What I found in New Mexico

When I feel lost within myself, getting out of “my space” to reflect quietly usually helps guide me back home. Sometimes this practice calls for a few minutes to process the way I’m feeling, other times it’s a hour or two, and for the hard hitting emotions…it can be days of personal retreat that is needed to process my thoughts.

Lacie Grant

Travel Day 1: Sometimes having no plan is the best one to plan for.

Late one afternoon, I decided to set out the following morning to New Mexico. With an extremely limited amount of time to plan, I shoved life’s basic survival essentials in my vehicle. I knew lodging options would be limited or non-existent being that a holiday weekend was approaching. I created a small, yet cozy sleeping area in the back of my Jeep. No matter the challenges, I felt confident that I would find my way and adapt.

The next morning with little to no itinerary, I began my travels towards New Mexico. With my emotions in tow, the 6 hour stretch to The Bottomless Lakes, outside of Roswell, went by fast. My original “plan” was to hike for the afternoon followed by a night of camping. However, with a full campsite, life had a different itinerary or me on this day. Feeling optimistic, I took the spectacular sights of the crystal blue waters in for a short amount of time then headed to Ruidoso.

The mountainous landscapes in Ruidoso did not disappoint! To get to the suggested campground for the night, I found myself winding up a one lane pebbled path. Truth be told, I turned around once wondering how high was too high?! I eventually found the courage to head back up and promised myself to absolutely not look down. I made my way up the mountain side and the reward was well worth it! Fun fact, Monjeau peak is 9,603ft above the sea level so my fear of heights was well validated in case you are judging me right now. 😊

As I settled in at this remote location surrounded by mountain top views, I knew the day had led me exactly where I needed to be. I spent time quietly collecting my thoughts, cooking by the fire, and admiring how the sun looked as it settled behind the mountains. On this day I felt accomplished, brave, independent, prepared and most importantly a little bit lighter.

Monjeau Peak Ruidoso, NM

So far my trip had proven to be full of unexpected surprises! The next morning I bid the wild horses hanging around my campsite, atop this enchanting mountain, farewell. I made my way down towards Grindstone Lake for a long hike before leaving Ruidoso behind.

Travel Day 2: Beer, Pizza, and a warm bed make everything better.

Mid day I drove further North and as luck would have it, Tijeras welcomed me with an overnight stay at a charming place called Sunny Mellow. Why sleep at a traditional hotel when you can camp in a Yurt at a fabulous location, right?! Gregory, the owner, has created a unique space for guest on his property, I can’t wait to return and spend more time here in the near future.

That evening I shared in light conversation with a few locals at Ale Republic. I filled up on a brick oven BBQ pizza and washed it down with a tasty IPA to end the day. As I laid quietly in bed in my fancy Yurt, I felt full. My adventures thus far had gifted me with unplanned, happy surprises and I fell asleep feeling thankful and content with the day.

Travel Day 3: Life is better with art…Inspire and be inspired daily.

A collection of Frida Kahlo’s work, my favorite artist of all time, was on exhibit at the Albuquerque Art Museum…there was no way I would miss an opportunity like this so close to me. Like the introverted art nerd that I am, I arrived extra early that morning to be first in line. Unlike many of my other out of town trips, I wasn’t interested in dinning, shopping, crowds or attractions. I knew after viewing the exhibit I would be on my way so I walked around the empty streets of Old Town Albuquerque to get a small sampling of this city before the 9am opening of the Museum.

For the remainder of this day I made a stop in the quaint, artsy town of Madrid followed by a little exploring in Santa Fe. Both were filled with enough art galleries to jump start any dying artist’s soul! Something I didn’t even realize I needed when I originally left for New Mexico.

Among the galleries I visited, the fabric paintings by Chris Roberts-Antieau was truly inspirational. I was lucky enough to share some friendly conversation with the artist herself. After hearing about my solo trip, she was inspired to get a little lost and travel as well. Imagine that, not only did I find inspiration throughout the day, but little ole me getting lost for a few days, actually inspired someone else as well.

With a lot of road ahead and the sun setting soon, I stopped in Roswell for a bite, grabbed the biggest coffee I could find, and set out for the last bit of my journey back home.

Published by laciegrantphotography

Creative Portrait and Commercial Photographer located in Central Texas.

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