I have eighteen days to go before I hit the road and travel to the Land of Enchantment. I’m so excited and a bit nervous because this is the second biggest trip I’ve ever done on my own. The first big residency was to Pouch Cove Newfoundland back in 2000 for what turned out to be a six week long stint, originally scheduled for four with an unforeseen exhibition happening the last week of my stay. It was an incredible adventure, one that I will never forget and it generated a ton of work. I ended up painting Newfoundland for many years after that initial experience.
As for New Mexico, my ticket is bought, my car is reserved, my B&B and Inns are booked. All in all I calculated that I will attempt to visit eighteen different sites, and travel over 3000 kilometers, if I can manage that, the numbers seem be very daunting at this point. I’m doing as much advanced research as I can. As I prepare for this adventure, I’m reading up on Kit Carson and Billy the Kid, I’m also reading a book about the West; Blood and Thunder, An Epic of the American West, by Hampton Sides. I want to make sure that I know my history before I get there. It’s funny, how Canadians know so much about the U.S and yet they know so little about us. I’ve charted out my routes as well, I ordered a TripTik through CAA, a very handy little book that will ensure that I don’t get lost or run out of gas while I drive along those long empty highways. Apparently cell reception can get quite spotty in the mountains and canyons.
My host, The Damsite Historic District in Elephant Butte (about a nine minute drive from Truth or Consequences) has little casitas that they rent out to artists and the general public, they look quite humble from what I can tell in the pictures, but they are fully equipped little houses that have all the basic necessities. Mr. William Dooley, the staff historian has been so helpful and seems so friendly, as we have corresponded quite a bit over these last few months. There is a marina on site and it is part of a state park, so the place is probably very lively during the Summer months, as the RV’s come in and campers set-up. The site is on a huge lake with miles of beach, I can hardly wait to see it for myself. I intend to continue this blog series before, during and after my journey, so stay tuned for plenty of pics and lots of blog entries.