Monday, January 08, 2007

It’s almost time to head home

Week 10: Jan. 1 to 8, 2007

Every few days I walk several blocks to the village “well” for drinking water. Actually the “well” consists of two faucets on the outside of the Mayor and Judge’s office building. Inside the building is a reverse osmosis setup. The water is provided to villagers at no cost because the village’s water supply is extremely high in fluoride. My backpack easily carries two gallons.

On one of my walks one of the large, oversized transport trucks was parked nearby. Here’s two pictures of it.

Motorhome friends Irene and Bob Aikin arrived to spend a couple days here. They left Los Alamos just two hours before the big snowstorm hit northern New Mexico. They were here for New Years Eve. For the evening, several park volunteers gathered in the recreation hall for games and snacks. At 10 p.m. we watched the New York City ball drop, then wished each other Happy New Year before heading back to our motorhomes.

Promotion to a ‘rolling magnet’
My obsession with picking up nails has earned me the use of a rolling magnet.

The amount of nails and other assorted items – a greatly rusted 50s-era ‘clippie’ hair thing, a razor blade, washers, small wads of wire, and screws – amazes me. However long-time volunteer Diane says this is ‘nothing’ compared to a few years ago when the lower portion of the camping area was developed.

What drives my interest in the nails? Ranger Martin recently ‘dragged’ the entry/exit road to smooth out the ruts, bringing formerly buried nails to the surface. I’ll be driving out Tuesday afternoon and certainly don’t want to drive over any of them.

Wednesday was one of our coldest days – don’t think it got over 45 degrees. And this was the day that Ranger Brian and volunteer David installed the Bob Omick memorial fountain. There they were, braving the cold wind, digging a trench to lay the water line, putting in the cut-off valve, leveling the ground, assembling the fountain pieces using quick-set concrete. I bundled over to lend a hand and to take photos. The fountain, purchased by Bob’s family, is in memory of one of the long-time volunteers who recently died. The birds think it is the best thing ever!

It's a New Mexico thing!
Last Saturday’s 6 a.m. walk to the showers was lovely – about 38 degrees, mostly clear sky. By 7 a.m. the sky was filled with dark clouds, and little wanna-be snow drops were coming down. Within an hour we had bona fide snowflakes. The snowstorm passed by 10 a.m., and by noon we were back in full sun, although it was chilly. It’s a New Mexico thing!

My friend Nancy Johnson from Silver City arrived about 11 a.m. Nancy owns the historic Palace Hotel in Silver and I first met her when I stayed there 10 or so years ago. The taxi I had called to take me to the airport failed to arrive, so Nancy offered to drive me. Along the way we discovered that we had both attended the same high school (although not the same year) in Phoenix! She and I stayed in touch, and I’ve stayed at the Palace several more times over the years.

Monday, Jan. 8, 2007
This afternoon I have my last shift at the museum. Tomorrow after my noon appointment with a dentist in Palomas to have my teeth cleaned, I’ll head north. I plan to spend Tuesday night at Percha Dam State Park, driving the rest of the way to Rio Rancho on Wednesday.
Before heading to Pancho Villa State Park last October, I knew I'd have a good time - it's an attitude thing with me - and I certainly have not been disappointed. It's actually sad to be leaving.
"The richest thing others have taken away from cruising was all of the relationships they made with people …with meeting people come opportunities, so you don’t know what you might end up doing."
The above quote is by Buddy and Melissa Stockwell, cruisers aboard Indigo Moon currently island-hopping in their sailboat in the Caribbean. What they say about "cruising" also applies to "motorhoming". Between the Rangers, volunteers and park visitors I've hit the jackpot when it comes to meeting interesting people.