Emerging from the ponderosa forest of the Mogollon Rim as if being born onto the endless expanse of the Tonto Plateau, with a spectacular view of the San Francisco Peaks to the north.
A hawk skimming along barely two feet off the ground, chasing breakfast.
Picking a flat, straight and empty stretch of road and easing the truck up to 100 MPH to prove to myself that I wasn't afraid to drive, and because I'd never done it before.
Petrified trees, Navajo kivas, and lifesize fiberglass dinosaurs lining route 40 east of Holbrook, Az.
Several miles down the road, , much less lifelike plaster dinosaurs, one with a mannequin in its mouth.
Switching from CD to FM on the reservation and hearing Eminem and Gloria Estefan back to back.
Driving past the first tower I ever built and making a call on it.
Hot air balloons dotting the sky in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Getting a room at La Fonda De Taos, built in 1934, right on the plaza, with no TV.
Going out for a Negra Modelo and winding up two blocks away at the Taos Inn, with an exceptional jazz band playing in the lobby, fronted by Mary Bruschini, a Brazillian woman with a voice of silk.
Talking about art with the couple from Memphis who sat next to me.
Wandering the streets of Taos in the dark, peering through gallery windows in the dark.
Waking up in the morning and going to every coffee shop I could find, asking about Dino, because I know he loves coffee, but missing the one coffe shop he actually frequented, and which had six of his paintings hanging in it.
Lying under a beautiful old tree on the plaza, looking up through its branches and thinking about all it had witnessed.
Deciding I needed a book to read, walking into the nearest bookstore, and picking up the first one that caught my eye, only to find that it was a novel set on the plains of eastern Montana, where I was born.
Walking five miles round trip to the local Methodist church, which has a soup kitchen, on the off chance that Dino might have gone there.
The old lady with her tongue permanently stuck out of her mouth who talked incomprehensibly to me for 10 minutes and gave me a handfull of Worther's Originals for listening.
The two women outside Inspirations coffee shop who gave me directions to the local hot springs, which I never found.
Walking up to the plaza in the middle of the afternoonto find Dino standing in the center of it, having just come in to town for the first time in a month.
Going to Dino's small studio a few blocks from the plaza, seeing his new work, and giving him the supplies I had brought.
Buying two small paintings from him.
Walking around Taos with Dino and coming across a guy who had a dog and a cat which were cuddled together, the dog licking the cat.
Going into Dino's favorite gallery to see some of the only avant-garde art in Taos, meeting the owner and finding out that she was the artist behind my favorite show in Taos.
Giving her my card, and getting an autographed postcard from her that was later recognized by our waitress at the Taos Inn who had modelled for one of the paintings in her show.
The two exceptional flamenco guitarists who played at the inn the second night, and the fact that flamenco is Dino's favorite music.
Taking Dino shopping for necessities at Walmart and getting spit on by a fat, angry cowboy in the checkout line, but refusing to enter his world.
Driving out to the 650 foot deep Rio Grande Gorge, which slices through the desert like an open wound, and parking under the same tree where Dino parked and lived for his first few weeks in Taos.
Heading out across the desert, past the self-sufficient "earth ship" homes to Tres Piedras in search of the elusive hot springs.
The view on the way back of the mountains, snow caps framed by an arch of dark clouds and virga.
Having double expressos at the Taos Cow in Arroyo Seco, and flirting with a four year old girl who was eating an ice cream cone.
The two llama herders who came in while we were there, one of whom was black with perfectly coiffed dreadlocks and sounded like Michael Jackson.
Going to the town hall to get Dino a peddlers license, only to come up against a friendly but unyeilding wall of beaurocracy.
Going next door to the library, teaching Dino how to use the computer, and showing him my site.
Really good chinese food for dinner at La Fonda De Taos.
The sunset turning the mountains east of town a Maxfield Parrish purple against green trees with brilliant white bark.
The same sunset in a different direction setting a distant snowcapped peak ablaze in vermillion highlights.
A clay nativity in a gallery window, every figure of which was shaped like a vagina.
The third night at the Taos Inn - open mike. A procession of excellent musicians and Murphy's Ale on draft.
Saying bad things about Texas with the couple from Texas who were sitting with us.
Wanting to paint for the first time since the accident.
The view back towards Taos from the first turnout on the way south.
The luminous yellow of the trees along the Rio Grande south of Taos.
Brief stops at oldtowns in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Cresting over the edge of the Mogollon rim to a perfect Arizona sunset.