Just got back from a trip back home to visit family. Saw the oldest child and my folks. Had a blast. Ate loads of delicious, authentic Mexican food and gained a few pounds. Then traveled to some of the ghost towns around New Mexico--specifically Chloride, Winston, Hillsboro and Kingston. Those pics are forthcoming.
One of the things I really, really miss about the Southwest--besides my family, the food and the mountains--are the blue skies. The skies in the Midwest are always washed out. You need a polarizer on your camera lens to bring out the blue in them. If you use a polarizer out there, you create blue skies that turn almost black when you convert an image to black and white. Perhaps it's the difference in altitude (4000+ feet out there) and the moisture in the air here that washes them out here. Whatever the case, I really miss those blue skies.
I'd also forgotten how far you can drive without seeing another soul. Hillsboro is about 2-3 hours from where I was staying. We made our way out there early one Sunday morning and this is what I was treated to:
Miles and miles of nothing but blue skies and open road. Once in awhile we'd see another car but mostly it was just us on the road.
I think this trip cemented my desire to go back there to live.