Driving south from Santa Fe last night in the dusk, the Las Conchas flames were visible in the mountains, perhaps 30 miles to the west, and rain falling on the Sandia Mountains, perhaps 30 miles to the east.
There's been no rain here since October.
We're now in the so-called monsoon season and there has still been no rain. Sez on TV somewhere that you have to have humidity of 47 per cent for three days in a row for rain clouds to release their rain. Right.
We went up for an art opening. Canyon Road is all art gallery, all old adobes built right up on the narrow sidewalks of a narrow two lane street.
Art very bad.
Crowds walking from gallery to gallery in the street with their plastic cups of plonk.
Somewhat edgier than the average Burque crowd, but with more of a too-tan, a-little-too-buzzed-out, Marbella-Eurotrash/LA A-gay/Miami narco princess/vibe actually than -- the rest of the world. If I were a bettin' man, I'd wager there were some very decadent rich hippie things going on in Santa Fe but nothing very interesting.
Dinner at an incredibly pretentious and reasonably good restaurant named Geronimo. Yes, they did scalp us.
But the drive back through the dusk, under the big dry sky, with the rain far away to the left and the fire and smoke far away to the right, with the juniper bushes outlined high on the mesas against the bright cobalt blue night sky, was something else. The small and craggy Ortiz mountains are part of the same geological event that formed the Rockies. Behind them, the Sandias are not. Through the little 18th century towns like Algodones (pop. 688) along the benison of the river. Where, at last, there are little adobe houses under big old cottonwoods, their leaves trembling and turning on their specially prehensile stems, glimmering in the moonlight.