A journey postponed is now revitalized, inspired by changes thrown into a mix of “which direction” to follow. It’s back to New Mexico, but this time I am surrounded by the mountains of the Lincoln National Forest.
My eager and willing guidance continues via a search for a return to nature finding such happiness and calm from the many views of mountain valleys filled with pines and poplars.
Towards that reconnection within the forest, much nearer to lakes, rivers and streams, I cautiously attempt to connect with the woodland creatures here reminding them to please stay off the roads and highways.
There are so many mule deer here in the south eastern mountains of New Mexico, kindly looked after by our animal loving population, they are quite tame and don’t seem to be bothered by mankind what-so-ever.
The deer families that roam through our property are adorable, yet if you are a gardener, while planting or pruning your spring gardens, they are a little pesky for the drought has limited the edible foliage and they are nibbling on everything they can forage.
At the 7,000+ foot elevation the wildlife here is varied and quite often visible especially in the early mornings and just before sundown. There are hunters from New Mexico and Texas searching these mountains and valleys for such native wild game as elk, mountain lion, bob cat, mule deer and American wild turkey.
Fortunately, I am not a hunter, but I do plan to familiarize myself more with the trout streams and fish friendly lakes very near to my new location. A fan of the catch and release course of action, I am far more interested in the quiet of my natural settings, whether or not I am catching fish.
We are enjoying a little pre-spring snow as of late and the evening temperatures are still in the low thirties. The mountain continues to attract the ski and snow board crowd to Ski Apache while the kids love to populate the sledding / tubing hill just next door to our cabins who are making snow nightly.
The opportunity to escape into limitless wilderness settings is everywhere here and my brief walks and short hikes have exposed a type of natural habitat I am unfamiliar with being a beach kid most of my life. The fact that this part of the wild west is filled with trees entices all who come here to relax.
I am still not a huge fan of the cold here, but I can attest to and greatly appreciate the pines, the fresh air and the nip in the air that requires you to always wear a jacket if going outside.
I happily build a fire from scratch every afternoon in my small cabin abode and I am loving the sights and smells of my mountain retreat. The mountains have a way of lulling you into a calm new appreciation of nature and any creatures that stop by seem to appreciate my wonder of their world.
Of the many characters I have met while here, there is a special group who could only be described as gold hungry prospectors. Our conversations include such topics as hidden fortunes, new mining technologies, recent episodes of Gold Hunters and the fact that many of them have actually found gold as novices and have the bug to find more.
Yet another reason to go exploring in the forest, in the rivers and along the streams of the Lincoln National Forest and beyond with Spring being only a few weeks away, it’s gonna be a great year of discovery in my new world. The only thing on my wish list right now is a new pair of hiking shoes…