Break Time


October 6, 2017, Prescott-

It’s Fall Break, from now until October 16- when we return to our labour of love and our lead teacher has a birthday.  In between, there is a balance of rest and motion. I have a service jaunt to Flagstaff, bright and early tomorrow morning, to help install smoke detectors in several units of a large modular home development.  Sunday will be a day of rest- until it isn’t.  Monday, I head down to Superior,  reconnect with the SunFlour  people and maybe hike Picketpost Mountain.  Beyond that is time in Globe,  then across to Safford, Silver City and Gila Cliff Dwellings, before getting back here, sometime Wednesday evening.  There will then be two days of relative rest, before Saturday the Fourteenth, when everything seems to be happening at once.  More details will be in order about that, later.

Anyway, it’s good to change the channel and replenish, every so often.


The Road to 65, Mile 25: Truth, Consequences and Delayed Gratification


December 23, 2014, Lordsburg-  When I was a very young child, about 4 or 5, my maternal grandmother would occasionally babysit us, so both our parents could work.  Grama would sometimes have the radio broadcasting something about truth or consequences.  I could barely say the second name, but I knew what truth meant, and figured consequences were some kind of lies.

In March, 1950, shortly after i would have been conceived, the game show host Ralph Edwards, celebrating ten years of his successful radio show, “Truth or Consequences”, took an idea from a couple of staff members- to name an American town after the show.  The town selected was Hot Springs, New Mexico, which had the advantage of already being a prime tourist destination, due to its eponymous mineral baths and nearby Elephant Butte Lake, a man-made reservoir of the Rio Grande.  On April 1, Mr. Edwards, his wife and several crew members went to Hot Springs, for the official renaming, and the City of Truth or Consequences, “TRC”, was born.

I spent Monday night and Tuesday morning, enjoying the hospitality and vibrant civic spirit of this remarkable little community.  Here are some scenes from the Hot Springs Historic District and Geronimo Springs Historical Museum, Sierra County’s place of record.  The painted water tower and some brightly coloured homes reminded me of Bisbee, AZ.


The San Andres Mountains rise to the southeast.SAM_3439 Quirky shops and eateries are scattered throughout the town.SAM_3447 Geronimo Springs Museum is a well-ordered and delightful place in which to learn of west central New Mexico.SAM_3441 A display of coloured glass and ceramic greets the visitor, outside.SAM_3443 So, too, does a log cabin.

SAM_3442 SAM_3465 Inside the museum are many features of paleontology, anthropology, local culture and history.  I started with Pleistocene relics, a mammoth skull, and one of a mastodon.

SAM_3455SAM_3456 Going backwards in time, here is a Devonian coral.SAM_3459 Next, are some fern fossils.

SAM_3460 This is the tale of a chair, brought from the original Sierra County Courthouse, in nearby Hillsboro.  The two towns disputed which would be county seat, and the State of New Mexico ruled in favour of Hot Springs.SAM_3463 The historical exhibits showed portraits of Geronimo, Don Juan de Onate, and cowboy author Eugene Rhodes.  This local hero outshines them all, in my opinion.SAM_3468 I left “TRC” a bit later than I had planned, but some serendipity is worth delayed gratification elsewhere.  I would end up putting off a visit to Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and a walk around Silver City, but along the way to that area, I encountered several little gems.

Hillsboro, the aforementioned rival, was mostly closed up for the holidays.

SAM_3470  Not far up the road is Percha Creek, with a truss bridge and adjacent walkway/overlook.

SAM_3479 Emory Pass, at 8230 feet, is the highest point along this exquisite highway.  Here, I encountered a writer from Martha’s Vineyard, who is looking to relocate to warmer climes.  I gave him a few possible sites to explore, in that regard.  Emory was definitely not one of them- but it is a place of splendour.

SAM_3485 I stopped for lunch at La Tienda del Sol, in San Lorenzo, before visiting the Mimbres Ranger Station, which confirmed my suspicions about Gila Cliff Dwellings closing at 4 PM.  This delightful little place was full into the holiday spirit, as was Sunset Grill, in TRC, last night and this morning.

SAM_3487 I headed to Silver City, in the end, spent a short time at Fort Bayard National Cemetery, then continued down to Lordsburg.  The dusty desert town has its own gems, among them the comfortable and inexpensive Holiday Motel (NOT “Inn”) and Kranberry’s Family Restaurant, open for lunch and dinner.  I was treated like royalty in both places.  Days like this will bring me back to this area in the Spring, and then we’ll see about Gila Cliff Dwellings and vicinity.

The Road to 65, Mile 20: Now, Then


December 18, 2014, Prescott-   I found out, early this morning, that someone had pushed the wrong button, in the course of my last financial transaction.  The deposit which should have been posted yesterday, never made it.  This will slightly alter my spiritual journey to western New Mexico, which I had planned on starting Friday night.  No matter, I will get a good night’s sleep here, and most likely be able to set out on Saturday morning.

Zuni, where Penny and I first met, in December, 1980, is first on my itinerary. El Morro National Monument, near there, is next, and I will head, in succession, to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, where we went crane watching, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and Silver City, which we wanted to visit, but never did, Cochise Stronghold (one of my favourite meditation spots), and Tucson, where a few friends await.

Christmas weekend will find me at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference, where I have spent each of the past twenty-two years, save 1997.  It is a good place for spiritual regeneration, and coming on the heals of my time in the forests of western New Mexico and the serene desert near Vail and Avra Valley, it represents a double dose.  Of course, the crowds at GCBC are large, but I draw energy from the youth, and regard many of them as friends.  I have watched so many grow up from infancy, in the time I’ve been back in Arizona.  Now, they are taking on the world, on their own terms.

I sat down this morning with several of the Red Cross Disaster Response Team members, with whom I would be working, if chosen for the position mentioned earlier.  There is a plethora of detail to be worked out, each time a disaster happens.  Good thing there is no ‘I’ in team.  I have had a lot of practice, these past two years, both here and in Europe, in being an effective member of a team handling somewhat chaotic emergencies.  There is a reason for everything.

This evening gave me an hour’s worth of study on Essential Oils, vis-a-vis women’s health issues.  It is also going to come in handy, and this area was not something with which I had much familiarity, until now. That goes to show, in this day and age, an old dog had best learn new tricks, and skills, without hesitation.