Sunday drive leads to canyon adventure

Lynn Moncus

Thanks to Mrs. Dorothy Randals of Montoya, who mentioned happenings in the Bull Canyon, Aggie and this woman from Ima had another great adventure last Sunday when we headed in that direction. Actually, getting into the floor of that canyon took only a little over 70 years! Although our canyons were but a short distance southeast, they might as well have been on the other side of the world because one of us never got to explore more than the north rim and that only rarely.

As Aggie and I neared Montoya, we thought about running back because we ran into a shower, but continued, thinking we would probably be stopped by a locked gate at the entrance to Bull Canyon Ranches since the open house had been held on Friday and Saturday. We just ambled down the frontage road an found nothing to stop us because the gate was open and no signs told us to keep out. We rounded a bend and found a little herd of cars near a tent. A young man approached and asked what we were doing. I explained that we were out for our Sunday drive and then asked a few questions about the area. We began to talk a little about the history of the area, and he finally suggested that we follow the gravel road in order to see more of the canyon. That was all we needed to hear.
We took the west fork and drove several miles through a maze of roads and among the cedars until we found a clear area in which to do some walking and more looking. Although we were a distance from any of the canyon walls, we could appreciate their beauty and recall some of the stories told about a few of the homesteaders. The wind was stirring the newly bladed roads and powdering us with red clay as we walked, giving us a feeling those pioneers had when they broke out the land for farming so they could watch it blow in all directions.

As we walked, I wondered what they would think today if they could see the roads, hear that under ground electricity would be available and dwellings could appear all over the canyon floor. Just seeing the many culverts along the roads might cause them to smile. Watching people driving around in all sorts of fancy vehicles amid the cedars might even cause them to laugh, especially if a heavy rain should fall and turn that blowing clay into beds of red bubble gum. They’d know that my little car would stay where it was parked and even fancy four-wheel drive vehicles would leave a few crooked tracks before becoming stuck.

Because I wasn’t really sure the gate would remain open, I decided we had better return to the entrance so I could make a few calls in order to gain our freedom. As I turned the car around, I hoped my internal radar would take over so we could find our way back among the maze. Fortunately, it did, and we didn’t even have to drive in circles. A couple of cars had remained near the tent. I had a feeling the people figured the dizzy dame and her dog would become lost and have to be found, but we just waved as we headed toward the gate and our leisurely drive home.

Maybe we will return on another Sunday afternoon and have time to get closer to the canyon walls so we can appreciate their beauty up close. Until then, we’ll just remember what we saw and think about the history.