A road not taken

Jack wrote this in April, 2005:

It’s a beautiful day here, aside from the normal New Mexico spring wind. From the porch I can see the Rio Grande’s having it worse than here, lots of dirt in the air. But just below this old house the only road that could take a person anywhere besides downhill and out to civilization heads East into the mountain. It’s been closed since the first snowfall, but I was feeling some cabin fever. Thought I might just be able to get through the pass above here into the East Mountains.

About 2/3 to the top I found it wasn’t to be. Packed snow still thick enough to stop traffic, maybe for another month.

On the way back down, stopped and hiked around a while just to listen to the streams running and smell the trees. It was good. All that water heading west, probably thinks California’s heaven. It wouldn’t be in such a hurry if it knew where it’s really going. First it has the desert between here and the Rio Grande, where a lot of it will vanish off to a parallel universe. Then, if it behaves in the normal manner, it will have to take a hard left turn into the Rio Grande, take a bath in the effluent from the Albuquerque sewer systems, then meander on south and east into Texas.

Not what it was expecting at all, I’m betting. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been in such a hurry to get down the mountain.

Near the base of the mountain on a cliff wall about three miles up the road from here is the Sandia Man Cave. Stopped to fool around there a bit, think about those old outdoorsy guys up there in that cave, figuring how they’d be fairly ecstatic winter is over and they could get out of all those animal skins.

Sandia Man Cave was the home of some early people, maybe 12,000 years ago. Folsum/Midland Era. That cave was the place where the gnawed bones of the latest mammoth in New Mexico were found. The folks there were evidently dedicated to improving the environment for the sake of those of us now by killing off the last of the mega-fauna around here.

Lucky thing, too. I hate to think what those sabre toothed tigers and mammoths would do to pet dogs and orchards.


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