O'Keeffe believed she had a deal with God; that if she included it in her paintings often enough, God would give the mountain to her. She asked to have her ashes thrown into the wind from atop the mountain on a day when the breeze would take her remains across the lake and valley below. Her wish was granted.
|Another view of Cerro Pedernal, Spanish for flint hill, probably given that name because of the agate that's there. |
Native Americans used agate extensively to make tools and weapons.
|More of Abiquiu Lake|
|Chama River just below the dam.|
|We took the zig-zag road down to the river below.|
|The spooky river canyon road below the dam.|
Back up top again, we went into the town of Abiquiu to see the home of artist Georgia O'Keeffe. Born in Wisconsin, O'keefe visited New Mexico for the first time in 1929 and later lived in the Abiquiu area until her retirement in 1984. I am not a huge fan of Georgia O'Keefe -- her paintings just do not "move" me but that's another story -- I'm enjoying learning about her.
|O'Keeffe was not an endearing person -- some say she simply didn't suffer fools. |
I've seen very few photographs of her smiling. She was, I think, a beautiful woman though.
|An Abiquiu canteen.|
|The nicest building in Abiquiu -- the church.|
Back on Highway 84 again, we stopped in at Bode's General Store for lunch. The menu was interesting and the food did not dissapoint.