Thanks for joining us on our adventures here in the Southwest, the very heart of New Mexico. Somewhere between the Cibola National Forest and the Salt Lakes. Sounds idyllic? It is.
The weather today is wonderful. Not a cloud in the sky, just the breeze in the trees…
Mind you, it’s pretty wild terrain out here, you know; wolves, bears and mountain lions are quite at home, eagles and vultures soar above – and you will even see the occasional road runner literally run across the road! Beep beep!
Bit different to Tunbridge Wells!
Every morning Steve and I go to El Quarai, an ancient pueblo heritage site, for a mile or so walk round the rocky trail.
It’s one of three pueblo missions here, and the closest to the house. This morning, we decided to venture out to Gran Quivira, the largest of the ancient Salinas Pueblos, about 25 miles south.
Have a nice spiritual hour, then come back and do the garden, which is pretty overgrown.
Our friend in the village, Claudio, has lent us his strimmer.
Minor language breakdown there though. I digress, but when we bumped into him, he asked if we needed anything. “A strimmer”, I said. “Strimmer?” he asked.
Steve, the old landscape gardener lept to my assistance,
“Ahh, a weed whacker. No problem”
That made me laugh.
Anyway, are you sitting comfortably? Then we will begin…
When we eventually got there, having narrowly missed a huge black bull grazing on the roadside, wrong side of the fence,
this was the sign at the door:
That’s the same as saying (to me) “Wet Paint – Do not touch”
There was nobody else about, no visitors, just us.
We were greeted by the Park Ranger.
“Howdi Folks. A word of warning: It’s rattlesnake season. In the last 3 days, we’ve had to remove 5 rattlers from the area, so stay on the trail, and if you see one, call me.”
So we thanked him and started up the path.
We were just digesting his warning and I flippantly said,
“Good job I upgraded from flip-flops to closed toes today.”
About 10 yards into our walk, Steve suddenly puts his arm out in front of me, like you do to the passenger when you’re driving and have to slam the breaks on suddenly.
“There’s one!” he shouts.
“Steve! Stop clowning about!” I yell back, “You made me jump!”
He grabs me and pulls me back. “Stop!”
I looked down at the path ahead and there it was, about 2 feet in front of me, and I was just about to walk straight over it.
|#notagreatpic #whatdyouexpect? #keepyourdistance|
Jump backwards ????! The ranger came running with a very long clampy-style apparatus and got him round the neck.
#notgettingclose #veryloudrattle #angrysnake
It wasn’t huge, about 3 ft long.
“Is it a baby?” asked Steve.
“Nope, This is no baby”,
and the rattlesnake started to seriously rattle.
Adrenalin rush or what?!
We thanked the guy, left him to it, and moved on.
The laughter kicked in about a hundred yards further up the trail.
“I bet it’s his pet” I said.
That was enough to set us off.
“Makes his day go faster I suppose”, added Steve.
Did we look at the ruins? Did we heck! We never looked up once !! My eyes never left the trail!!
Then Steve spotted another very long snake, a whiptail snake.
We didn’t hang about to take a photo,
but by this time Stevy Crockett was the man.
He was spotting snake trails, snake pits and all sorts.
King of the Wild Frontier…
Me? I was just “whatever”, head down and quickly doing my 10,000 steps round the ruins!
The huge crow raven vulture type bird watching us wasn’t exactly creating a pleasant ambiance either.
So we whistled round the ruins, literally, and came back home.
About 10 minutes into the drive, Steve suddenly piped up.
“Sod the strimming!” More laughter.
Thank you for dropping in on another death defying adventure.
Next time I am wearing the right shoes…
Love & Hugs,