Over the last few months I have been pretty consumed with various house projects and haven’t devoted any time to art or photography. But last week we took a family trip to New Mexico, so it was a great opportunity to leave all the house projects at home and get out my camera.

Rather than do a huge post with all the pics, I’ll probably spread them out over a couple posts. And I’ll start with these two. I wanted to take the “scenic” way to New Mexico, by taking highway 412 across Oklahoma, through the panhandle, and crossing into the northeast corner of New Mexico. I jokingly say “scenic”, but in all reality I have always found parts of northwestern Oklahoma to have a fairly interesting landscape, kind of alternating between a semi-arid prairie and almost a desert look, depending on how close to the Cimarron River you are.

Here we are climbing the trail up to the top of a mesa at Glass Mountain State Park, about an hour west of Stillwater. The "glass" name refers to the selenite crystals that litter the ground in the area, shimmering like shards of glass. It's a pretty steep hike and the heat can be intense, but the view from the top is quite amazing!
Here we are climbing the trail up to the top of a mesa at Glass Mountain State Park, about an hour west of Stillwater. The “glass” name refers to the selenite crystals that litter the ground in the area, shimmering like shards of glass.
It’s a pretty steep hike and the heat can be intense, but the view from the top is quite amazing!

black mesa oklahoma panhandle
Black Mesa, the highest point in Oklahoma. Located in the far western end of the panhandle near the small town of Kenton.
The western part of the panhandle has a fairly interesting landscape, with mesas, cactus, and boulders. The rocks are a black volcanic type, not the red sandstone that is common throughout much of the state.

storm new mexico
Here is a storm along the highway after we crossed into New Mexico. I looks a bit scary, but it was pretty mild by midwestern standards.