Sunday, June 18, 2017

Racing with the Sun

This is our last full day in New Mexico. We leave Taos for Albuquerque this morning and fly home tomorrow.  We have been lazy creatures.  Perhaps we have had a bug.  Perhaps it is altitude.  That is what people keep telling me though I have been at high altitudes all my life and have never felt the strain.  Yesterday, we simply drove around and looked at things.  The transition from mesa to mountain is stark.  There is almost no transition at all.  One moment you are in mesa and the next you are in verdant forest.  We drove into the Carson National Forest before nightfall and left the heat of the day behind, the temperature dropping with each bend in the road.  We rolled the windows down and shivered.  We stopped by a stream of melted glacier water and watched it race down the mountainside and wanted to stay the night.  But of course. . . .

Back down the mountain, the sky turned to fire.  Jesus Christ, a cowboy sky.  I jacked the little rental car, a piece of shit tin can Corolla, into overdrive and sped off toward the Rio Grande Gorge hoping to get there before the sun went down.  The sun sank and onward we sped, knowing if we had only left five minutes before. . . . Ili took some phone photos through the dirty windshield as I raced time.

The outcome was predetermined.  When we got there, the gorge was simply a shadow, the sunset a memory.

"It is better this way," Ili said.  "That would have been a photograph, and not a good one, but just like a thousand others.  It is better that we just keep it this way."

And she was right.  We will remember racing the sun through the New Mexican mesa only to lose, only to win.

We will take our time today, stopping wherever we like.  We stay on an organic farm tonight that is famous for its lavender.  Hoping for lavender dreams.

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