Chasing the Sunrise

13 10 2011

When you think of New Mexico, you tend to think hot…desert…dry…dusty.  You probably think cactus too.  You don’t really think mountains, rainstorms, lush greenery, wildflowers, vibrant fall colours.  At least that was my first assumption coming from a Westcoast perspective.  Imagine my surprise when we rolled into Santa Fe, NM for the first time back in February and almost got stopped because of a white out.  Blizzard conditions and cold cold COLD temperatures.

During our visit at the beginning of October we were able to see a different side of Santa Fe.  For one thing it wasn’t 17 F/ -8 C.  We caught some morning photos of the flowers on Canyon Road after a rainstorm the night before.

The day we flew out of Albuquerque on a 3:45pm flight we woke up early and raced up the mountain to Hyde Memorial State Park.   We figured it made most sense to catch whatever the sunrise was going to bring if we made it to the highest point we could.  Well, you never feel more late than when you are trying to make it to a certain spot to catch a sunrise (or a sunset).  There’s just no stopping the sun.  You can’t call it up and say ‘I‘m running a little late, can you just hold on for an extra 5 – 10 min? ‘  The clouds were stacked up in the sky and they started to get a deep red tinge to them, then they started to turn orange, then bright pink.

We pulled over to catch what we could of the sky, and at that moment I regretted the time I spent putting on a little powder, blush and mascara…..And then as quick as the clouds turned bright pink, the colour started to fade, the clouds got wispier, and that was pretty much it.   We continued heading up towards the ski basin to see what else we could see.

Snow!  The rainstorm that we experienced in town (7000 ft elevation) ended up being a snow storm at the 12,000 ft elevation towards the top of the mountain.  So in one photo we see winter and fall taking place side by side.

It was a little late in the season, but all of the Aspens were turning golden yellow.  From town it looked like the mountain had large bald spots since the golden aspen trees were surrounded by the green pinion and ponderosa pine forest.   But as you stood amongst the tall Aspens it was just a sea of yellow and when the wind and the sun hit the leaves just right, it looked like the forest was shimmering gold.

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3 responses

13 10 2011
Natalie

Wow, Traci – your pictures rock! Hope you guys are both doing well. Happy belated Canadian Thanksgiving!

13 10 2011
rowingthroughlife

Beautiful pictures!!! Thanks for sharing!

17 12 2011
Don

Lovely lovely — thanks for taking the time to show us bits of the States that we always suspected exist but seldom see.
Yes – I started with my version of your ‘letter to my sixteen years old self’ – ‘cept I made it eighteen (boys develop later than girls) 🙂
I gave myself such a hard time for being so pig-headed as a youth that I had to move my ‘serious’ posts to ‘private’ 🙂
I think it was you who wrote that to expose too much of our inner selves can embarrass readers – especially friends and family. Probably best not to shatter the myth 🙂

Thanks from a Scottish admirer of your blog. You show a pleasant light touch with your writing and your pics are a bonus.

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