Sunday morning I got up early, had breakfast, and decided to spend some time driving the highly touted Enchanted Circle, an 84 mile road trek around Taos, before starting the long drive back home. In the guide books this is described as the most popular day-driving tour in the area, but after spending quite a lot of time on the beautiful High Road, I found this drive, much of it through lowlands, only so-so.
On the positive side, it did take me past the turn off to D.H. Lawrence's ranch and grave. Fan that I am, there was no question I would make the pilgrimage. This was no easy trek, as the road to the ranch is rough gravel for what seemed an interminable distance. It left me hoping my tires would hold out (they did) and wondering how on earth Lawrence made it up there in the 1920's. I persisted and eventually I arrived at the ranch, which is now "maintained" (I'm being VERY generous here) by the University of New Mexico. Apparently, UNM alum can rent the cabins, but I don't know that anyone would happily do this, as all of the cabins appeared to be in a terrible state of disrepair.
Nevertheless, the biggest one appeared to be occupied. There were signs that read "PRIVATE!" posted on the building, and two large and rather menacing dogs, clearly well fed by someone, were lounging on the roof. The setting is beautiful, and the shrine is removed a bit from the chaos of the cabins by being some distance up a hill, but overall the ranch was junky; there is no other word for it. I think it's a disgrace that the place is in such a bad state of disrepair. Several trucks were parked all around, and there was debris. A number of prominently posted signs read "All dogs must be on a leash!" except for the dogs on the roof, who were clearly unleashed. I confess they made me nervous as they scrutinized my every move, pacing back and forth on the roof above another large sign that read "Beware of Dog!"
But did I get quietly into my car and turn around? Not after driving all that distance! After all, what would Ursula or Gudrun have done? Undeterred, I trekked up to the crypt, where I quietly paid my respects and signed the guest book before beginning the long trek back to Dallas.