Friday, September 28, 2007

Southward Bound

Day 23, Abiquiu NM Mile 2425

A Casita friend suggested I check out the Riania Corp of Engineers Campground at Lake Abiquiu. I did and here I am in a really beautiful spot on a bluff overlooking the lake. I didn’t have to travel far from Chama, so took the time to do a little laundry and have a leisure breakfast.

We had a small rainstorm this morning and it was nice just to stay in bed and listen to the gentle rain coming down on Eggcarto. I didn’t even have to close my windows. My space is rather large and not close to others so I feel like I have a lot more privacy. I am boondocking again for at least 3 nights. My battery is holding up well and I am doing things to minimize use of it. I have the little solar panel out and it really does a good job of recharging the battery back up.

This is a very “artsie” area - in fact Georgia O’Keeffe made it famous starting back in the mid 1940’s. She bought a house in the Abiquiu plaza in 1945. She already owned a home at the Ghost Ranch (just about 7 miles north of here) and by 1949, she lived here year round. I am seeing the area through her eyes now.

The area, like so much of New Mexico, was first established by the Pueblo people, then the Spaniards in the 1730’s and 40s. Abiquiu residents were given full citizenship under the Spanish crown and were also given a 16,000 acre land grant for grazing and timber use. Abiquiu also became the trailhead for the Old Spanish Trail trade route that linked Santa Fe with Los Angeles.

The Abiquiu Lake Dam was completed in 1963 as a flood and sediment control dam, in 1986 the Corp entered into a water supply contract with Albuquerque. Okay, history lesson over.

Sun is coming out so off to Espanola and Los Alamos for visits.

LATER: I visited Los Alamos to see the changes. Our family lived there from 1944 to 1946. My dad was involved with the Manhattan Project at the time; my brother Fran was born there. Since I was between the ages of 2 and 4, I do not have a lot of memories. I remember a bad ear ache, I remember the doggie door to the back yard and sneaking over to the military tank artillery range and watching the tanks go through maneuvers. I remember my nursery school and learning about how fast rabbits multiply and rolling the tin hoops off of wooden barrels around the school yard. I remember my first puppet show and I kind of remember trips off of “The Hill” down to Santa Fe. I remember going up to mom’s hospital window to get the first glimpse of my baby brother. Those are all memories without the benefit of pictures reminding me. I remember trips to Bandolier and playing in the Rio Grande River and the houses we lived in and the dirt road up to “The Hill”. I remember Sunday dinners at Fuller Lodge (and by the way, it looks much smaller than I remember!)

I took a tour around Los Alamos with a Georgia Strickfaden, who operates Buffalo Tours. She has lived there almost all her life and it was a great treat to get a special tour of the area because I had lived there and there were some things I remembered. She took me to areas where dad probably worked and up on the hill behind Los Alamos where we probably had lots of picnic lunches, when dad was free. I went thru the Bradbury Science Museum and found a “badge” picture of my dad’s supervisor, but not him. It was a fun day remembering despite the showers and downpours we had.

I stopped in Espanola and got my hair cut and picked up a few items I needed and came home. Monday, Day 24, ended up being a day of “trailer cleaning”. After a little over 3 weeks on the road it was pretty dusty in the truck and Eggcarto. It was a beautiful, but windy, day so cleaning was just the right thing to do.

The next morning, Tuesday, I headed to Socorro to see son. I did have a little bit of trouble keeping the trailer plug plugged into the truck and had to make several stops. But, seeing him and getting a big, big hug from him made up for everything.

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