It began as a day similar to many others. We set out to find a business on a busy highway but suddenly found ourselves in the forest, surrounded by the beauty of massive pines and rolling hills.
While we knew that somewhere in this direction was a small town that we wanted to see, there were no road signs other than, “Icy” and “Watch for snowplows.” Useful though these may have been during the winter, they provided no assistance whatsoever in our forest wonderland.
The management at our rental unit had cautioned not to walk the area early in the morning or late at night. Asking what types of wildlife were present, she indicated that there were deer, elk, bear and mountain lions in the vicinity. So it wasn’t as though we were in benign farmlands.
Eventually, our trusty GPS system advised that we should turn left onto an unpaved road. Said road never materialized so we took the next available left turn that dead-ended and another left sent us back in the direction from which we had come. That road eventually became unpaved with no indication that it would ever end.
Having heard about the local wildlife, I imagined that a bear would be in our path at any moment. Is a big black bear big enough to tip over our car? Hoping that it couldn’t, I next visualized a mountain lion growling and appearing on our hood. Maybe it was an overactive imagination or simply the unusual experience of being in the middle of nowhere, with rough terrain and no visible human beings. The only creatures we spied were occasional horses, grazing in nearby pastures.
Ultimately, we found ourselves on a major county road with other vehicles. The scenery wasn’t nearly as magnificent, and it was well-lit and signed. Our New Mexican wilderness exploit was at an end, happily without incident. But to the next person who advises that our state is flat, brown and covered only with cacti, I suggest that you explore further, especially on those paths less traveled. Shalom.
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