Return to Mount Taylor

DSC_0514(I took this photo of Mt. Taylor over five years ago.  This was the view from my dad’s New Mexico home.)

(my sister, Sarah, and niece)

(My sister, Erin.  We share a birthday!  She was born on my tenth birthday, best gift ever!)


Last Friday, my girls and I were supposed to fly to Albuquerque, New Mexico for my baby brother’s wedding.  We ended up stuck on the highway for hours, as it was shut down between our home and the airport suddenly for an accident investigation.  All nine of us were in the van, and we were thankfully able to pull off at a rest area and wait out the shutdown.  By the time things were moving, we had missed our flight.  We arrived at the airport to have our tickets changed for a later flight, but flights kept getting delayed, making connections impossible and at one point I was afraid we would miss the wedding all together.  Larkspur and Beatrix were literally in tears at the prospect of missing their Uncle Dan’s wedding and their opportunity to be flower girls.  I think their tears helped, and we were made priority standby on a 9 a.m. flight Saturday morning, and made it to Albuquerque a few hours before the rehearsal dinner.

I’ve been traveling to New Mexico for more than twenty years to visit my family there.  As a teen I spent an entire summer in Grants, NM and there have been lots of shorter visits as well.  It was very good to return, my last trip being five years ago, and to be with my sisters and brothers, my dad and stepmom, and other extended family who had also traveled for the wedding.  I took lots of wedding photos, but I wasn’t the main photographer.  I encouraged my brother to hire a professional to be the official photographer, and at the last minute he did.  I just couldn’t handle the pressure of the whole thing, no way.  Dan is sweet, and really wanted my photographs, though. “Ginny pictures” we called them, and I think I captured what he was hoping I would.  I haven’t even uploaded them yet, but will soon, and I will share some of them here when I do.

I tend to connect strongly to certain places, and one of them is Mount Taylor, just outside of Grants.  So when my dad mentioned that we would spend a day in Grants, I asked if we could drive a little way up the mountain.  We were a couple weeks too late to see the aspen trees in all their golden glory, but that was okay.  I just wanted to be there for a few minutes, smelling the air and soaking it all in.  We saw elk on our way up the mountain!  My first time to see them.  There were a few isolated aspens hanging on to their leaves, and I hopped out of the car to run over and get some photographs of one, but felt like cougar bait and didn’t get as close as I would have liked.  I was near enough to hear the leaves rustling in the wind, such a beautiful sound!

The kids were thrilled when we encountered snow, and raced around throwing it and eating it until it was time to head back down the mountain.  Our time there was brief, but just what I was hoping it would be.  I’m so pleased that I was able to share this favorite place with my little girls, and so thankful for time spent with my far away family.


  1. What an amazingly beautiful place!

  2. I would have been one hot angry mess about the flight, I don’t handle changes well to my personal itinerary. I’m glad you had the girls to cry and get the sympathy vote (smiling!) how sweet that your brother wanted your photographing skills but I agree having a professional hired is a good thing. At my nephew’s wedding my sister asked me to get 5-10 photos that I could email her immediately so she could share with her friends at work two days later. A simple job but I was stressed because I nearly missed the mother son dance!! I looked like a crazy person racing up there with my iphone snapping away. Oh well, I did what I was asked to do 🙂 My sister was thrilled to have photos immediately.

    At my daughter’s wedding I did not photo at all, but forgot to ask someone for some quick ones. Luckily a few friends texted me a few. Next wedding I’ll remember.

    Glad you were home, with your family having fun!! You have beautiful sisters 🙂

  3. Welcome, back, to the west. I have often wondered what magic you would capture with your camera if you came to the west. You captured its beauty perfectly. Especially of the children playing.I grew up on the east coast and now I live in Wyoming which has magic snow that delights east coasters because it comes at such strange times and also has beautiful aspens, and (a few less cougars). I am so glad you got to share it with your family and all of us. Thank you! and congrats to your brother.

  4. Beautiful Pictures Ginny… happy that you were able to attend the wedding.
    Can’t wait to see the wedding pictures. You have a beautiful family!!

  5. We drove through New Mexico quite a bit when we lived in Phoenix. I think you captured its beauty well! On one Bible bowl trip to Las Cruces, we stayed with a family out in the country. They had HUGE windows that looked out over the mountains. Watching the sun rise over those mountains is a special memory that I will always cherish. Gorgeous! 🙂

  6. Wonderful that such places exists, and the opportunity to share them with your children. Golden moments.

  7. Melissa McIntyre says:

    Just beautiful! So glad you were able to get there. And how cool that you and your sis share a birthday 😄 My baby brother was born on my 5th birthday! Agreed, best gift ever! 😉

  8. I could tell you crazy but true stories of how smart cougars are, like walking backwards in their own tracks! But they generally don’t bother people, especially adults. Kids are more at risk.
    Beautiful country. I thought of NM as warmer, for some reason.
    And the traffic jam and missing flights and delayed flights – sounds sooooo stressful!! But glad you made it to the wedding.

  9. My, such beautiful pictures…such a beautiful family you have…..
    I can’t believe the size of Larkspur!…she is getting real tall!
    It looks like the top of her head is up to your shoulder….my how she is grown!
    I must confess….I would have been a big sissy there….always afraid there were cougars lurking
    somewhere ready to pounce……the sign is all I would have had to read and that it would have been it for me!
    thanks for sharing your trip!

  10. Beautiful pictures. Gotta love the west!

  11. We raised our family in northern Arizona and plan to retire there. It looks just like your Dads area and Mt. Taylor! Just beautiful in all seasons. The skies are so clear and air so good. Places like these, you just long to be there. So glad you got to share it with the girls.

  12. looks like an awesome place to share with your kids.

  13. Beautiful! I love New Mexico so much, and your shots really make me long to get back there again. So happy you got to head out there with your children! 🙂

  14. Wow, those birch trees are just beautiful, I love their bright white stems. Looks wonderful, and a completely different side to the Alberquerqe we all know over here from Breaking Bad!

    Sorry you had such a hard time getting there…so glad you just made it.

  15. This sounds very nice. I first thought the trees in your pictures were birches, though they looked a bit strange and only now learnt, what Aspens are! I am also surprised by the snow in New Mexico. Yes, as you can read I am not very familiar with New Mexico.
    Good that you could share some family and nature time there.
    Have a good time,

  16. Beautiful pictures! Glad you made it in time and had a good time with your family

  17. Ginny, New Mexico is indeed the Land of Enchantment. It has been a few years since I’ve been back to Santa Fe. Love your Mount Taylor pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us.

  18. America is such a big country. And so beautiful. There are so many corners like this that I will probably never see but I’m so glad they’re there.

  19. Beautiful Family, beautiful land, beautiful pictures (as usual). Thank you for allowing us glimpses of your life.
    I can’t see Mt. Taylor no matter how high I stand! (San Antonio, TX).

  20. Beautiful. I’m glad you had a safe and wonderful trip, and you have a lovely family!

    It must have been special to have your girls with you, too. Home/family trips with people we love are the best (in my book, at least). Thanks for sharing. Much love :).

  21. So glad you made it, and can’t wait to see the pictures….especially of the flower girls.

  22. Christine says:

    I am glad to hear you had a safe trip and time with your family. It’s neat you got time away with the girls. The landscape is picturesque. Your sisters are beautiful! (I have an 11 year old with DS).

  23. So glad you were able to make your brother’s wedding and able to have a nice family visit. Your photos are beautiful.

  24. Just lovely, Ginny. I’m glad you had a nice time. I’m very close to the Sandias but if I stand on the water feature in my backyard, I can see Mount Taylor in the distance. 🙂

I love to hear from you!