Long ago when we planned this trip, we thought it would be nice to visit Abiquiu which is the home and studio of Georgia O’Keeffe. You have to make reservations for the house and studio tours way in advance as they only allow very few people at a time through the house to ensure it is kept as it was when she lived here. If you are a fan of everything O’Keeffe as I am, it’s worth it, as it is like peeling back the curtains into her life and mindset.
When we got here we realized that there were endless interesting day trips from Santa Fe, so we decided to combine two other stops on our day trip to the O’Keeffe home. Our first stop was an unusual and beautiful Chapel in Chimayo where people go for healing by the miraculous “Holy Dirt”. The story goes that the dirt from the “pósito” (the little well) is considered holy because it is the spot the crucifix of Our Lord of Esquipulas was found by Bernardo Abeyta in 1810. Thousands of pilgrims each year come to get some of this dirt for physical and emotional healing.
The room where the well is located is tiny. You can bring your own bag or buy bags at the gift shop which is what we did. I had Leo gather dirt, so for most of my family this year, they will be getting dirt as gifts and mementos from us 😘
From Chimeyo we drove to Ghost Ranch , which is the home that O’Keeffe occupied for most of her time in New Mexico and from which she could observe the beauty and colors of the Pedernal mountains that she adored. They have a museum and a research center near the ranch but the house itself is not open to the public, we were told that the house is too fragile for public viewing. The drive there is still worth it, the hills, the colors and the rock formations are a beauty to behold. I was sorry that we were on a schedule with a tour at Abiquiu at 2pm and hungry at the same time or we would have spent much more time in the valley. Next time we’re here, I’m going to spend more time taking pictures of the Pedernal Mountains, they are truly spectacular.
Hunger is a powerful motivator and so we headed towards Abiquiu in search of food. Lucky for us we have Internet access and did some advance research. Abiquiu has a five star deli, who would have thunk it! It’s called Bodes and it’s really a gas station with a general store attached to it but the food was awesome. Leo copied me and ordered the grilled cheese sandwich (three different kinds of cheeses) on sour dough bread and draft beer on tap, a local ale, name unknown, but fabulous. I was too hungry and happy to take a picture, but here’s one of me after lunch 😋
We arrived at Abiquiu an hour before our tour so we explored the Inn and gift shop. The Inn its right off the highway but adorable with a very upscale gift shop and restaurant. Now before you book here you should know that Abiquiu is a village, just a couple of stops off the main highway there’s really nothing there. But for those of us that love O’Keeffe and everything about her life it’s a must see destination.
We were treated to a short video about her house and studio and her 15 year quest to acquire this property from the Catholic archdiocese who owned the property and had planned to build a school on the site. But O’Keeffe was attracted to the spot because of the views and also because it had water rights which would allow her to set up a garden. She was very interested in gardening and growing her own fruits and vegetable, she subscribed to the original organic living life style, no wonder she lived to 99!
The house, all adobe architecture, is very minilamist in decor also way ahead of her time. Pictures are not allowed inside but I took one from a window, I thought window shooting would be ok, until I was shut down by one of the tour guides. Attached are some of the picture we took, which show how she lived and worked. She lived in Abiquiu mostly in the winters the weather seems to be more temperate here than Ghost Ranch.