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Posts Tagged ‘staycation’


pecos yellow (one), first in a series of yellow flowers from the Pecos Mountains, July 24, 2008, photo © 2008 by ybonesy. All rights reserved.



There has been a spate of articles lately about how gas prices and the state of the economy in general are forcing many Americans to spend summer vacation at home or close to home this year. There’s even a term for it: staycation.

I guess my family qualifies as stay-at-home vacationers. During one of my two weeks off from work, we managed to keep our miles down to a mere 300, all spent right here in our very own Land of Enchantment.

Here are highlights from our “trip-ette” and some of the ways we cut costs:

  • “Flower-watching” in the mountains (although we didn’t have guide nor guidebook to tell us the names of the flowers).
  • The girls made “$aver-enirs” by collecting tree sap, letting it melt in the sun, then forming the sap into objects.
  • We took Jim’s childhood boat out for a cruise along the river.
  • Used the swimming hole at Pancheula Creek (and swam in our clothes so we wouldn’t have to splurge on new swimsuits this season).
  • Harvested and sautéed exotic fungus (a puffball mushroom, not pictured), although I refrained from sampling any in the event it turned out to be poisonous; designated driver rule.
  • Weiners and buffalo burgers on the grill.
  • Fancy s’mores for dessert every night.
  • Antique collecting.
  • Fossil hunting.
  • Simulated day-spa (i.e., reading an entire memoir in one sitting while lying under blankets the day it rained, a fire glowing in the wood-burning stove).


Where did you go for your summer vacation?







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It finally cooled down here in Ghost Ranch. The temperature hit at least 100 a couple of days ago (that’s what the thermometer in my car said, although someone today told me that a meteorologist here told her it hit 106). At this altitude (around 6,000 feet) the air is thin and the sun deadly. Rain came from thunderclouds that appeared in the late afternoon, and now a pattern is starting to form. Cool mornings, the day’s high reaching somewhere in the low 80s, then thunderheads in the late afternoon and light showers before dinner.

Last night’s talent show was one of the highlights of the week. I was telling someone it can start to feel homogenous here at Ghost Ranch. People of a certain age, many Presbyterians, many married couples. But the Coffee House, which is what the talent show is called, is where everyone else shows up. Transgendered, gay, single, Latino, young. Creative people of every stripe and age. I’ll post the poetry of one writer in the coming days.

Today I took time off from painting to visit with my in-laws, who came for the day, and to take Em swimming. We also went to watch Dee do the high ropes course. I’m afraid of heights, so it was awesome watching Dee walk a high wire that looked at least three stories and maybe four high, scramble up the climbing wall, and as a finale climb up a 50-foot telephone pole for something called the “Leap of Faith.” She didn’t jump once she got to the top; she ended up looking down and then had to talk herself in to continuing on. She sat on the very top and then finally grabbed her rope and half slid-half jumped off. But man, I couldn’t even imagine giving it a try. I’m so proud of her!

Most days I’m painting all day long. I can hardly pull myself away from the work I’m doing. Painting with other artists, too, is powerful. We mostly sit without talking, although every now and then quiet conversations take place among different people in the class. Several folks spend all their free time painting in the workshop space, even though they could be out hiking or taking side trips or even resting. It’s a dedicated group. In fact, I bet they’re up at the studio painting right now, which I’d be doing, too, except I have three girls asleep in the room (one for a “sleepover”) and I figure I’d better get to bed myself.


-Related to post A Taste Of Ghost Ranch, NM

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