After leaving Ojo Calliente New Mexico, we enter the landscape of vast vistas, table-topped mesas, tall cliffs, the Rio Chama bordered by cottonwood trees, mountains in the distance and more beauty around every bend in the winding road. We headed through Abiquiu to Ghost Ranch.
Dinosaurs once walked on Ghost Ranch. Millions of years later Navajos and other tribes roamed the valley. The Spaniards settled here and then came the cattle rustlers, the wranglers and the dudes. Arthur Pack, one of the country’s first environmentalists, bought the Ranch and sold a little piece of it to Georgia O’Keeffe.
Scientists took time here away from the stresses of building the nuclear bomb at Los Alamos. Famous guests have included Charles Lindbergh, Ansel Adams and John Wayne.
Numerous movies were filmed on Ghost Ranch such as Cowboys and Aliens, City Slickers, Wyatt Earp, and many more. This is the cabin in City Slickers.
When the cattle rustlers were hiding their stolen goods in the box canyon alongside Kitchen Mesa, they discouraged their neighbors from looking around by spreading the rumor that the land was haunted by evil spirits. “Rancho de los Brujos” it was called, “Ranch of the Witches,” which evolved into Ghost Ranch. The turn-off to Ghost Ranch was marked by an animal skull long before Arthur Pack bought the ranch in 1936.
Ghost Ranch was donated to the Presbyterian Church in 1955 and offers lodging and retreats but is also open to visitors to the museum and hiking trails.
The day after we checked out the museums, we headed out for an early morning four mile hike to Chimney Rock.
The landscape of Ghost Ranch—made famous by painter Georgia O’Keeffe—encompasses 21,000 acres of towering rock walls, vivid colors and vast skies.
The higher we climbed, the more impressive were the views.
The trail to here.
What would a retreat be without a labyrinth?
This Corp of Engineers Campground was a great location. We had made a reservation for 2 nights with electric hookups but waned to stay longer. It was warm enough for us to want air conditioning. I spoke with the camp host that said we could take the walkup site #14. The lady in this site had left early because of the watermain break. We jumped at the offer and added another 3 nights and went to the Corp of Engineer office to fill our 5 gallon jug with water.
The trails along the lake were smartly marked with snake markers.
There isn't a whole lot in the very small town of Abiquiu other than a Dollar General, the Abiqui Inn with some great meals next to the George O'Keefe Welcome Center and Bodes gas station. Everything that we needed.
We tried Bodes for the WIFI and found a great little diner with the cutest ladies serving up some tasty meals and treats.
On our last night at the lake, our new friends from Colorado joined us for an evening by the fire. Every night gave us a beautiful sunset. I am not sure why we didn't stay longer.