My holiday present to the kids this year was a trip to Sitting Bull Falls in southern NM. We hopped into the car on Friday and drove more than 360 miles — through Socorro, San Antonio, Carrizozo, Roswell, Artesia — all the way to Carlsbad, but it was too late to try to get to the falls. We stayed in Artesia and headed to the falls nice and early on Saturday. And, guess what? They were closed. Yep. Even though the local guide book said they’d be open.
We would’ve had to wait for almost 2 hours and we just didn’t feel like we could afford the time. We also didn’t feel like we wanted to pay a $1500 fine if we got caught going in and there was a ranger nearby (which there probably would be). However, the drive had been gorgeous.
We got to see what I assume to be was Sitting Bull rock.
A lot of other rocks.
And some pretty funky flora.
Yesterday, we drove from Artesia, through Mayhill, Cloudcroft, Alamogordo, Tularosa to Socorro. This morning we were going to head out and take the very long way home via Datil, Pie Town, Quemado and Grants . . . but I had a flat tire and though I got it repaired (and that was a really nice story, but I’ll save it for another time), I just didn’t want to be 200 miles from the nearest phone transmitter.
The reason for this travelogue is that in driving more than 800 miles during the last few days, we had a lot of potential disappointments. But they didn’t end up being bummers because we were having such fun on the trip.
A few years ago I would’ve been so upset at not getting into Sitting Bull Falls. I would’ve felt like it was my fault. In so many ways, that also sums up my writing career. I aimed for a particular direction and for years was devastated that I didn’t achieve that goal. But you know what? I’m in a much better place in life than I was a few years ago. I’m going to start writing again during this break and I don’t care if a million people read or buy my work. I want to write because in long run, it does bring me joy.
It’s all about the journey, baby.
May yours this holiday season and into the New Year be sweet, healthy and filled with unanticipated pleasure.