This was taken driving parallel to the Ortiz Mountains near Cedar Crest NM, where I turn from Frost Road onto the Turquoise Trail a.k.a. New Mexico North 14.
The morning sun draws moisture from the trees to join the relatively (for NM) humid air, turning the sunrise into a golden mist that joins the clouds above.
Every rural community in the west has a "Merc," the General Store that sells feed, food and dry goods for the ranchers. This one, in Golden, NM, is attached to the fire station.
It is still early, and the Merc is closed.
North of Golden, the Turquoise Trail swings east and climbs through the heart of the Ortiz Mountains.
This picture was taken near El Corazon del Ortiz Ranch. The summer morning is still very new, and the shadows are long, as clouds spill over the mountain top to the east.
After descending from the heart of the Ortiz, the road enters the Canyon of the Galisteo "river" south of the coal town of Madrid,NM.
The Sange de Cristo Mountains can be faintly seen, on the cloudy horizon.
Madrid has switched from coal mining to the tourism business. Here is the Madrid "Merc," located in the old boading house, and considerable gussied up compared to the Tijeras Mercantile or the Golden "Merc."
Just outside the Santa Fe city limits, where NM 14 becomes Cerillos Road, I turn into the Rancho Viejo subdivision and drive across to Santa Fe Community College. It stands on the bajadas (coalesced alluvial fans) of outwash from the Sange de Cristos. This beautiful territorial church stands just across Richards Road from SFCC, and when I see it, I know I have arrived at my teaching assignment for Wednesday.
They pay me to make this drive.
Look on and weep, o ye city drivers!