Scenic USA - New Mexico

Chimney Rock at Ghost Ranch

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Ghost Ranch Chimney Rock - Abiquiu, New Mexico

Photos by Ron McEwan

     To the west of the San Juan Mountains, Ghost Ranch Buckboard New Mexico’s U.S. Route 84 passes by the Abiquiu foothills and the 21,000 acre Ghost Ranch. Here in the north-central hills above Sante Fe, towering cliffs of rich earth hues surround the Ghost Ranch, a well known retreat for renewal and transformation. Once known as Piedra Lumbre (shining rock), the trail to Chimney Rock beckons to all that arrive. The hour and a half round trip is the most popular hike on the Ghost Ranch campus.
     New Mexico, and especially Ghost Ranch, couldn’t be mentioned without paying tribute to the area’s most famous artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. While first visiting Taos in 1929, O’Keefe instantly fell in love with the southwestern scenery. "As soon as I saw it, I knew I must have it," exclaimed Georgia O’Keeffe of the adobe house at Ghost Ranch. Here, she often climbed a hand-hewn wooden ladder to the roof, sometimes entertaining Ghost Ranch Cabin guests and other times sleeping under the stars. Her artwork, inspired by the surrounding high-desert landscape, led to O’Keefe's popularity and acclaim during the 1940s. In 1949 O’Keefe moved to New Mexico permanently, spending most of her time at her Ghost Ranch home. At age 89, O’Keefe was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Even though her central vision was lost for years, Georgia O’Keeffe continued on with her artwork. A year before her death in 1986, she received the National Medal of Arts.

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