Letter from Ross Lewallen

I am still a dreamer with his feet on the earth. When I was a kid I wanted it all — sometimes a cowboy – an Indian – a wild animal trainer – a dancer – a photographer – a sports car driver – a circus clown (even the human cannon ball) – deep sea diver – a robin hood – world traveler – and most of the time a pirate with a fast ship robbing the rich merchants and giving to the poor .. all long before Johnny Depp sailed in.

I live surrounded by four sacred mountains: Eagle Beak Mountains to the North, Triangle Mountain to the West, Turtle Mountain to the south, and spotted Mountain to the East. Over these ranges rise blazing sunrises leaping from pale milky white predawn skies. Here all the children gather. The rattlesnake, lizard, rabbit, grouse, mouse, road-runner, and coyote all let me know that I live on their land. Hawks soar, swoop down and return to the bright blue sky. There are many herbs on this land and more in the mountains. Here I do my healing practice, paint, and share my life with Hanne.

View of Santa Fe from my adobe SE of town

Sailing from Santa Fe to Key West
Last winter I spent time in St. Croix. Hanne, my wife, played her violin at different venues around the island and during our stay at Mt. Victory Camp. I did many paintings and was able to snorkel at Buck Island with Llewellyn Charters and sailing on the beautiful schooner Roseway, a nautical sailing school for children and young adults. We then spent 10 days at the Key Lime Sailing Club in Key Largo. We rented a small beautiful cottage right     on the water where the Catalina 22 sailboat docked that came along with the “Sailfish Cottage”. I fell in love with the Keys. We also ventured down to Key West and liked it very much. I can still taste the fresh seafood at a little Cuban restaurant we found called “Siboney“. While spending this time in the Keys we decided to trailer Paradox down to the keys the following winter. We also decided to create this blog sharing our preparations, journey and adventures.
I grew up in Chicago and spent the first 30 years of my life there. Chicago was a great city to grow up and go to school. I finished high school (Oak Park High School) where Ernest Hemingway had attend a few years before me. At the time he attended he lived not to far from the school. I started a career as a commercial photographer after I graduated. After a couple of years I became restless and indecisive with what I wanted to do in life. I went back to my high school and visited a counselor. I said I would like to go to college. He got a big file out with my name on it, looked at it and said “You!” I was not college material in his view.
I found out I could go to Northern Illinois University and be on probation for the first semester – I said OK!
I went out and took a battery of tests and found out later that I had qualified for several advanced classes. Yikes! Very different answer to the counselor’s remark “You!”
I passed the first semester’s probation with some OK grades. I then changed majors to art which has been my “home” ever since. After NIU I taught at a high school and junior college for two years and then headed to New Mexico to go to graduate school. I found myself on stage at graduation receiving the highest grade point average of the entire master’s degree graduates. OK!
New Mexico has been my home ever since. I have traveled to many countries around the world but always felt New Mexico was my new home. I was once looking at a plan to move to Africa. I wanted to start a photo safari company in Malindi, Kenya with an African women named Amina who spoke 5 languages, a native tracker and guide, a safari cook plus a good Land Rover. I would be a story teller, teach photography skills, create an art center and teach painting to tourists and safari goers.


I have escaped the brutal winters of Chicago, that special city on the shores of Lake Michigan called the “Windy City”. Now again I seek warmer winters than we have in New Mexico. The Florida Keys fit the bill. I still see myself spending summer and fall here in N.M.

 I thought I had left this snow and cold stuff in Chicago – a N.M. winter below – ya that’s a car under the snow and my boat covered in the background.

My trailer sailor Paradox will be coming with us to the Keys this coming winter 2012. s/v Paradox has become our summer home retreat from Santa Fe. She is docked at Heron Lake, a pristine no wake lake just south of the Colorado border near the village of Tierra Amarilla. Motoring Paradox out of the channel to the big Heron Lake each spring stirs up many powerful feelings – it is like a great breath, breathing in the water’s expanse, the bright N.M. sky, the wind filling the sails, the sound of the water leaving the stern, the breath of renewal, the breath of adventure and the unknown, letting go, and the fresh smell of wind and water while Paradox silently moves on the planet. I am looking forward to raising the sails in the Florida Keys.

~Ross Lewallen

My Website:


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alison
    Nov 04, 2011 @ 10:54:36

    Keep an eye out for stowaways !! (we’d sneak along if we could!) In the meantime, we will have to be satisfied with following along with your adventures. Look forward to it.
    Alison and Rob


    • s/v Paradox
      Nov 04, 2011 @ 11:00:30

      Hey – look forward to your words as we journey to the Keys and sailing adventures this winter. Several friends are coming down to spend a little time with us. There still is a few time slots open.


  2. monique rohde
    Jan 17, 2012 @ 08:30:52

    enjoy reading about your adventures , be well


  3. Lin
    Jan 26, 2012 @ 06:09:45

    Hi Ross and Hanna
    I am writing from the second Windy city – Milwaukee, WI. And I yearn for the winter in NM which seems like summer compared to this weather ! Hanna -I’m with you on the mechanic thing- I have no skills there. I excuse myself by saying I’m an artist and my tools are paint and brushes. Having a great time here, fun with my grandkids and have a retreat with the instructors of Vets Journey Home this weekend – one of my other families. Take care and have fun – Ross- I’m painting on the “sacred canvas” – peace and love – Lin


    • s/v Paradox
      Jan 26, 2012 @ 13:25:20

      Hej Lin, thanks for your comment, nice to have a friend in bad mechanics 🙂 Stay warm up there in Wisconsin. The Vet retreat sounds exciting! Miss you and look forward to our next soul sisters meeting. Love, Hanne


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