Conifers in the hushed air high in the Sangre de Cristo

Ever since our recent snow, the mountains above Santa Fe have been shrouded in thick clouds, the middle and higher peaks invisible behind the grey and white stratus that broods over the ranges. Since it’s only a short drive from downtown up into the forests, there’s no reason not to take a moment out of the day to see what lies inside that mysterious veil. Ten minutes’ drive brings you to the border of the Santa Fe National Forest, and ten minutes more takes you high into the mixed-conifer forest, some 2000 feet above the city.

You can’t expect any views under these conditions, but you will witness the forest in an atmosphere of utter quiet and peace. Snow clings to every branch, deadening sound.

A tranquil and snowy forest

There is no wind to chill you. Your horizons are bound and foreshortened by fog, and even a short walk takes you into a private world of meditative calm. Little things take on a new significance.

The cone of a Limber Pine, confected in snow and honeyed pitch

Soon the stillness seeps into your soul, and you can return to town refreshed, and ready to appreciate again the cultural delights of the Christmas season in Santa Fe.