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Monday, April 30, 2012

back in the desert!

It’s one of my favorite parts of New Mexico.  Of course, I say that of almost every part of New Mexico.  You can go look at the link or take my word for it; the Quebradas is 25 miles of unpaved road from Socorro to the middle of nowhere. It’s beautiful and rough.  If you decide to go don’t take your cute little city car.  And be sure to take lots of drinking water and a full tank of gas.  Because there isn’t any any where.
Off the road there are several little even less developed roads that take you to hidden canyons and monumental cliffs. 
We drove up a little canyon that has no name as far as I know.  After a ways, Notah stopped the truck (Dodge RAM four wheel drive, with so much clearance I need a step stood to get into it.)  He said “Here, Mom, you can walk a little ways and then sit by the pool.” 
And I DID walk a ways-about a quarter mile!  There was a beautiful pool caught between the arms of rock, shaded by cotton woods and high rock walls. 

I came on the plane this year so I didn’t have my camp chair, but Notah and hit Wal-Mart (Yeah. Sorry, Rachael) and gotten me another one for just such things as this.  Seth, bless his heart, carried my chair with its handy case and sling.

Seth and Keva climbed a bit on the rocks around the pool.  Then came over and hung out under my cotton wood.  Seth must have shot ‘a hundred’ little rocks across the pool and at the rocks on the opposite side.  Keva sat under another tree and read until angry buzzing and a swarm of bees made her leave that spot.  I watched Seth shooting rocks with his slingshot—he’s pretty good—and reading and napping.  It was wonderful.
Notah, Kerra and pat went hiking up to the top of the canyon and made a big quarter circle.  They came down over to my left from where they had climbed the wall behind the pool.
The whole time was quiet.  The only sound I heard was Seth’s rock plunking in the water or clicking off the wall and a pair of doves that flew around the top of the walls, cooing to each other. 
When everyone came back Thain and Sadie went swimming in the pool.  It was deep enough that Thain couldn’t touch the bottom for most of the breadth of it.  He spent a lot of his time retrieving sticks for Notah.  When Notah stopped tossing them, he went over to one side where there was a fairly good sized limb floating in the water with only its end on the bank.  He thought maybe Notah needed that, too.  Sadie just kinda swam around enjoying the cool water after her hike. 
Bella, with her long legs and slim body, doesn’t like swimming much.  She will wade out in the water and lap some but then she comes back.  I guess Great Danes just weren’t designed to swim.
When the dogs had cooled off, Notah put them back in the truck and we drove farther up the road.  Finally it just petered out.  He turned around and went back the way we had come.

A few weeks back, they had hiked the same area and found an old grave.  They wanted to take Keva and Pat to see it


It is always awe-inspiring to me when I see these indications of long past explorers and pioneers who walked through this country or tried to live here. This isn't a native grave because the manner of burial doesn't fit. It is an anglo or spanish grave. How lonesome it seems to have died in such a desolate place. The stone was set up, but any writing seems to have disappeared in the sand, and years.
It was too far for me to hike.  I’m getting good, but not that good yet.  I read and watched the wind blow through the trees.
They weren’t gone long.  My first indication that they were coming back was Sadie showing up at my open truck door, followed by Thain saying he wanted some water.  Not only do you have to take water for the people, if you drive the Quebradas you have to take water for the dogs too.  
Keva rescued a baby horny toad that had been trapped in the bottom of a dry water tank.  Poor little thing!  In the process of giving it water and putting it in a warmer place, Notah was stung three or four times by a bunch of wild bees who objected to him dumping water on a little horny toad so close to their hive!
We drove back out the main dirt road and continued on to the other end where it connected with the paved road again.
If you’re a ‘camper’ who uses the nice little amenities of proper campgrounds, don’t think about camping in the Quebradas.  There are no ‘campgrounds.’ no out houses or port-a-potties, no water faucets and no camper hookups.  Take everything you will need and be sure to carry out all your trash.  Oh yeah, if you gotta go potty, be prepared to dig a little hole and then bury your TP!