The nice thing about waking up at 4 am is that you’re too tired to think about how crazy it is to wake up at 4 am. At that hour, everything takes on monosyllabic simplicity: Get up. Wash. Dress. Eat. Drink strong black stuff. Blink.
Such was the pre-dawn as Robin Hood and I prepared for a bona fide New Mexico Adventure on Saturday. Our destination: San Gregorio Reservoir, in the San Pedro Wilderness. The reason for our journey: fishing. Rumor had it that San Gregorio’s rainbow trout would practically jump right into your frying pan.
We arrived at the lake — after a pretty little hike in — around 7:15 am. Robin Hood found a spot that he liked, and we parked ourselves by the water’s edge. He had his fishing gear; I had my book. Not that I’m opposed to fishing, but I wasn’t about to turn down the chance to relax by a lake and enjoy quality, much-needed reading time.
While I read (frequently looking up to savor my surroundings), Robin Hood chatted with a gentleman fishing nearby, and before long…there was a tug. Then a splash. Another tug. And in two shakes of a trout’s tail, he had his first catch of the day!
That catch was followed by more. We relaxed, we snacked (no, not on sushi), we laughed at cavorting chipmunks, and we enjoyed the absurdly gorgeous weather. I even took a couple of turns with the fishing rod, and landed two fish!
Around 1 o’clock, we had caught our limit, released a few more, and were beginning to go numb from sitting on rocks all morning. After cleaning our fish [that was all Robin Hood; I was content to postpone that particular experience], we packed up and made our way back to the truck.
But we weren’t done.
Driving back, we saw a sign for another New Mexico lake: Fenton. I’d never been there, so Robin Hood suggested checking it out. Embracing my lakeside state of mind, I answered “Sure!”
Fenton was more touristy than San Gregorio, but just as easy on the eyes (and soul. I miss trees and water more than I let myself admit). We meant to just drive around a little and then get back on the road, but in cruising by, Robin Hood swore he saw a New Mexican Moby Dick in the water, and the Need To Fish seized him.
He opted for his fly reel this time. I perched on a tree stump and just stared all around at the pines soaring upward and the shimmering expanse of water before me — keeping a wary eye as to where that fishing line was being cast about. No involuntary body piercings for me, thank you very much!
Alas, Moby Dick eluded the hook. With both of us beginning to feel the effects of getting up at 4, we called it a day — but couldn’t resist taking the scenic route. Riding through the wonderland that New Mexicans know as the Jemez, I felt like a little kid: do we have to go home?
Before you roll your eyes too much, I admit that it wasn’t an ENTIRELY perfect day: I woke up the next morning to the itch of a poison ivy rash on my leg. Oh well. What’s a great trip without a souvenir?
Here’s to exploring your state.
P.S. The trout was delicious.