Chasing the Water: Whitewater Mermaids

Chasing the Water: Whitewater Mermaids

We’re chasing the water again, this time in Salida, Colorado. During a girls weekend, where I’d known most of the people there since I was 5-years-old, we went river rafting and looking for water sprites. The mermaids had fun with us that day!

We glided through the water while I was enjoying the scenery, peacefulness of the cliffs and national park forest. It gave me a lot of serenity and inspiration for Iona Fay & The Sea Sirens, book three. It didn’t last long.

Some of my friends got a little too spirited and decided to do some unexpected underwater exploration to help me out. Right after Meghan with an “M,” our river guide, told us we were the best group she’s taken down the river, we hit “Hemorrhoid” rock, and half of the people in our boat toppled into the water. Fortunately, we quickly rallied, dunking and hauling everyone safely back in the boat within minutes. Upon which, Meghan with an “M” informed us that no one has ever fallen out at hemorrhoid rock.

We were the first.

On the bright side, at least we didn’t lose people in the “Toilet Bowl.”

Georgia O’Keeffe & Ghost Ranch

Georgia O’Keeffe & Ghost Ranch

What an Adventure!

It’s no wonder Georgia O’Keeffe came to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico for over 50 years to paint, eventually making it her permanent residence. I was so inspired by the awe-inspiring topography, on a whim I submitted an article to Trailer Life about the timeless enchantment that reigns in  New Mexico’s 150 to 200-million-year-old cliffs and canyons. (Look for the article in Trailer Life this November, 2017.)

(PHOTO COURTESY OF GHOST RANCH)

New Mexico feels ancient. It feels like a place out of time, as if New Mexico was present when time was created. For hours, I sat in a rocking chair on a perfectly positioned terrace at Ghost Ranch, talking with Daniel, a Native American, whose grandmother was a healer in his tribe. If you’ve ever been to Ghost Ranch, then you know the exact terrace of which I’m speaking — you can’t mistake it. There I rocked, staring off into the distance at the mountain ahead, talking with Daniel about how old New Mexico feels. The closest feeling I’d had before was traveling through Savannah; it feels like people of the past are walking around in the present — you can easily imagine Civil War soldiers and ghosts at every turn. New Mexico is close in it’s unique vibe, but it’s different than Savannah. New Mexico feels ancient, as if the land still resides in the time of its birth, millions of years ago.

We rock, much of the time in silence. It’s the same view that besotted O’Keeffe for half a century. She was enamored by the mountain; it held her heart. In Georgia O’Keeffe a Life in Art, she mentions in the film that God told her that if she painted the mountain enough times that he’d give it to her. I imagine that if someone artistically meditates a lifetime on thing of such serene beauty,  the subject can’t help but somehow become a part of the artist.

(above: the mountain God gave O’Keeffe)

God definitely gave her gifts—her paintings, life and residence. When visiting Ghost Ranch in person, it’s easy to see why O’Keeffe was captivated. With it’s mythological, checkered history, transforming from Ranch of the Witches, a hide out for cattle rustlers, a dude ranch, location for films such as City Slickers and dinosaur stomping grounds, one has only to sit rocking on the terrace at Ghost Ranch to know that we are only a small part of something bigger than ourselves.

Buffalo Mountain Retreat

Buffalo Mountain Retreat

Magic is a garden breakfast! We had a blissful morning with Jessie Benson Fine Art of Buffalo Mountain Retreat! What a magical time. We’re still talking about it and her A-MAZ-ING cooking.

Hand to heart, prior 10:07 am EST there was only one omelette that held the title of “best omelette.” It is The Gastonian in Savannah. That title is now at risk!

The photos show the omelette Jessie made me. This Buffalo Mountain Omelette is now tied for first place!

Here’s what makes her omelette so delish: we went into her garden, freshly picked our own herbs (sage, onion, chives, banana pepper, jalapeño, nasturtium), a little butter, parmesan and cheddar, Jessie’s magic with a skillet, and we ate it with a view of Buffalo Mountain.

If you go to the retreat, a blissful day awaits guests while enjoying yoga, meditation and delicious food.

Thank you, Jessie, for your open heart and hospitality! XO

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Air Streaming in the Clouds

Air Streaming in the Clouds

On Monday, we spent the night in the sky! We were looking for air fairies and swear we heard them on the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The air is so pure. It sounds strange, but, hand to heart, it is the best smelling air. It is intoxicating.

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To get this view, I spent 30 minutes backing up inch by inch, leaving us less than a foot of wiggle room…or else we were going over a cliff. A blissful, beautiful cliff, mind you. But a cliff, nonetheless. I was neither keen on that, nor was I certain about the guidance from the man holding a downing beers, who was guiding me in the spot. It was touch and go for a while. Finally, we backed in and called it a night.

The next morning, we were up early, communing with the air fairies along the road. Can you hear their blue grass tunes in the wind?