Sunday, August 1, 2010

Discovering New Mexico

Eric is a native and I have been here (non-consecutively) for nearly fifteen years, but Gavin is causing us to discover New Mexico in new ways. Each journey amounts to some priceless family time, plenty of fresh air and total exhaustion! Okay, I forgot to mention the beer, steaks and smore's!

Our friends recommended a trip to the Gila Wilderness and The Catwalk within the Gila, telling us it was "God's Country." So, trusting their advice we loaded the pop-up and headed out for four days of adventure. Nope, they were not exaggerating.
The history of this area is alive and well. The first Wilderness area ever dedicated, amounting to nearly 800,000 acres, it is truly pristine. We saw large herds of elk, heard reintroduced wolves and saw very few people. (YEAH.)

Inside the Gila lives a lifetime experience of climbing the catwalk, as the miners did, in the late 1800's. The catwalk was originally wood, but was rebuilt by an early core of engineers group using steel. The miners seeking gold and silver, used the catwalk to get to the mine while the families used the water that rushed out of the process for household purposes. You can still see pieces of the mine, iron reinforcements and plenty of water! They were pretty good at using electricity to get what they wanted down the canyon. Needless to say, the five hour drive to a secluded and empty campground made for a killer family trip. If you like history click and read.

Another discovery or should we say rediscovery awaited us at White Sands National Monument where Grandma Chris and Cuz' Richard joined us. We had not been there in years' although Eric spent a great many days sledding down the powdery sand as a boy. The Monument is the only one of its kind in the U.S., appearing as snow, the gypsum sand is soft, cool and clean amounting to the huge development of dunes made perfect for sleds.

Animals have adapted creating white coyotes, white horny toads and gecko's that blend into their space. We have vowed to make the one hour drive a few more times this year to include the hot air balloon launch in the fall.

Other Tidbits:

Gavin graduated from his Mother's Day Out program and went out with a bang; ice cream party and presents for his buddies. He is now ready for the program we wanted to enroll him in last year; Sierra Blanca Christian Academy, five 1/2 days per week. A private, Christian school ages 3 to 7Th grade. We love the class ratio 1 teacher to 6 students, the fact that they aren't required to adhere to the Every Child Left Behind Bush legacy and that it Christian based. In addition, we believe the national public school system is an evolving educational crisis. No school is protected from the economic downturn but we feel this investment is worth any risk we foresee and parental involvement is very high.

On other fronts, we got all decked out to join my best bud, and Kennel Owner, Heidi, her husband and employees, at this years' annual Furr Ball. Her Kennel, Thundering Paws Pet Resort, always has a large table and provides a significant live auction item. All proceeds (which are in the thousands) go to operating costs of our local Humane Society and Shelter. The open patio amounted to an indoor/outdoor venue where we were able to dance under the stars and leave the kiddos with our babysitter! We were really rusty but sustained no injuries! Took me all week to figure out what to where, shave my legs, put some real make-up on and learn to walk in high heels again!

Eric was asked by a local radio station, KEDU, to give a business interview discussing D.T Collins Associates services and the surveying indusry in general. He sounded awesome and not a bit nervous. Tim would have been proud and we were grateful for the FREE advertising! (Thanks Mr. Estes for asking!) We need all the help we can get with this economy~still treading water!

We are off again with the 5th wheel this time as we join my family for 10 days of laughter and Warren chaos in Plano. We always laugh so hard, party and play we are worn out when it is over, but geez it is so worth it! Of course, I am the only one with a young child so after going to bed at 1 or 2 a.m. and getting up at 7 with Gavin, I become Queen of the Nap by day 2!