No destination, just curiosity

When our son was younger we used to have adventure weekends. Or adventure days. We’d get up early and pack up the Land Rover with lots of food and tasty treats, and head out. All three of our dogs have learned that Land Rover times are the best times, and the moment the car door opens those dogs will sit and wait like it’s Christmas. Adventure days are the best.

We haven’t had an adventure day in a few years. So last weekend, we ventured out for a long one. And we didn’t even have the Land Rover. Or the dog. Or the kid! He’s away at college now, which is part of why adventure days have stopped. It has been a hard transition for us without our third wheel. I miss that boy’s questions and joking around so much. But alas, the joys and sorrows of being a mom — loving that my kid is off and doing great on his own, and missing him just the same. And back to my adventure, and loving it with my husband too.

So us empty nesters ventured out on our adventure and found our way about the southwestern part of the state. We explored the Gila Wilderness. Aldo Leopold secured the area of the Gila as the first federally-recognized Wilderness area in the country. This was back in 1924, just a little over a decade after New Mexico became a state, and folks were really at the height of using the railroad for mining operations and making a lot of money from it. The southern part of New Mexico was really booming during this time. And the remains of the history are really quite beautiful and interesting.

Gila Wilderness, on our way to the Gila Cliff Dwellings
Gila Cliff Dwellings

It is funny and fun to come across things that you didn’t know existed, or had forgotten that you heard about once or twice before, but now you’re there, and all of sudden you get to be with it. That’s what our adventures do for us. They remind of us of everything we don’t know and everything we never even didn’t realize we didn’t know we didn’t know. And oh, in the world there is so much more of that! At one point, we happened upon the Very Large Array. Of course, we’ve heard of the VLA before, but we hadn’t realized where it was. And then it was right in front of us. And then we were standing right under it. And it was huge!

Later we stopped in Truth or Consequences. And it was unexpectedly lovely. So much so that we intend to return. And because there is much to explore there. Ghost towns and wildlife areas, and other nooks that we were not prepared to venture into on this trip that require a return look-see. But there was plenty to keep our attention and remind us of how beautiful New Mexico is, and how little we really know about our state and our history, and our geologic existence on our planet.

It was a good adventure, and helped us find places for more adventuring. It also let us rest our minds for a bit. To get away from the stress of work and family logistics that take up space from being curious about the world. To more adventures!

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4 thoughts on “No destination, just curiosity

  1. Ric Tredwin

    I was there!
    The second wheel… but it’s always nice to have the adventure recapped like my own private journal entry that I never got around to making.

  2. Your adventurous marriage sounds much like my own (minus the child and substitute a Subaru for the LandRover!). Southern New Mexico is a special place for wandering and exploring. Highway 152 is one of my favorite blue highways I’ve ever driven. We didn’t have much time to explore the Gila Wilderness last year, but hope to be back in the next couple of years for a backpacking trip. T&C is really interesting, and Silver City is one of my favorite places. Everyone there is super-welcoming and it has an amazing outdoorsy & community-oriented vibe.

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