New Mexico has been calling me to visit year after year since I was a child. We would travel out with my family for summer hiking or horseback riding adventures or for snow skiing in the winter. That was long before Taos Ski Valley and Ski Santa Fe were discovered as off the beaten path destinations and long before I gained an appreciation for the wonderful trail running in these places. New Mexico has a spiritual and cultural essence that must be experienced to understand. I imagine the days when Georgia O’Keeffe would travel out to spend the summers and how distant those wild places must have felt compared to her time on the east coast. She described in her letters to Alfred Stieglitz the feeling of “coming alive” in NM. This place has a way of pointing us back toward our best selves. I always return from a visit feeling renewed and hopeful. Filled with memories of chilly nights and kiva fireplaces with the scents of pinon wood… the blue sky and puffs of white clouds joining the endless horizon of landscapes filled with brilliant colors in the rocks and vegetation. It is no surprise that these places are still known as havens for creativity and art. A brief stroll down Canyon Road in Santa Fe is a testament to that creativity, the Santa Fe Opera, the beautiful collections of Native American Art, the food culture… the list goes on. I feel in this year of shutdowns and social distancing we will all be hungry for the culture, art, and places that make life full.
When we curated the Threshold Expeditions trip to New Mexico, we tailored the itinerary to share our very favorite experiences with you. A day spent in the mountains of Taos followed by a stroll through the charming downtown square, a quick drive to the Rio Grande Gorge bridge, or even a peek into the DH Lawrence art collection at the La Fonda hotel. A beautiful trip through Abiquiu and then arriving at Ghost Ranch for the very first time to witness these famous rocks and landscapes, the experience of the ranch and the staff who are passionate about its mission providing education programs with a reverence to nature and spiritual well-being. We spend the last two nights in Santa Fe at one of my favorite hotels in the USA. The Four Seasons Rancho Encantado has all the elements of luxury you would expect, blended perfectly with the charm of the Land of Enchantment. I’ve shared wonderful meals and conversations with friends here that fill my heart full of memories I cherish. New Mexico is a place that opens us as people and leaves its imprint on our souls… you will feel its call long after you’ve returned home and find yourself dreaming and understanding O’Keeffe’s words: “When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I’d never seen anything like it before, but it fitted me exactly. It’s something that’s in the air—it’s different. The sky is different, the wind is different. I shouldn’t say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don’t want them interested.”
Here is link to the “Songs of the Season” from the Santa Fe Opera. Enjoy and let us all continue to be safe during this season of hope and light.
Further Listening: Stieglitz and O’Keeffee: Their Love and Life in Letters
Karen Thomas is a co-founder and trip curation director at Threshold Expeditions. She brings extensive world travel experience, a passion for creating dream trips, following the latest in luxury hotels and destinations and a love for culture, food, and people. She loves trail-running, travel, meaningful conversations, a morning newspaper or a good book, her family and rescue dog Lois.