Because I have to get up at 7 a.m. to finish preparing for class, I can’t stay up all night Photoshopping images … but I did want to share just a few shots from our trip this weekend. The photo above is the view from halfway up Tucumcari Mountain, which Ron and I climbed on Saturday.

The climb was Ron’s idea. He’s been looking forward to it for weeks and even did some training for the hike (which is roughly a three-mile round trip over mildly challenging terrain) by walking to the gym several times a week and walking the dogs up and down a long, steep hill near our house. This is how he looked when he got to the top of the mountain.

The view was nice, but I was more fascinated with the tiny creatures we encountered on the way up. This butterfly — which was about the size of a nickel — left me wishing, once again, for a macro lens…. 

For some reason, this rock reminds me of a wise, gentle Muppet.

Luckiest. Shot. Ever. I was surprised by the number of pollinators we saw on the mountain. I was trying to get this wasp working the flower you see in the foreground, but it decided to take off just as the shutter opened. Awesome.

A wonky shot of the gorgeous U-Drop Inn on Route 66 in Shamrock, Texas. We passed through town late Friday night on our way to Tucumcari. 

Here we are on Route 66 at the Blue Swallow, where Bill kindly took our picture this morning in front of one of the new murals he hired a guy to paint on the exterior walls. Ignore my hair, which is a complete disaster because A.) I’d just gotten out of the shower, and B.) I forgot to bring a hairbrush on this trip. 

The hair situation factored into my otherwise inexplicable decision to purchase a straw cowboy hat for $3.50 at a convenience store on the way out of town.

Ron shot this just before sunset as we were coming through the Gloss Mountains on the way home. It still blows my mind that we have mesas like this in Oklahoma. 

I’m not sure I’m really getting away with that hat, but normal style conventions do not apply to road trips, and it’s definitely not the silliest souvenir I’ve worn home from Tucumcari. That honor goes to a beaded Indian barrette with two huge, charcoal-gray feathers attached, which I bought at the late, great Coyote Moon one evening and insisted on wearing all the way home. (You can imagine how awesome it looked with the screaming red dye job I was sporting at the time.)

Hope your weekend was as much fun as mine.



12 thoughts on “Home”

  1. $3.50 is perfectly reasonable for a straw cowboy hat on a road trip, and I would say that you can get away with it. After all, it isn’t like you were paying at least five times that for the same thing at a country concert. I have not done this, but I have seen it done.

    Very cool pictures.

    Let me know how work goes.


  2. Mom: I hadn’t noticed it before, but that hat does look a lot like Jamie’s.

    crbh: I love New Mexico. The scenery out there is so beautiful that a chimp with a Polaroid could probably produce images worthy of a coffee-table book. There’s a reason the state is full of artists….

    Jeffrey: I settled for the $3.50 straw hat after Ron refused to buy me a $40 leather Australian rancher hat at Bowlin’s Flyin’ C. Probably wise of Ron to rein me in, but it was a cool hat … and I’ve actually spent quite a bit of time in Aussie saddles, so I’ve sort of earned the right to dress like an Australian cowgirl. I’ve only used a Western saddle once, and I hated it, although that probably had less to do with the saddle than with the barn-sour quarter horse under it.

    Oh, and work straight-up RAWKED. 🙂

  3. Hi there Emily, my wife and I are traveling to Tucumcari again at the end of March this year, and would very much like to hike up Tucumcari Mountain ourselves. Do you happen to know whom we could speak with in town to get permission to in order to do so?

    1. At this point, I’m not sure. We got access via the guy who owned the Blue Swallow at the time, who played golf with the guy who owned the mountain at the time, but the Swallow and the mountain have both changed hands at least twice since then, and the last I knew, the current owner of the mountain wasn’t letting anybody up there except the Rotary Club volunteers who maintain the lights on the T. Apparently there was a massive trash problem up there, and after cleaning it up, the new owner is extremely protective. :/

      1. That’s perfectly understandable. I appreciate your reply! Incidentally, who is the current owner?

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