Fall · hunting · New Mexico · Travel · weekending

A Day in the Woods

Sometimes you have to scrunch your nose and stick your tongue out at responsibilities, and take a day for yourself.

Which is how, last Saturday, Robin Hood and I (and Ann, who gets irritated when she misses out on adventures) found ourselves waking up earlier than we usually do on weekends, and driving north.

Getting up in the dark actually wasn’t so bad — Robin Hood has no trouble waking up for outdoorsy things, and my stomach/bladder/back won’t let me sleep very late anyway these days. We stumble-dressed, gathered up pre-assembled food and water for the day, herded the hound dog into the back of the truck, and hit the road.

Sort of. We stopped by a gas station for coffee and gas, then another because we needed one last pit stop before leaving town. THEN we hit the road!

One of the great things about New Mexico is that no matter where you start, it doesn’t take much driving to reach bona fide wilderness. A couple of hours under our wheels, and we were surrounded by ponderosa pines, scrub oaks, and open, rolling hills.

The day was overcast and on the cooler side, which the mule deer seemed to like (just take my word that those blobby shapes are in fact mule deer):

Woods1

I’m developing a real fondness for mulies. Their big ears, their grace in scruffy Western landscapes — I love it! Ann wanted to play with all of them, but had to settle for sniffing every possible blade of grass and speck of dust. Oh well.

We had a tentative lunch date with a friend who was hunting for elk in the area, so we headed over to his camp in the early afternoon. He wasn’t there, but his mom was, and she insisted that we stay and eat some of her posole for lunch. We had packed lunches, but…

Point A: On a cool, overcast autumn day, posole is hard to beat.

Point B: This lady made our wedding cake and ran a catering business for years. When she offers food, it’s wise to accept.

We stayed and enjoyed a lovely visit, and ate the posole. It was FANTASTIC. There’s nothing like hunting hospitality.

Lucky for us, we got a second dose of it later, when we checked back on our friend’s camp — Robin Hood wanted to know how his hunt was going. This time, he was there. He hadn’t gotten an elk yet, but much storytelling ensued, and before we knew it we were eating carnitas tacos. These, too, were fantastic.

Somehow, we got home at a reasonable hour. It had been a full day of breathing in the aroma of the forest, waking up our senses, and enjoying good company.

Wishing you each a day of the same 🙂

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