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Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Socorro Mountain

My father one time posed the question about a world where Adam’s and Eve’s counterparts had not disobeyed God’s directions in the Garden. He wondered what life would have been like in such a place. Of course we have no way of knowing how the world might have gone, but only consider the alternatives!

There is a series of short stories written by a lady named Zenna Henderson about The People. The People were a race of sensitive aliens, human in all aspects except their deep dedication and commitment to God and the psychic abilities which set them apart from human kind on earth. They fled the explosion of their home sun in a fleet of space ships moving the population of their planet. Their fleet made its way to Earth but were separated during a crash-landing on Earth. Many perished but over a period of years they came to find each other. The stories are beautiful in their portrayals of hardships, personal relationships and devotion to the Lord. Of course they are science fiction. But I always liked to think that such a society might have been an alternative had Man not disobeyed God

And…I’ve said all that to tell you about my afternoon drive on Sunday. Right after church Notah proposed a drive. I can’t hike or do any of the things I used to love, but as long as the trip isn’t too long and my knees aren’t too cramped I can enjoy riding through the desert. When they were talking about where to go I voted for Socorro—because that’s where the stories of the People were situated! I’ve always wanted to see the mountains and the land. So that’s where we went. It’s only about an hour’s drive south of Belen.

Notah has read the People books, too, and has been through the area before, so he had already given thought to the areas around town that Henderson might have used to describe various scenes. That’s what I wanted to see. Naturally I could only look from the van, but it was better than nothing.
The mountains around Socorro are much more craggy than ours closer to Belen and the rocks are a different color. (Don’t ask me to get technical about what kind of rocks, etc. I go by color. Lol I even buy cars by color. Never mind specific names.) There’s an a appealing southwestern town that has an historic mission, a pretty square, businesses, a few tourist souvenir shops and residences with Socorro Mountain rearing over it all. Like a lot of towns out here the historic parts and the commercial area and the residences are all mixed together. We drove down one street of houses and small businesses and suddenly straight across from us as we paused at the stop sign, there was an original trading post, still doing duty as a little quikstop type business. In a cubby on the roof stood the figure of a cowboy (very good carving) being attacked by a bear (not so good) And all along the false front were old, old tin signs. I noticed specifically a Phillips 66 and a Sinclair gas sign. They should be in someone’s collection of historic signs, instead, there they are out in the weather and the sun.
Notah remembered seeing a notation on one of his maps about a scenic location named “The Box” and he wanted to find it. Turned out, finding it was easy, but only because we were looking for the sign. It was smaller than the little county road number signs you see in the country back east. Maybe 12” x 15” We turned on to the dirt road and went maybe a mile to a sharp left U-turn and ended up in a box canyon! The walls went straight up; the rocks were cracked into huge blocks and there were caves tucked in all along them. The dry river bed in the bottom was probably 50 feet wide and the rock walls enclosing it were probably another hundred feet apart. I won’t even guess how far up the rocks went. The highway had taken the end out of it so it was no longer truly a box, but it was neat anyway. I wish I could have seen it a hundred hears ago!

We had no more pulled into the rough parking area when Seth was agitating to get out and climb up to look in the caves. I sat in the van with my book and the doors open while everybody else hiked. It wasn’t a large canyon and the hike was only 45 minutes or an hour long—not like their usual 3 or 4 hour treks into the Ladrone Mountains or Black Mesa—but long enough with Grandma sitting in the car.

Keva was the first one back. She had slipped and jammed her newly healed wrist when she caught herself. Everyone else came back a few minutes later. Sadie had gone along, but had to walk on a leash so she was the only hiker not satisfied with the walk. Sadie is a desert dog and doesn’t consider it exercise unless she gets to run ten miles.

We headed home with a short side trip off to see La Joya, an old mission town where the asphalt road and practically all others dead end in the town. There’s a post office and a church and not too much more. When I looked it up online it sounded like it was larger than it really is-literally a handful of houses and maybe two businesses. But that was more than compensated for by the history and scenery.

We stopped for ice cream on our way out of Socorro. I got an Oreo Sonic blast! Lots of carbs, but it tasted good. I couldn’t eat it all--too, too much sweet for my liking. I probably ate half of it. I saved the rest for Gable, but before he knew what he was doing, Notah tossed it in the trash… poor Gabe. But to be honest, he really didn’t need it. The good news is that even with the ice cream my blood glucose stayed at 126! I think I’m winning the battle.

We got home about six-something and when I got out of the van, my knees simply refused to work for a few minutes. They straightened out okay and held me up-with the help of my crutches- but they simply wouldn’t work at first. After I’d stood leaning against the van for a couple minutes they did decide to do what they were supposed to and I was able to begin walking toward the house. Then of course, there were the STEPS up to the door. I finally made it, but it felt so good to be able to straighten out my knees and put them up on the recliner.

I loved it! The trip, that is, not the recliner, although I'm partial to it, too.

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