Sunday, August 28, 2011

White Trash Camping (WTC) Episode, #2: Langmuir or Bust!

Loyal WTC Followers, here we are again, in the the wilderness tempting fate and challenging or limited scientific expertise! Once our trailer was repaired (?) we headed to 10, 800 feet, to the Magdalena Ranger District and Langmuir Lightning Observatory. I have been anxious to return to this gorgeous, quiet area since we visited there nearly 8 years' ago. The Observatory is open exclusively during monsoons and is entirely designed to attract lightning for the purposes of study. Poor Eric knew he was embarking on another Warren-planned adventure...:)

We left Friday afternoon, determined to re-create our trip to Texas Springs and the abandoned Miners' Cabins previously discovered. After following our map, talking to a local, buying wood from an unknown Mexican at his home and driving down the wrong Forest Service Road, we found ourselves in a perfectly good area for camping: Eric, suggested we stay put as dark was approaching, but I persisted, convincing the crew we could persevere to the intended

We found our "road" and began a 6 mile journey into hell. Unsure of what was worse, Ness throwing boulders out of the way or the eroding and ever-present slope straight down the other side. It was a very quiet and dark trip in with much intestinal anxiety. Nobody in their right mind would have chosen this road while hauling a camper-except a Warren! Plus, there were no turn-outs. Simply a one way ticket into the dark.

We made it into the planned site, slammed a beer and went to bed. Not bothering to jack or level our trailer led to an interesting night of sliding down hill! Nonetheless, we were determined to close this day out and hope for better luck on Saturday. After breakfast at the Miners' cabin, we hiked around South Baldy mountain, eating wild raspberries, and plotting our plans for the remainder of the weekend. We decided our present location was awesome for tent camping and hiking-but was a total bust for a camper. So after lunch we had a family discussion and decided to cut our losses and find a designated campsite. I LOATHE camping in these sites and for many years' we have managed to avoid them: not this time. No matter where you are there is always one village idiot-and really, no peace, because people, kids and mutts are all around. Submitting, we turned in to the most remote site we could find and jacked up the ole trailer one more time in Water Canyon campground.

Quickly, and with no effort, the village idiot was produced. Determined to blare classic rock (at least) through his outside speakers, we did our best to ignore him. We had our first huge campfire of the season, accompanied but equally large adult beverages. Sunday brought an incredible drive and then hike to the Observatory and made the entire trip worth it: both the guys' found it very cool as we clammored up the equipment. Scientists from the night shift were still asleep but we were told would be very accessible by 10 a.m. to answer questions and show us around. A must-do if you have sci-fi kiddos. In our normal cliffhanger ending, we saved the most dramatic moment for the trip conclusion: When we tried to put the tent trailer down and return home it defied gravity; we sat on it, we jumped on it, we yelled at it and finally we tied it with a rope and drove home in real style for the second time this summer! Oh my. Stay tuned for WTC Episode #3!

Other News!

Eric was very involved in implementing the new Eagle Bridge and really enjoyed watching the sequential application of each bridge piece-very cool. Papa, my Dad, would have loved it since he spent years' working on bridges himself. Soon we can drive over it...

Eric's brother Gary bought his own home following his recovery from a stroke. Gary and Geri threw a house-warming and my boys' headed up to ABQ to spend the weekend and celebrate. Gavin had fun at the zoo and at the party with two GrandMa's and Uncle present. He is still talking about the train ride to the zoo and water balloon fights at the park!

We are all healthy, life is good and both our jobs are keeping us busy. Gavin loves, loves Kindergarten, but is ready for bed at 7:30 p.m. each night. He is wiped! First day of school, pictured below.