Comments from the Canyons

Lynn Moncus

When two country cousins set out to explore areas of the county, citified folks might tend to question our sanity. Yes, last Sunday, Cousin Tink and I made a hasty decision to check out the plains in the southwestern section of the county and set off with some good sandwiches, plenty of water, hot coffee, and a tank full of gasoline. At least, we were prepared for a change and were eager to get out of town into the quiet countryside.
Tink usually encourages me to tell a few stories as we drive, and I fall into her trap while setting a few of my own. Often she asks questions about houses we pass, windmills we see, or some unusual scenery, and just as often I don’t know the answers but like to be creative while making up all sorts of stories.
She usually knows by the second word that I am using my imagination in order to lengthen the answers and just goes right along asking questions until we both tire of that subject and jump to the next. Unfortunately, she tends to remember those tall tales better than she does the little factual information I provide when I actually know the answer.
We had eaten our lunch while looking into the valley toward Fort Sumner and had ambled around for a while in the 100-degree weather. As often happens, I missed the road by which we had entered the area and just decided to try a feed road that was aimed in the right direction.
Of course, we were smack dab in the middle of nowhere when we met a pickup and stopped to ask for a few directions.
Now, my stories may get a little tall, but facts really can be stranger than fiction. What are the chances of our meeting one of my former students from NMSU while being lost in a pasture? As usual, he recognized me first, and once he told me he was Leona Hood’s son, I knew I was talking to a Rush boy and was most pleased to see a familiar face.
I have a feeling he thought we were a bit daft when we asked how he got to that point in the pasture. At any rate, he gave good directions, and we headed off following his tracks. We were a bit stunned by the experience and just kept driving for a while before discussing that unique experience.
At any rate, we hit a main road and knew where we were. We also breathed a little easier because we didn’t have to be quite as careful as we had been in the pasture to keep from high centering the car. Today’s cars really weren’t built for herding cattle or chasing horses unless all are on level pavement!
Feed roads, unless brand new, cause the driver to have to pay close attention and to spend most of the time straddling the ruts. Even some of the older cattle guards cause one to have to do some careful maneuvering in order to cross them.
I don’t recall telling any stories on our return because I could not have topped the truth we had experienced. We had a great day laughing, visiting, eating, and looking around. Few people can cause me to relax and just say whatever comes to mind, but Tink has our Grandmother’s ability to do just that.
On most of our times together, we tend to have rather unique experiences. After all, we tried to float down Ute Creek once, wrecked, and had to walk to her house. We may wonder why other people don’t go with us, but they just might have enough sense to stay home when we are out and about.