Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Royal Gorge and the Rio Grande

Cactus @ Royal  Gorge
I've been looking back through 1000 plus photos - that's after deleting the 200+ that were blurred, not what I expected and not what I'd put my name to. Travelling across the mid- and west of the US for 2.5 days on Amtrak from Chicago to LA I noticed that many of the photos became similar - a tree here or there and suddenly there were 5 shots of it. There are whole periods of time where I've not clicked a thing. I think it's what Steinbeck referred to in "Travels with Charley"
"And I sat in the seat and faced what I had concealed from myself. I was driving myself, pounding out the miles because I was no longer hearing or seeing. I had passed my limit of taking in or, like a man who goes on stuffing in food after he is filled, I felt helpless to assimilate what was fed in through my eyes. Each hill looked like the one just passed ........"
I can see that there came a point where I got overloaded. Lorraine has commented similarly - and my memory of crossing the Continental divide in the night remains a piercing pain in my ear as it refused to "pop" in the darkness descending through New Mexico to California. It still hasn't "popped" although I've given it plenty of chances to do so. The absolute beauty of this - is that unlike Steinbeck I can go back through so many images and take them in as a connoisseur of fine scenery might. Inspiration is everywhere ...  such as the cactus shapes where ever we went  through the mid-west and especially the high desert plains of San Louis. I love the interweaving and coral like effect of running stitch across itself, like the many "branches" of cactus.

Rio Grande a mile below ... leaning over the bridge
We visited the Rio Grande proper en route to Taos from La Veta (via the turn off at Fort Garland). Almost into Taos, Jude says "turn here" and we travelled about 7 miles into the flatness until we came across this - a massive canyon not visible from simply driving along the highway. It's the windy and scary Rio Grande - so we parked and of course walked out to the middle of it. Judith has not managed to conquer her fear of heights - as I had done only weeks previously at the Royal Gorge - and except for a little moment when I thought my body would hurl itself over the edge without my permission - it was exquisite. Breathtaking on so many levels. I am fascinated by the lines of rocks, the geometry of the bridge, the spans, metal and the swirls of the river cutting through the bottom of the canyon. More stitching ideas for sure ...

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