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  • J.F. Rowan

Abiquiu, Do you?

It’s true. Life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey. And sometimes not in the literal sense. It can be about evolution, learning to change and adapt. Learning not to sweat the small stuff. Such is the case when we left Bandelier National Monument near Los Alamos NM.

Bandelier National Monument. Visitor Center entrance.

Volunteers Quarters? Sign me up!

Los Alamos. Home to one of the most sophisticated energy labs in the world and some of the worst internet speeds on the planet. Sheesh! I had blogs and blogs backing up to the point of seeing gigabytes oozing out the sides of my laptop. Even as I write this particular blog, one of my daily chores is to constantly check this piece of "iron" to make sure I don’t overfill it because god forbid it to stop working altogether. If that day comes, I’m turning it into a football, or a clay pigeon depending on what tools are available. On a positive note, I am learning things. I am learning about people that were here in this particular area a few years ago. A few years, ha! Try 1200AD! Pueblos are about as cool as it gets when it comes to earlier period architecture. Using the sandstone like rock surface to sculpt out a dwelling and then adding a structure to the face when theres not even a Home Depot in site, must have been quite a feat! No wonder kids like to build forts when they’re little, it’s in their DNA! Yvette and I crawled around at the bases of some of the coolest cliffs and canyon walls I’ve ever seen. There was no end to the magic in this place. To see etchings in stone above what used to be someones home and survived the elements for this long, was pretty amazing. I do apologize for the photos as I don't think they really represent the amazing sense of history compared to when your standing right in front of them. I only wish I could put a USB cable from my eyes to my laptop because any of the photos you see barely come close to showing how wondrous this place is and the feeling you get when you see it up close.

The foundation of an old pueblo ruin as seen from one of the overlook trials.

But our time here was over and it was time to move on. During our final days at Bandolier, we planned on heading to farther north to Abiquiu (Ab-eh-q) Lake Recreation Area. We set off on Thursday morning not only with our destination in mind, but to re-stock, and then hit a library in the town of Espanola. A library with wifi is usually a good place to get videos uploaded. Usually. Not this time. I spent about ten minutes trying to upload a video only to see “1%” in the upload window. Nobody has to hit me over the head with a brick, I know when I’m not wanted. I reached out to my FB peeps that night to see about solutions. Jimbo was nice enough to inform me that the internet is built for surfing, not for uploading unless I "go industrial". So I’m working on finding some internet with a picture of “Mr. Clean” on it. So far, no luck. But I digress. We picked up groceries and checked the fuel prices (just checking mind you) and headed once again off to our new destination. The drive was very pleasant, the end was not.

Abiquiu Lake

Abiquiu Lake

Apparently the Army Corps Of Engineers at Abiquiu Lake do not take the "America The Beautiful Pass." They sell it, they just don’t honor it. (I’m taking this time to calm down because even as I type this it pisses me off. Sorry, I have issues…so sue me.) That’s right, they SELL it, but they don’t HONOR it. So, in true Rowan fashion, I drove down to the public dock, and while the truck was still running and while my wife looked on, I got out, walked to the end of the dock, unzipped my fly and… No, not really. I just thought it would be funny to put that in here.

Some down time in a nice quiet spot.

Anyway, we left. Not just because they wouldn’t honor the pass, but on top of that it just wasn’t that nice of a park. Pretty much a giant dirt lot with a mediocre view. Yvette on the other hand is about ready to have me committed. She just spent the last hour getting us there and “Frankie” comes out of hiding. (Frankie is my alter devil like ego. Aka, Frankenpants, Crankypants, or Mr. Winnebago) But before you all side with her (most of the time you’d be smart to) we pressed on to a place called Heron Lake State Park. Now I know what you’re thinking, “But you don’t like New Mexican State Parks!” And it’s basically true, but other than the place “Frankie” refused to park at, Heron Lake was the only other place that had showers.

Heron Lake State Park in New Mexico. Like so many bodies of water we visit, the water has receded.

A "Black Chinned" Hummingbird.

It was still daylight when we pulled into Heron Lake. There are several loops/campgrounds here. And…well…they are all pretty…awesome! Scores! (Insert happy dance and several fist pumps here). We find a really nice, private and deep parking area. I unhitch the trailer and park the Tiger at an angle that virtually closes the site off to the rest of the outside world. And…hello…bonus, it’s really quiet here! Yvette has hung out her traveling hummingbird feeder (she's such a rebel) and we’ve already got about 5 regulars that have been hitting it all day long. We’ve done some hiking and some biking and the weather has been superb and with no wind! Woohoo!

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