Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Mexico, Day 3

This morning we breakfasted with a family from Waco who was on the way to Colorado. It's always amusing to me when you run into people from your (general) neck of the woods in a place so far from home. Tasty blueberry pancakes (with a touch of cinnamon, I think) were a wonderful start to the day. Then, while C. checked his email and various other websites, I spent further time digging into Dracula on my nook. I've already read one book this trip - The Colorado Kid by Stephen King, at the impetus of my Stephen King-loving husband - which was quick but enjoyable. I've been trying to finish Dracula for a while, but keep getting sidetracked on other books. However, it's getting pretty exciting as they are preparing to go after the Count himself, so I think I'll finish it soon.

C. and I debated for a while what we should do today. The weather has been even more rainy than expected. But, after considerable discussion, we packed a lunch and drove down the mountain several miles to reach the Pecos National Monument. It was well worth the trip. The Pecos National Monument is a former residence for the Pecos Indians and has the ruins of their pueblo. Later, at the arrival of the Spaniards, a mission was built. It was fascinating to walk the 1.25 mile route that takes you through the old ruins and lands of the Native American people and read the history of that area. We could easily see some of the reasons they had settled there. The Pecos river and another water source are near by. But the views alone would be worth living there; although that was perhaps one of the last things on the people's minds as compared to survival and hunting for food, we appreciated the beauty of the surrounding area and the landscape that encompassed valleys, hills, and mountains. The mountain tops today were covered in fog, and a varying gentle to heavy mist fell for about half of our time on the trail. The wet weather did not dampen our spirit though, and we both found the ruins interesting and the landscape breathtaking.

Tonight we enjoyed a tasty meal of steak and grilled garlic parmesan potatoes (God bless whoever invented foil - so incredibly handy for making delicious tender veggies on the grill!!!), and since the rain had let up, we were able to eat outside in the cool 60 degree weather. We hope that the clouds will go away and perhaps we will be able to view the stars one night, maybe building a fire out in the chimnea on one of the patios.

Tomorrow, we hope to going hiking along the Cave Creek trail near the Panchuela campgrounds. It is an easy, fairly level trail according to our B&B hostess, so it will be a good test for my ankle and knee to see if I might be able to handle a harder trail. Largely, this depends on the weather, though, so we will see what happens.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Mexico, Days 1 & 2

C. and I left town bright and early about 7:00 A.M. yesterday. The trip was smooth sailing (or driving, as the case may be), and in ten and a half hours, we found ourselves winding up a mountain around sharp corners, scooting as far to the side as possible to allow other vehicles on the outside of the road to make it past. Finally, we saw the sign for our destination: Wilderness Gateway B&B in Cowles, New Mexico....glorious, middle-of-nowhere New Mexico.

The B&B is nestled in nothing but pine trees as far as one can see. Outside the doors, you can hear the rushing of the Pecos River. After showers and a simple dinner, we spent the evening relaxing indoors; the rain arrived right as we had.

Today, however, we have thoroughly enjoyed being outside in the cool mountain air when the weather allowed. The forecast called for afternoon showers, so being unsure of the weather patterns here, we opted to hold off on hiking for the day. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast, and then spent time today playing games (I am today's reigning champion thus far - 3 games of Battleship, 1 game of tournament golf, and 1 game of dominos - every one I won! I DON'T win games very often....) and planning the rest of our time here. Dinner was tasty. We will be grilling every night here. Tonight's menu: grilled, marinaded apricot mustard chicken, grilled asparagus, and grilled mushrooms. Oh, and Nutty Bars and Oreos for dessert. Don't judge.

The cool air is lovely, and I have never seen so many hummingbirds in one place in all my life! And this evening I was able to finally hear the "hum" of the birds' wings close up.

Overall, the best part about this trip though is being able to spend time with just my husband. It's so rare that we have time completely to ourselves, and especially away from everyone we know (we love you all though, really!), and this is an opportunity I am treasuring.

The landscape and this special time with my husband brings to mind that I should praise God for the beautiful gifts with which He has blessed me. His creation is so utterly amazing. I can't even begin to count the trees that surround this home...and yet He knows every one. The wings of the hummingbird move faster than my eye can see....and He created them with that unique ability. He has blessed us with jobs and money (and a wise husband who manages that money well), and given us this opportunity to get away. For all of that, and so much more, I am truly grateful.