By Virginia Parker Staat
It was wonderful to see so many of you in Alamogordo during last month’s RMOWP conference. We were delighted to meet new member Steve Cochrane and his wife Megan, and spend time with twenty-two RMOWP friends. For me, it was a true joy just to feel a sense of cautious normalcy as we reunited in camaraderie and shared interests.
With this year’s focus on outdoor activities, we held a self-publishing panel discussion, park ranger talk, and several writing workshops at the zoo pavilion, serenaded by a rather raucous raven who occasionally chimed in his two cents’ worth. We strolled through Oliver Lee Memorial State Park and its historical buildings, dodging raindrops. And many of us had the opportunity to visit the Three Rivers Petroglyph site with over 21,000 petroglyphs dating back to 900-1400 AD. Our dramatic sunset tour at White Sands National Park offered both a brilliant rainbow and stunning sunset. Who could ask for more?
The food provided by Lowe’s Market was most satisfying, and the Holiday Inn staff took good care of us. In short, we had a great time. Of course, photo critiques, the auction, and our awards banquet rounded out the three spectacular days. Thanks to Barb and Don Laine for once again coordinating a stellar conference. Most of all, thanks to each and every participant for sharing your talents and time with us.
Our RMOWP conferences offer more than just an opportunity to reunite in friendships. They provide an opportunity to learn and grow in our respective crafts. These conferences also recharge our commitment to conservation and preservation through communicating in photographs and words our experiences, knowledge, and passions. Next year’s conference will be held in Golden, Colorado, probably around the third or fourth week of June. I can’t wait!