Friday, June 11, 2010


I, happily, want to report that all is well with Tom's arm fistula for dialysis. The surgeons were able to open the blockages and we will begin dialysis again tomorrow with newly-flowing vessels. We are both tired, but relieved, that we made the correct decision to return early from our vacation and get this taken care of before it became a lot more difficult to repair (as our surgeon confirmed as if we had waited 24 more hours).

We remain committed, however, to dialysis in the motorhome as we travel and will follow our instincts and the advice of our support people through NxStage and DaVita and continue in our travels. We hope to return to Chama to our favorite RV park ever, Sky Mountain RV Park, either later this summer or early in the Fall (when the colors are supposed to be magnificent) and regain more of our vacation experience we missed this time. In the meantime, we are taking care of business dialysis-wise and everything else that has to be done and will resume traveling as we can.

Back to the Desert

We had to return early from our time in Chama. Tom's dialysis fistula needed to have a procedure to open up the narrowing of the vessels so we made a fast two-day trip home and he will have the procedure this morning. I miss Chama already! It was so hot while unloading the motorhome yesterday, although it was warmer than usual in Chama when we left, 80-degree heat differs quite a bit from 110-degree heat!

We plan on returning later this summer, so please wait for the travelogue to continue.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Painting, At Last!

With all of our exploration days, train trips, etc. this month I have not painted very much. Yesterday and today, however, I did work on this painting. It is for my SWAP (Sharing With Artist Partners) partner coming up later this month. I am showing this here, now, but don't tell anyone I did that. I will keep the recipient's name secret until he/she receives the painting. I love these swaps, I receive lovely paintings in return as well as having a secret for awhile.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

On Saturday night, before our train trip on Sunday to celebrate our fortieth wedding anniversary, we were treated to this wondrous sunset. I took this photo without any special settings, it just had this glow on its own.

Here Tom and I are, enjoying the open car of the train and the special scenery. We had wonderful weather the entire day. This was a special treat for our anniversary. The other passengers, the great docents who narrated our train trip and provided entertaining and interesting information, the great lunch provided at Osier, and just spending the special day together made for a wonderful celebration for us.

On a horseshoe turn I was able to photograph the front locomotive and a few of the front cars. This is a coal-powered, steam engine from the late 1800's; restored and used as a tourist train for the past forty years.

As we neared Chama on our return home, no more steam was needed as we had crested the highest point and it was all downhill from there, so the engineer released a huge jet of steam to clean the deposits left in the boiler from the minerals in the water. This was an impressive sight to see.

They had such a great snow pack and wet winter here that the wildflowers are in great form. These are wild irises, which made for many photos from the train.

All-in-all we had a wonderful day and now, when we chase this train from the highway, we will have special memories of what it was like to be on the train. I was able to photograph all of the trestles we have taken photos of the train passing over, only this time it was from the train!

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Chaco Canyon

Thursday we traveled to Chaco Canyon, south of Farmington, NM. This is a canyon which contains the ruins of the Chacoan people, who inhabited the area and built communities from A.D. 850-1450. They must have been wonderful engineers and workmen since their architecture showed such great skill and beauty. My photo program is not cooperating very well with me in creating a panorama of one of the Great Houses so I can't show you that here, but this photo shows some of what their ceremonial areas contained.

Paula Devereaux

While shopping at the local grocery store here in Chama, I saw a very attractive lady wearing a gorgeous southwest necklace. I spoke to her and told her I admired her necklace, she said she liked mine too! I was wearing one of the neck rings with a pendant that I had rock hounded and polished. We got to talking and discovered that we were both artists and we exchanged business cards. We talked for about 10 minutes right in the aisles of the store, had a lovely conversation. She has invited me to her studio here in Chama, which I hope to take her up on before we leave.

In looking at her website, I was awe struck by her talent. This is no hobbyist artist, she has been a professional artist for 35 years, working in bronze and wood sculpture, painting and pottery. Do check out her website, her work is amazing!

Snow Run-off

Wednesday we spent the morning exploring some of the roads we have not traveled so far and one road that we wanted to return to and see if the snow had all melted. Well, it had not! There will be run-off for quite some time if the drifts we saw are anything to go by. This vista is on top of a mountain, on a road designated as "Spruce Hole". We had wondered what that might be and it is a large valley where it is protected as a birthing area for elk, peregrine falcons, etc. No hunting allowed. As you can see, one can see for miles atop this mountain. We were at the 10,800 foot elevation.

There were many run-off streams we found, most of which had tumbling water. It made for great photography opportunities.

There were quite a few places where the water was streaming below the still-frozen snow drifts, forming an ice bridge. Here, you can see where the water is rushing down on the upper right and exiting the bridge at the lower left.

Photographing water of any kind just fascinates me, I think that comes from being a child of the desert, where there is little water.