Early this week I rose before dawn, still dark outside I put the hot water on to make a cup of coffee and got bundled up in layers to gear up for the elements on this late August morning. I warmed up our 1973 Fj40 Land Cruiser, put the heaters on, grabbed my coat, loaded up our puppy Willow and we drove off on our dirt road heading towards the edge of the Rio Grande Gorge. As we drove southwest, the sun started to stir behind the Taos Mountains and waves of virgo stretched from the heavens to the sacred earth offering dramatic scenery making the early rise every bit worth it! The rain penetrated the windshield adding to this dramatic scene as we raced to beat the sunrise before arriving at the gorge and the Rim Trailhead.
It’s amazing to me that crossing over the Rio Grande Gorge is always an exciting sensation, especially with the taste of fall in her crisp breeze and flirting elements evoke an adventurous feeling with my hair blowing wildly in the wind. I zipped my coat up, called to Willow and we headed for the trail-head, when suddenly the sun rose up over the Taos Mountains and painted the sky and sacred earth with an absolute breathtaking scene. I was captivated and immediately started snapping photographs on my camera lens in almost disbelief with the vivid colors of the sunrise lighting. The organic wild of this scene was invigorating and inspired something within me full of gratitude and purpose living here in Taos.
There is such a profound impact on the transition of seasons here in northern New Mexico. It almost seems that all at once the Apache Plume blooms again, the red hues outline the tips of the high alpine kinnikinnik and the yellow on the deciduous trees, the light is enriched with more golden color, the chamisa blossoms brilliant yellow, and the chill to the air is inviting to partake in this annual celebration of Summer’s surrender to Fall.
As we hiked along the Rim Trail the clouds began to build and darken with rain all around us, and yet where we were hiking the sun showed favor and offered this incredible scene of the sagebrush flats extending as far as I could see. This geological force caused the Rio Grande Rift to give birth to the Rio Grande with towering walls of basalt. This time of year the shadows elongate, warmer clothing is required to handle the ever changing weather, but the invitation to be awoken and engage with this landscape never ceases it just grows stronger as we evolve into autumn. This it truly the best time of year to get out hiking and explore the natural wonders that are so generous in this landscape. There is an abundance of opportunity to catch the ethereal light that has attracted so many artisans and photographers interpreting the view in a variety of lenses. Make sure to set your intention this fall to smother yourself in the elements, gather layers of clothing to bundle in, and allow this endless warm sunshine to fall upon your view as the elements dance around you! Let this wild setting speak to you in her own way so that you take home a truly unforgettable memory in the Land of Enchantment.