Winterland Weekend in Abiquiu
Last month, when my mom was in town, we went to Abiquiu for the weekend. Abiquiu is about an hour’s drive from Santa Fe, and is home to Ghost Ranch and Plaza Blanca. We’ve been a number of times for day trips, and wanted to stay a bit longer to show my mom around. I found a cute little house on airbnb with room for three, which proved to be a perfect spot for us for a quick getaway. If you’re curious, we stayed here.
We’ve driven through Abiquiu a lot, going for hikes and driving through the town. One thing I’ve always found fascinating is that it feels like you can see for miles and miles, but you rarely see houses from the road. On many occasions, I’ve turned to Sonia and asked where everyone lives. With each time we’ve visited, we’ve seen a new part of the town, or driven down a road we’ve never gone on before, and each time we’ve seen a few more houses. It is a very small town, and houses do tend to be spread out. Often they are off of dirt roads that you don’t see unless you’re looking for them. This was definitely the case with the place we were staying at. Thankfully it wasn’t too far down a dirt road, as we don’t have four wheel drive on our car.
When we arrived, there were two husky puppies there to greet us, who we fell in love with. Abiquiu is a very small town, and places to eat out are limited, so we decided to bring our own food to cook for the weekend. This suited us just fine, since we love cooking. We packed warm clothes, lots of food, good books and Scrabble.
Our first night was lovely, very peaceful. Mom and Sonia tried and failed to beat me in Scrabble. (Don’t worry, Sonia’s parents came into town a few weeks later and totally crushed my game.) In the morning, we woke up to snow. Sonia and I had planned to go for a run, so we put on extra layers and headed out. It was beautiful and quiet out in the snow. We moved to New Mexico at the end of December last year, and there was hardly any snow the entire winter. Coming from Chicago, I didn’t miss it that much last year. But this year, I find that I’m really excited to see what New Mexico looks like under a white blanket.
After our run, we warmed up in our little house and had breakfast with my mom. We decided to go for a drive and a short hike to show my mom around. First we drove through the village of Abiquiu, and stopped in at Bosshard Gallery to look around. They have this lovely old truck parked out front, and the gallery itself was housed in a beautifully restored old building. We had fun looking around, and getting out of the cold.
We stopped in at Bode’s, because no trip to Abiquiu is complete without a visit there. And from there made our way out to Ghost Ranch. When we pulled into the visitor’s center, the snow had stopped and the sun was peeking out of the clouds in fits and spurts. We decided to try the short trail up to Chimney Rock.
We didn’t quite finish the whole Chimney Rock hike because the snow was a bit too deep, but we were rewarded with lots of wonderful views. To be honest the view on our entire walk was utterly amazing. The sky is so big and dramatic, and it was changing every minute. We could see snow showers far away, and then the sun would come out in just one little corner of the sky and spotlight some beautiful rock formations. The whole day was magical, we were truly in a winter wonderland.
After we got back to the car, we decided to drive around Abiquiu Lake to show my mom the view from the other side. By the time we got there, the storm was rapidly moving away, and the skies had mostly cleared, leaving just a few patches of snow.
And once we got back to our little weekend house, the snow was already melted almost everywhere. As if it had never happened.
After dinner and our scrabble games both evenings, we each moved onto our beds with a book. I brought Gretel Ehrlich’s book The Solace of Open Spaces with me. I’d just finished her book A Match to the Heart and loved it. (More on that and other favorite books here.) The Solace of Open Spaces is her first book, about moving out to Wyoming, and it was the perfect book to be reading out in the quiet of Abiquiu. New Mexico winters aren’t quite as harsh as Wyoming, but there is a lot of wide open space and sagebrush in both states, and there are lot of similar feelings to the landscape. I finished it back in Santa Fe, but I’ll always remember reading it in the plant and light filled loft at the Raven House.
I snapped this picture because the morning light was just so good in the loft. But this tableau is frequently what you will find on my night table anywhere, traveling or otherwise, a good book (currently that book is The Witch Elm by Tana French), notebook, and jewelry from the day before. The jewelry tends to be the same, I basically wear these pieces most days: the Thin Pontchartrain and Fuller bangles, the Mavericks Hammered cuff, the Carson ring, the Fuller ring, the Hyalite Small necklace, my wedding rings, the Small Hera earrings and Opal studs (not pictured because I rarely take my earrings off).
The whole weekend was quite magical, and I’m glad that we got to share it with my mom. I miss it already so I’m scheming some writing retreat weekends away with Sonia in Abiquiu and Taos for the next few months.