When Steven and I arrived at the ranch last year in early November, we had no idea that it would be after Easter before we said our goodbyes and began our trek back to the northwest. We assumed we'd be on our way shortly after Christmas, boondocking in the desert southwest for several weeks before turning north. But my dental appointments kept us in the area far longer than we had anticipated.
Though we would not have planned it this way, in the end, we realized how well it worked out and just how much more traveling we were able to do. With the ranch as our center of all things, we branched out in every direction possible. We had an amazing winter and early spring filled with new destinations, beautiful sights and unforgettable experiences. The icing on the cake was the time we got to spend with my family. All-in-all, it was just about perfect.
Fun with Buzzy at the ranch and an aerial shot of the ranch with Scoopy.
Steven and Tara did a fun photo shoot before she left.
In between final appointments, we managed to get Scoopy's new water pump installed and put Tara on a plane back to San Diego. Just six days after returning to the ranch from our northern swing, we waved goodbye one more time to my parents and the dogs, Luke and Maddie. We will return to the ranch in November, but there is so much traveling to be done between now and then, and we were really excited to get going!
Luke wishes he could go too.
Tara heads home to San Diego.
The rock(s) that give Mexican Hat its name.
We couldn’t pass through Albuquerque without a stop at TJs. Wine, boo! Basil, yay!
Scoopy arrives at the Elk's Lodge.
Our awesome view in Farmington.
Toadie approves of the view of Shiprock.
A raven very kindly poses for his closeup with Shiprock.
In theory, that was a good plan. In actuality, it was not. I mean, it turned out okay, it's just that it didn't even cross my mind that in order to meet up with the highway we wanted to be on, we first had to cross a mountain pass that would put us above 10,000 feet and the snowline. On the one hand, it was kind of a grind to drive, but on the other, it was beautiful. Nonetheless, it put us a couple of hours behind schedule and added a whole bunch of unnecessary miles to our trip. Oh, well. Good thing we're retired.
Uh, the altimeter says we are at 10,000 feet!
You can see Scoopy's proximity to the cliff edge.
An aerial shot showing Goosenecks in the background.
There were so many gorgeous views here!
The light changed by the minute creating all sorts of drama.
Steven was in photography heaven at Goosnecks.
Clarke and Elaine's setup at sunrise.
The gang - together at last!
Scoopy says goodbye to Clarke and Elaine.