Georgia O’Keeffe, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiú, and Cerro Pedernal


So, what do these things have in common?

In August of 1934 Georgia O’Keeffe paid a visit to the Ghost Ranch in Northern New Mexico.  She immediately fell in love with the nearby red rock cliffs, dramatic skies, and expansive views, which were later featured in many of her paintings.  Over the next six years she yearned to make those views her own, and in 1940 she finally succeeded by purchasing a house physically located on the ranch.  Ghost Ranch remains today a draw for artists from around the world.

And you can stay on the ranch.  Accommodations include: the main ranch level with communal baths; main ranch level rooms with semi-private baths; and the main ranch level with separate baths.  Above the main ranch level is where you really want to stay, however.  This is the mesa level, high above the rest of the ranch.  The mesa level offers rooms with either communal baths or private baths.  There are also mesa level suites—charming and well-appointed accommodations with bedrooms, separate living rooms, private baths and romantic fireplaces.

You won’t be coddled here, though.  You’re expected to make your own bed upon arrival, and to strip the sheets before you leave.  For the more adventurous, camping is allowed on the ranch—RV or tent.  Also on site is a cafeteria-style dining hall.  You can purchase meal tickets at the Welcome Center.

If you love art, the Ghost Ranch is a definite experience.  If you love photography, you’ll find much to capture in your viewfinder.  If you’re a lover of all things nature and in awe of magnificent landscapes, this is where you want to be.  No matter what your excuse, you should definitely find a place for the Ghost Ranch on your bucket list.

When you completed your stay, make the trek to Taos, and then turn south for Santa Fe.  In Santa Fe you’ll find the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum.  It’s well worth the $12 price of admission.

Fourteen miles to the southeast of Ghost Ranch is the town of Abiquiú, New Mexico.  In 1949 Georgia O’Keeffe acquired a home in Abiquiú as well.  Here, near her home in Abiquiú is another frequent subject of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings—the White Place, also known as the Plaza Blanca cliffs.

So, who was Georgia Totto O’Keeffe?  One of this country’s greatest abstract artists.  She became famous in the 1920s with her depictions of flowers and buildings of New York City.  But, by 1929, she grew tired of New York and yearned for a broader range of subjects.  And so it was, in the summer of that year, that she discovered the Land of Enchantment, first with a stays in Santa Fe and Taos (both of which are currently thriving artist communities), and then eventually into the more pristine, rugged areas of Northern New Mexico.

From Ghost Ranch Georgia O’Keeffe had a distant view of “her mountain,” Cerro Pedernal (translating to “Flint Hill” from the original Spanish).  So enchanted with this narrow mesa was Ms. O’Keeffe that she once famously said, “I painted it often enough thinking that, if I did so, God would give it to me.

And what has Jerry Maune to do with all this?  Mr. Maune was the only person viewing this week’s destination to successfully piece together all the clues and determine the location.  Mr. Maune’s rewards were copies of my two mystery novels, the Publishers Weekly-reviewed Decisions and my latest mystery The Globe, both available for the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, or any device using the free Kindle or Nook reading app.  Hopefully these two stories will give him a bit more difficulty when it comes to figuring out the ending.

Now for one last look at the Ghost Ranch:

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1 Comment

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One response to “Georgia O’Keeffe, Ghost Ranch, Abiquiú, and Cerro Pedernal

  1. Great post, Doug! I’ve never heard of Georgia O’Keeffe till I came camping in New Mexico many years ago. I fell in love with her art works when we visited her museum in Santa Fe. I love New Mexico and given the chance again, I’ll definitely repeat the camping experience out there. ;-)