After Fredericksburg, I angled across the high desert wasteland of gas and oil fields until popping out onto the mesas of New Mexico and to my delight, having a new rear view mirror installed. The trip was much less exciting after that!
Once mirrored, I headed to Albert Handell’s studio in Santa Fe and was bowled over by the sheer mastery of his works. Although Albert is widely recognized as one of the premier pastelists of our age, his oils are what really excite me. They evoke a sensitivity, time, place and grandeur rarely seen in master works – in any age. It was truly humbling.
He was of course his usual charming self, as he so sweetly let me paw through drawings and paintings – oooing and ahhhing as I feasted on the works in his studio. His two-man M Gallery show in November with Clayton J. Beck III should be great.
Then I continued my journey up the high road to Taos (more U-Haul adventures!), spent the night enjoying a wonderful local band, and stayed in a darling little inn with a small adobe fireplace. The next day I meandered through the Nicolai Fechin House and Taos Museum. Sadly leaving too soon, I headed out through the most beautiful aspen colors I have ever seen. Truly spectacular!
I took the high pass toward Salt Lake City, Utah across the bottom of Colorado and the northern part of Arizona, where I was in the thick of pretty wonderful Alpine country. I beat the snow by only a few days but it was worth the views. I even ended up in the middle of a cattle drive, which charmed me as they wound their way toward lower elevations. Unfortunately, I ended up with a nasty altitude headache, and as I kept drinking endless bottles of water, I remembered why I live in the subtropics at sea-level. Holy nosebleeds!