The small town of Abiquiu, New Mexico is about an hour north of Santa Fe. Georgia O’Keeffe, one of my favorite artists, spent much of her life here. We based ourselves at the Abiquiu Inn which has lovely views, delicious food, and is convenient to all of the O’Keeffe sites in the area.
The area is filled with cragy cottonwood trees, wind carved rock formations dotted with green scrub and lots of stones and boulders. The Chama River snakes through the rocks adding a little contrasting color to the mostly brown and green palette.
A morning hike at Plaza Blanca is a unique and spiritual experience. It is in an accessible but remote location where Georgia O’Keeffe returned often to paint and to camp. Dramatic white rock formations collide with a seemingly endless horizon and give Plaza Blanca its name, which is Spanish for the ‘white place’. The white rocks which have been cut by wind and water for centuries have an otherworldly terrain. The contrast of texture and light among the soaring rocks shift with the sun and clouds. It is easy to see the allure to capture their special quality in paintings and photographs. Plaza Blanca is on private land owned by the Dar Al Islam mosque and education center. The public, with pre-approved registration, has access to the area. We were all alone which made us feel big and small at the same time.
After that stunning hike, we drove to Arroyo Seco, a small artist town. We had some tasty & healthy plant based food at Wake & Take, followed by delicious ice cream at Taos Cow. We explored the shops, spoke with several of the artisans and admired the still snow-capped mountains near Taos. This prompted our next stop, Taos. We visited art galleries but we mostly enjoyed street music and people watching before returning to Abiquiu.
Our late afternoon was filled with the small museum at The O’Keeffe Welcome Center. The current exhibit includes photos, journal entries and camping gear of Georgia O’Keeffe dating from the late 1920s until the 1970s. There is also an interesting short documentary.
After this fun filled day, we relaxed on our little porch and enjoyed the mountains and the horses and how fortunate we are.