Victoria and Casey enjoyed an afternoon picnic in the Mississippi Palisades State Park south of Galena. As they stood on a high rock overlook, Casey taught Vicki how to hear “the music,” nature’s symphony. The Mississippi River is below; Iowa is on the far shore. Top photo highlights the Victorian charm of Galena.
Victoria liked to hear Casey tell stories about the places he’d been and the things he’d seen in the West. One of her favorites was Casey’s description of wild horses in North Dakota. In this scene, a band of wild horses, led by a white stallion, roams a valley in western North Dakota.
Casey Beckett said that the Teton Mountains were “sculpted by the caress of the Great Spirit.” This is the view he had from the front porch of his ranch house in the Jackson Hole valley in Wyoming. Casey often sat here while writing songs and poetry, inspired by the majesty and serenity of the mountains.
Casey Beckett was highly tuned to the rhythms of the natural world. He was one with the land, hearing ancient voices on the wind and sharing the life force of the clouds and the trees and the rivers. Not far from Casey’s home, here are some views of the elemental Wyoming landscape.
When Casey Beckett rode his horse into the Teton backcountry, he escaped into a pristine wilderness where the silence was so complete it had a presence of its own, intimate and as comforting as a warm blanket. In this environment, the music of the land surrounded him and energized his spirit.
Sandia Crest, elevation 10,678 feet, is the highest point in the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico. From here, one has a sublime view of Albuquerque, the Rio Grande Valley, and the Cibola National Forest. At certain times, eagles may come into view, soaring above the vast panorama in perfect harmony with the land and sky.
All photographs copyright © Paul James Zack.
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