|Nambe, New Mexico. Photo by Jack Gordon
When we climbed over the barbed wire fence that separated the highway from wind carved rock crags that stood like ships on the tree dotted high desert plain, I joked of being arrested. My friend was curious. Actually, I had been arrested once in the same location. Or so I remembered . . . it was long ago and I had been standing off the highway on Indian Tribal property painting the beautiful landscape. An officer drove up and arrested me for trespassing. That is how my memory goes anyway.
I had not been back until now. My friend Jack from Washington DC is visiting for a few weeks while his wife teaches a writing class. He had seen the spectacular rock formation and wanted to go back in the evening to shoot pictures of stars.
As I drove and he pointed out the way, I realized we were on the high road to Taos, New Mexico, the most scenic route between the northern New Mexico cities of Santa Fe and Taos. Great clouds were forming dramatic curtains as the sun steadily drifted to the horizon. We stopped at an old church and browsed among tombstones, then continued on until we came to the spot. As night came, coyotes started howling, a familiar sound to me, but not to Jack. He asked, “Are there rattlesnakes around here?”
|Rock formation, photo by S. Boone
His equipment was more elaborate than mine, and he was interested in taking long exposure photos to capture stars in the sky above the rock cliffs. He set up and I sauntered in a different direction because I was fascinated with the full moon shining close to the horizon. It hung in the dark sky among massive indigo clouds. Occasionally a car would come along the highway and its headlights would beam light in front. Because my exposure was long, the light would appear as a solid line of incandescence in the otherwise dark foreground.
|Lipstick sunset, photo by S. Boone
Jack and I lounged on the sandy earth, waiting for his picture and talking in the dark. His photo did not come out to his liking because of the clouds. When we climbed back over the fence to go home, it was almost midnight. We took turns holding the fence open while squeezing through. Jack arrived through but I got caught on a barb and fell. My pants ripped and hand cut in three places. When I opened the car door, I could see a lot of blood. Jack came to the rescue with bandages he had with him.
|Headlights and full moon, photo by S. Boone
Our hearts were light and we talked all the way on the 30 minute drive home.