Here in New Mexico they have been talking a lot about the pilgrimages many folks make around Easter to the old shrine at Chimayo (say Chee-my-oh) which is somewhat like the southwest's version of Lourdes as a bit of dust from the chapel floor is said to perform miraculous healing. Others climb a hill called Tome (say Toe-may) --both sites in the northern part of the state.
I had resolved a few days ago that I would make my own 'pilgrimage' by taking a climb I have been thinking about for close to a year now. Like many towns, Alamogordo had a whitewashed letter on a hill overlooking the city. A trail that winds up the mountain to disappear over the crest, several thousand feet above the level of the valley and the town on the lowest foothills goes past it. I found the trail one afternoon when I was just scanning the incredibly rugged and steep mountains to the east with binoculars and conceived the mad dream of hiking up there. I knew I might not make it all the way to the crest any time soon, if ever, but the top of the "A" was a goal I was pretty sure I could achieve. Since I got Ginger I have been walking a lot and could feel the improvement in energy, wind and stamina. I was ready!
I did not get up quite as early as I had intended but around eight I parked the little white Ford "Pattie-wagon" (I'll share the story of that name later!) in the vacant lots that allow a parking space for hikers. Ginger and I got out and with a day pack to carry water for us both, my camera and my handgun--it is getting to be snake season and one never knows who might be hiking out in the hills), my trusty saguaro stave hiking stick in hand and Gin's leash, we set out. To the right is Ginger on the trail at the top of the A! She was doing a perfect sit-stay while I took the shot!
I missed the trail--the lower area is very cut up with dirt bike and ATV driving so we ended up climbing up a rugged little canyon with cactus and treacherous footing for some distance but finally gained the trail. From there it was clear, steep and rough but I just trudged on. Ginger never did seem to get tired. By nine we had reached the top of the A! The trail goes right across the topmost part. I sat down on the whitewashed stones and took in the amazing views. It was a lovely bright day, a slight S-SE breeze just enough for a little cooling as it dried my sweat-damped shirt. I got water out for us both and rested. It felt like such a blessing to be there--alone except for my furred friend who shared the trek with me, at peace with all and a part of the wonder of nature that surrounded me.
My shadow stretches off down the hill. Below you can see a bit of the trail and in the widest part of the road cutting off the top fifth or so of the shot, my little car is a teensy dot of white. The white rocks show on both sides of my shadow. Here are two more pictures of the view from up here. I will go back; not sure when as it is soon going to be hot and more likely for snakes to be out etc. but the hill is mine now and I know I can get there, maybe even go a little bit farther! Howl-ay-lool-ya!! And no irreverence intended; I am just giving our little triumphant cry in kind-of dog talk here! May the risen sun--or Risen Son, according to your faith--shine warm on you this day and into the future and blessings shower upon you and yours! I feel very blessed by my adventure and a gentle sense of triumph that I did it.
The left shot is looking to the north and the other, straight west; my house is off to the far right lost in the rest of the town but only about a mile and a half from where we parked the car.
Welcome to my World
Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!