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As the trip fades in memory....I culled through a few more pics, and de-saturated a couple. Here are a couple of pics, one from White Sands, and one from Bisti, that I de-saturated -- pics to match the memories fading.

Desaturated White Sands

Looks like an old graveyard

I think I'm finally back in work mode.

And my annual Christmas party is on my mind. I've been buying food, and cleaning house for it. This coming holiday weekend, I will have 2 different Thanksgiving dinners...also getting ready to make recipes to take with me to those. Lots to do!
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I was glad to visit the Bisti Badlands again, this time during the day.

I kinda wanted to prove to myself that I was comfortable going out by myself to a place where there are no trails and no cell coverage. I mean, it's only a few miles in and out, so even if I got lost (which I did for a bit), I would still be able to find the road again using the sun as my guide. But it still freaks me out a bit to be out of touch by myself -- what if I broke a leg or something?

I saw 1 person at a distance in the first couple hours. Then I saw about 3 additional couples or small groups as I was leaving.

Bisti draws me, but it's not like I feel any powerful energy when I'm there or anything -- the area just seems to be like a grandfather that I have visited now a couple of times. And I tend to miss it when I leave. It was like that the first time (the nighttime photo workshop), and it was like that this time also.

So speaking of getting lost...I took 1 wrong turn. I already had waypoints on a GPS app on my phone from the last visit, and I could see the route, but the way the arrow was pointing was confusing. So I decided to just 'follow the wash'. 'Follow the wash' is the general instruction for navigating in and out of Bisti. But in addition to the main Bisti wash, there are a lot of 'feeder' washes, and I got attached to one of those feeders. This led me into a canyon which got narrower and narrower before I realized I was going the wrong way. (By the way, there were footprints in the wash through the canyon, so I was not the first there recently, lol!)

Anyways, I found my way after that. Everything looked so different in the daylight! I don't think I got great pics -- the hoodoos are a jumbled mass that are hard to compose into an image. Here are some --


Cracked Alien Eggs in Bisti


Here's my selfie for the trip. See the 2 red hills? The photo group from last year's workshop agreed on the name '2 angry boobs' for these...and they are good for navigating. When I 're-found my way', I remembered the boobs as a sign post. I used them on the way out as well.
Every trip deserves a selfie lol :)
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I need to visit Bisti again....This is how I remember it...
Last Bisti Pic...Panorama
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I am being very lazy on this long holiday weekend! A friend and I headed downtown to walk along the river yesterday --
The Cathedral Under the Bridge

Pic of a friend on the Canal Walk


And I got a few more Bisti images processed. This first one is a very short time-lapse. It takes A LOT of stills to make a time-lapse, and about 1/2 through, I kicked the tripod...so I had few photos than I needed.

I think you'll have to click on this to open it in Flickr before you can see the play arrow.
Bisti Shadows at Moonrise

This one is quite phallic, lol!

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I tended to spend time by myself at Bisti. I liked the others in the group, but I wanted a lot of solitude...

This was during the blue hour after sunset....me by myself, wind, solitude...standing, thinking, taking pictures....

I was and will always continue to be fascinated by these 'swirls', lol!

Missing Bisti tonight...As I told my Brazilian friend -- "I'm feeling a lack of Bisti tonight!" Eu sinto falta de Bisti!

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The schedule on the Bisti trip was crazy...Day 1, we had class from 10 - 2...then we met at 4PM to go out all night, arriving back around 5AM...only to have another class start Noon!

I've done these workshops before, so I knew to go to the grocery story and buy stuff to store in the fridge in my hotel room. That way, I could make a quick sandwich in the room and have a few extra minutes of sleep!

But one morning, I had some free time to go to breakfast, and while I was eating I told the waitress what I was in Farmington for -- a photo workshop in Bisti.

She asked if we had seen any "Skin-walkers"...I had no idea what she meant, lol!

Evidently, this is a Navajo legend about people who can transform into animals...and there's a lot of negative talk about them, and it seems that the Navajos just keep quiet about them...but it seems there's not much to fear...just people who can transform -- humans who bring their good or bad with them, but just humans who can transform into animals.

So, I got a piece of information from having breakfast!

Which brings me to another memory....the very last night we were in Bisti, we were on our 'march' back to the parking lot, when the instructor spotted a tent near our path. To be polite, he diverted us pretty far around the tent, so as not to disturb the person.

I tend to 'bring up the rear', whether biking or hiking.

That night after we went around the tent, I had a lot of 'creepiness' -- I kept turning my head behind us, so my headlamp would show what was behind us....I kept having the sensation someone was following!

It went away after about a 1/2 mile, but I was uncomfortable for a while!

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Alien Eggs --
Alien Eggs

One friend said it looked like a Dali. A sister said it looked like a set from the original Star Trek series...

Milky Way --
Bisti Milky Way

The workshop instructor is in the background --

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These are just a jumble of some of my thoughts and memory vignettes form the trip.

Flash of Light

We were out all night at Bisti 3 times. When you're out at night, there are distinct phases which happen during the night. How the night unfolds depends on time of year, weather of course, and the moon cycle. For us, the phases were: Sunset, Nautical Twilight, the dark time when the Milky Way is very visible, and then moonrise and finally the glow that indicates sunrise is approaching.

Moonrise always lit up the landscape to the point where we did not need our headlamps to navigate the hoodoos. You could just walk around in the dark, with no problem at all.

During the dark time one night, I was talking to the instructor, and there was suddenly a flash of light! The flash lit up the landscape the way moonlight does! My back was towards the flash, but the instructor said it appeared to come from one star in the sky.

He thought it was light from a supernova or something, with the light finally reaching us. The rest of the group (who were set up in a different place from me) also saw the flash, but their backs were to it as well.

I have not been able to find info on that anywhere online about it, and I have not reviewed my pics to see if my shutter was open during the flash.

Learned about Mongolia

One of the students was originally from Mongolia. She speaks Mongolian, of course, and I think Russian. She also is fluent-ish in German and English. I got to speak to her about where she grew up, and how Mongolian is written, etc.

A Little Cuddle

One of the folks at the workshop and I hug deeply whenever we see each other. This time there was more than a hug. We got some cuddling -- cheek to cheek (or beard to beard really). He was close to me, and leaned in to whisper something in my ear, so I put my arm around his waist and pulled him in for a cheek cuddle. It was nice.


One of the students provided WAY TOO MUCH information about his bodily habits. Do I really need to know that he gets sweaty balls? Or that he has hemorrhoids? Yea, so there's that.

Chaco Ancestors

Chaco Canyon came up in our conversations. One of the students had gone to Chaco (paid the permit, etc. etc.) for nighttime photography. While he was there, he and the ranger heard voices. He said it distinctly sounded like voices, and the temperature got cold. The ranger experienced the same thing.

I reminded me of when I was at Chaco (during the day), when I distinctly heard a child's laughter behind me. But there was nobody there. Here is is what I wrote about that experience back in 2015:
It is hard to put into words what I felt at Chaco. I certainly did not see it as just a set of ruins -- I sort of felt like I was intruding on the everyday lives of the people living there. But, of course, there were no actual people...but maybe impressions of people...or somehow I was intersecting from my time into the time when people were actually living at Chaco.

Not ghosts (which has a negative connotation anyway)...and not exactly spirits...just like I was there at the same time they were. It was an odd feeling, for sure!

When I was at Chetro Ketl, I swear I heard a child's laughter...I was taking pictures, and I looked up from the camera, expecting to see a child with his parents. But there was nothing but the sun and wind -- no child.

It was interesting to hear someone else having a similar experience!

Pack Weight

I was pleased with the weight I carried. Although I certainly love to hike, I'm usually only out for a few hours, so the water I carry is maybe a couple of biking bottles. I also never carry a tripod.

And I usually am hiking in a green area, so I carry a small water filter in case I need it. In the case of Bisti, there is no water...you have to carry it all, and we were outside about 11 hours, starting hot (85F) and then getting pretty cold (43F) at night. It's an arid area with no amenities, so you get dehydrated fast!

For the workshop, I carried 2.5 liters of water, a tripod, camera and 2 lenses, extra batteries, gadgets I need for shooting, food for dinner, and several layers of clothes -- for the big layers like my coat, I rolled them all together into a tube and tied them up, so that I just carried those with 1 hand - not on my backpack.

I estimate my pack was about 20 lbs, not counting the rolled up tube of clothes. And I did fine. I kept my knee wrapped, so it didn't cause problems. I did get a pretty bad blister, but kept that bandaged for the remaining hikes.

I was pleased with my own performance in carrying 20 lbs plus other stuff for 5+ miles!

MacBook Air

The little Air still worked very well! It's a 2013 model, so not new at all, but it performed better than some of the MacBooks and Windows machines there. I believe its performance is related to the flash memory -- there's no spinning hard drive on the Air -- just flash memory. I think that is why it is fast. I'm still really pleased with this little, light laptop!


When I got back home, the flowers out front had exploded! I have a guy painting the trim on the house, and he said that it was like overnight! I also noticed I had 4" of rain in the rain gauge, so I suspect the rain is what caused the sudden bloom!

Time to go back to work...go back to reality! I am not prepared for that just yet!

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I had a great time in New Mexico...

And I'm completely off schedule now! The week was spent in a nighttime photo workshop -- I've taken 2 previous workshops with this same guy -- where we stayed up all night taking night pictures. There were 6 in the workshop, in addition to the instructor.

Bisti was great! I miss it -- other worldly. I didn't take as many photos as I could have, because I tended to spend time lying on my back looking at the stars! I just couldn't help it! Where there is artificial light, you CANNOT see stars...not like this.

I'll be editing pics over the next few days...Here is the 1st post from the trip --
Bisti Badlands in New Mexico (Explored)


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April 2019

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"O seguro morreu de velho, mas o desconfiado ainda está vivo." -- "The safe one died of old age, but the suspicious one is still living."