07 June 2007

Camping Bliss

A heavenly getaway to Holy Ghost campground in the Pecos Wilderness, northeast of Santa Fe. A small,narrow valley with a popular --but tricky -- trout stream running through it.

We elected to camp at the treeline instead of near the water... which turned out to be a very wise decision, as the stream was surprisingly noisy, but very beautiful and tranquilizing.

We immediately began to unpack the car and noted that the somewhat threatening clouds skating over head indicated some urgency in getting the tent up. We spread tarps, unpacked the brand-new tent, inflated the brand-new air mattresses and were safely inside the tent with books and blankets as well as a little cocktail-- just as the rain began. (some damn fine teamwork, I might add. )
The rain lasted only a short time, but we laughed, relaxed and made-up stories. Break over, we finished setting up the camp and started a fire.

Our first evening and within a few hours of our arrival, I noticed our neighbors -who were camped near the stream- looking at us with binoculars and feeling just a little sassy myself, I picked up our binoculars to look at them--at which point they started pointing behind us.
We turned and noticed a deer moving across the hill above our campsite, then another and another, total of six. It was thrilling to watch them, traverse the hillside grazing with very little interest in the tourists. I must've taken 15 pictures, and as the final straggler passed by, we noticed that he was the only male and they all appeared to be very young. It set the tone and created an environment to be at one with nature.

The first night was *seriously*cold, I am just saying-37° (June 4th), seriously effing cold. I had to leave the tent but once and that about killed me. I hung in there until 5:30 a.m.-that was it, I was afraid hypothermia was setting in and my life was passing before me. So I struggled to get out of the tent and get to the car, thank you Subaru for electronically heated seats and a great heater. And with all that-- it's still took an hour for the chills to stop. My brave Wicked companion was far stronger and with much less insulation, she not only survived another hour, but came out to check on my remains and then... she was all about getting a fire started. Praise the Lord.
We had a perfectly enjoyable day, it warmed up nicely and I was able to take a nap while WT took a lovely hike, which she was able to describe in beautiful detail. After which, we took a ride into Pecos to the general store in order to get some more firewood and water. Back to camp and while I worked on building a fire,Wicked Thistle set about chopping veggies for a delicious frittata,mmmm. We enjoyed the fire, told stories and roasted marshmellows. Perfect.The night was much warmer and the sleep much better- blessed sleep.
Wednesday was incredibly windy-but sunny and beautiful-- but , in the end, the wind won. We closed up camp early and headed home. Highway driving, with 65 mph gusts is truly a challenge, but the lure of soap and hot water kept us strong (mighty strong).
Home to the wuppies, safe, clean and warm, with wonderful memories and plans for another trip soon.
For another point of view, try: http://wickedthistle.blogspot.com


Wicked Thistle said...

Great memories! This blog thing is a wonderful way to store life's events for later perusal, which is particularly important for those of us who are memory-impaired. Thanks for a rockin' good time--I'm looking forward to the next trip already!

Dizzy said...

I love, I mean heart, the Pecos. So beautiful. You gals are brave adventurous souls!

A.Fanny said...

I related the binoculars story to my spouse, who got a hearty chuckle from it. A comical image.

Katrina Van Tassel said...

Holy Ghost is great. But I prefer going a bit further up the road to Cowles. It has a bit more sun than Holy Ghost which is dark most of the day and it seems further out of the way from the weekend crowds. My mother and I went backpacking from Cowles last summer. We got as far as the lakes beneath Santa Fe Baldy then came back down. The Pecos is one of my favorite places in America.

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