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On the rock trail through New Mexico and Texas….

Summer 2021

When I saw the name Rockhounding State Park near Deming NM I knew it would make a great stop on one of our many swings through the lower southwest. It was very scenic in a cactus-y way! Jim did find some rocks although perhaps not as many as you’d think- when you name the park “Rockhounding” its not too surprising it’s been somewhat picked over! Jim took Chloe up high on his rambles and Jackson and I returned to the truck to get my art supplies. Unfortunately on the way I stumbled over a rock and ended up grazing a cactus- I was picking spines out of my jeans that night! But I did get a quick impressionistic painting done - which I subsequently lost in the RV storage somewhere! The cacti look lovely….from a distance!

The cactus that got me!

Next up was a two day stop in El Paso so we could visit a site in the desert back across the state line (way down dirt county roads) where peridot is found. It was a big ol crater and plenty of room for Jim and the dogs to roam while I painted a scene. Jim was thrilled when he finally found some of the green stone - as he put it when you finally understand how to see it, you see it all over. It’s his mom’s birthstone so he was glad to have enough to make her a ring.

The painting at the peridot crater - “Tracks”

On the way back we found some BLM land where he did some more prowling. There wasn’t much in the way of inspiration for me - until I sat down in a dry wash and did a marker sketch of the wall of rocks and dirt up to the grasses at the top.

The marker sketch of the wash.

When we left El Paso we drove along old stagecoach routes and up to Quanah - named for Quanah Parker whose story and whose mother’s story I had read years ago. Cynthia Ann Parker was taken by Comanche at a young age and the rest of her family killed but the band she eventually ended up in adopted her and she became a wife and mother to Quanah. When years later she was negotiated for back to relatives it was said she pined away for the life she’d had on the plains and for her family there. Quanah himself became a strong and intelligent leader.

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