Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Catwalk and the City of Rocks

My brother and Brendan's uncle DeWitt came down for a visit last week.  Before his long drive back to Alberta, we talked him into some adventure in New Mexico...with just me and Brendan this time, as Kirsteen flies to Seattle for a long-weekend with an old friend and well-deserved vacation on her own.

Glenwood, New Mexico is a four-hour drive from our front door here in Tucson, mostly to the northeast; not far across the state line and set before a dramatic face of the Mogollon Mountains.  Beyond Safford, the last 90 minutes are always scenic and this time incredibly verdant, having had abundance of summer rains.

Tucked into a box canyon near Glenwood is the Catwalk Trail.  In days of old, the catwalk was set upon a pipeline; parts of it are still used in one or two places, though modern recreational engineering has replaced most of it and made the trail quite safe for the whole family.  Next to the parking area is a perfect picnic ground with ankle-wading access to Whitewater Creek.  This place is an all-round win.

There were no vacancies among the scant motel-pickings in Glenwood (we knew this might be the case) and headed an hour to the southeast to find one of the few rooms left in Silver City; cheap but clean and cozy...and the TV had Food Network, so Brendan was happy.  Just before we had left Tucson, Brendan was crying that he wanted to stay at home and not go on the trip...by the next morning, he was begging for a second night to the adventure!

Alas, my chemo meds were kicking in that morning and uncle DeWitt was to part ways with us anyway; so we planned a less ambitious but still Brendan-friendly agenda...a visit to City of Rocks State Park.

Turns out, this place is good for the six-year old in all of us!!  DeWitt and I tagged along to Brendan's excited and continued urgings to follow him here, there, and everywhere through a myriad-maze of bouldery chutes, hollows and passages.  The videos below convey it best.  Brendan is now demanding that we return for a camping trip.  Nearly all of the campsites are tucked right among the rocks...and instead of being numbered, the sites are all named for constellations!  How nerdy and cool is that?  I'm thinking Brendan's demands may be met before too long (when it's not so hot).

After hugs and goodbyes for DeWitt, he headed north and we headed west for home, stopping for a late-lunch at Kranberry's in Lordsburg, with its chicken-fried steak for me...and a promised pilgrimage to the fireworks outlet across the street for both of us.  My apologies to our neighbors for the occasional puff of colored smoke, whiff of sulfur, showers of sparkles, or bangs that project from our backyard in the coming weeks and months. (I'm a little surprised how much stuff you can get for $40.)  We won't be the first of our near-neighbors taking part in that action...but we promise to be careful.

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