Monday, October 13, 2014

Ghost Story

Do you believe in ghosts?  

I don’t think artist Georgia O’Keeffe did, or at least she wasn’t bothered by them while spending a good portion of her life at Ghost Ranch.  Located in the north central region of New Mexico, just outside of Abiquiu, Ghost Ranch is where O’Keeffe would travel from New York every year for rejuvenation and transformation as well as to paint many of her famous pieces of the area’s landscape.  

She referred to Ghost Ranch as the “best place in the world.”

I was able to experience what makes Ghost Ranch so mesmerizing just a couple of weeks ago while on vacation.  
My husband and I traveled about an hour from Santa Fe to spend the day at the ranch where we could hike and enjoy the incredible scenery. 

With its vivid red rocks vistas, cliffs and canyons, it was easy to see why Ghost Ranch’s 21,000 acres has served as inspiration for so many artistic endeavors including the photography of Ansel Adams and as the backdrop for many movies...
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,
City Slickers with Billy Crystal,
And the Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp, just to name a few.

But why the name Ghost Ranch you ask?  Legend has it that long ago the canyon was inhabited by cattle rustlers.  Trying to hide their stolen goods from nosy neighbors, they started rumors that the canyon was haunted by evil spirits. 
The area became known as Rancho de los Brujos or Ranch of the Witches, later evolving into Ghost Ranch.

Our day trip to the ranch included a 3-mile round trip hike up to Chimney Rock, supposedly a hike suited for all levels of hikers. 
Not being used to the altitude and the heat of the sun, and yes, being a bit out of shape, I was rather overwhelmed for the first half of the trip up. 

Did I see or feel any ghosts along the way?  I did not; however, I did feel an incredible sense of peace and tranquility as we climbed toward the summit. 
Perhaps it was the spirituality of the land that I and many others have experienced that empowered me to make it to the top. 

Have a great week!

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