Sunday, January 4, 2009

Got to keep searching and searching

Yesterday was just one of "those" days.

I signed up for a class in taxes that meets every Saturday in January. The schedule said it started on the 5th of January. I thought maybe there was a typo and it was supposed to be the 3rd. I woke up and got ready for school. But a little birdie in my head told me that maybe the class really started next weekend so I grabbed my letterboxing bag just in case.

I drove to town to the north campus. One of the gates was open so I drove in and around to the other side of the buildings. I saw two trucks and a car but they looked like campus vehicles so I drove back around. Obviously, there were no classes today. As I drove to the exit I saw a security guard walking towards one of the buildings. He saw me and started walking towards me while at the same time I realized the gates were now locked. We talked a bit and then he opened the gate for me. I guess I didn't look too dangerous, only foolish! WOW, a few minutes more on the other side of the building and I might have been locked in for a week!

Whew, no school, so it's time to play. I pulled out my letterboxing clues and drove across town to the first one. It was another school. The gates were open so I drove in thinking I was going to get pulled over or locked in yet.

Well, I guess I'm not much of a detective because I gave up. I couldn't find any "welcome" sign and the silver river (sidewalk?) was everywhere. I thought the dragon" might be the lightpost hanging out over the road but I really couldn't be sure.

So I went to the next location. This one sounded easy. There were driving directions to the exact location which was an airplane viewing area down by the airport. I pulled into a parking lot and walked the path just outside of the parking area as the directions said. "Follow the trail until it gets steep and fork to the right." The letterbox was to be found beneath rocks under a bush.

Jeez, this area is all mesa. There were little paths everywhere! It was also very remote. When I pulled into the parking lot a mysterious van was sitting at the far end. I thought, 'this is the kind of place people would come to dump dead bodies.' I worried about someone coming by and clobbering me. I figured if someone attacked me I could kick them with my spiked heels! Silly me, I was wearing high heeled boots as I wandered around in the deep sand for half an hour trying to follow the vague directions. Well, I finally gave up.

I had one more place to go, The Veterans Memorial. I figured that this one should be a piece of cake! So, I drove over to it and stood at the "black wall" as the directions said. It told me to face the wall and go to the two evergreen trees, specifically, the furthest one. Stand, so I was "centered" at the tree, and the box would be by my right foot. It told me to be "discreet" so no one would know what I was doing. Well, I must be blind or just dumb because I couldn't find it. Often, letterboxes are hidden under rocks and there were yards of large rocks in a landscape border right next to the trees. I figured this would be the area but I wasn't going to tear up the whole yard looking for it. There were only a few peolple around but still... So, alas, I gave up. Three strikes and you're out, right?

I miss my letterboxing buddy so much!!! Lisa, get better soon!

Disappointed and a little depressed, I headed for home.

Along the way, I bought my son a couple of hot dogs from Sam's Club for lunch; 2 drinks and 2 hotdogs cost $3.20, even I can afford that! I don't usually care for hotdogs but these are good ones. They're Nathan's and they're huge. And they taste like Polish sausages! Actually, I kept the coke and gave him both sandwiches. Then, I made myself a cheeseburger from some leftovers out of the refrigerator.

It was beautiful in town, high 50's, and at home it was in the low 50's, although windy. I haven't ridden since Christmas Eve (the terrible day my friend, Lisa, got hurt) so I figured I'd go out and ride. I put on my Justin riding shoes and a jacket and headed out the door. I kept slipping on the muddy path just on the way to the barn so I decided that riding was out. I turned the horses out into the arena instead. I figured they would be able to keep to the drier areas and at least get a little exercise walking around. It has been over a week since it snowed and we still have patchy snow and MUD everywhere! Usually the mud dries up quickly but now it seems to form clear ice patches in the morning and mud bogs in the afternoon. The ground must be saturated which, for high desert, is very unusual.

I brought my saddle ito the house to clean and it's laying on a plastic drop cloth in the middle of the den right now. I stuck a heart charm on each of my horse's bridles yesterday and I just noticed that while carrying them to the house, one of the charms fell off en route. I had tied it on and the lace came undone. You can just see the other charm laying on top of the dark girth. It's more securely attached to the browband than the other one and is not going to fall off. The tin is where I keep my cleaning stuff. Notice the rockinhorses?

I was planning on cleaning my saddle right away but I decided to watch a movie instead, Quigly Down Under with Tom Selleck and Alan Rickman. I haven't seen it for a such long time. Then I flipped to the DVR to watch some Ryan Gingerich episodes I'd saved. By then it was too late to start cleaning leather. Okay, so I'm lazy as well as dumb (letterboxes). What a failure I feel like, right now!

I wondered whether the leather was safe overnight with my dogs because they like to sleep in the den too. I didn't want them chewing on my saddle or bridle, but I know my dogs. Haha, Gunner just laid down right next to the saddle and slept.

Everything was fine this morning.

I'll have to be on the lookout for the charm now as I walk to the barn this morning to feed. However, as I look out my window, there is snow falling. The ground is white already.

I had thoughts on riding the Railrunner to Santa Fe today but I don't know now. The Railrunner is a commuter train that goes from Belen to Albuquerque to Santa Fe. They just finished the section from Albuquerque to Santa Fe so it's free to ride on weekends in December through January 4th, today. Hmmm, always a day late and a dollar short, I am. I don't really have anyone to go with and it's not so much fun doing this alone. But, I wonder how crowded it would be with the snow...

Got to Keep Searching and Searching - song: Word on a Wing, artist: David Bowie, album: StationtoStation


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww, Val!! You should just go. I bet the RR ride in the snow would be so magical and beautiful. Do you think they're getting snow down there in the valley, too?

Gosh I wonder how much snow i supposed to fall this time. I bet the ground already feels like a soaked sponge.

I wish like anything that I could join you. And you know I rarely turn down a letterboxing opportunity.
Sorry you experienced such frustration in trying to find those boxes. Bummer.

I hope I get strong and heal soon so we can go hiking, letterboxing, and riding again as soon as the weather gets nice again.

Get that tack cleaned, though. It'll make you feel better getting that done :)


Pony Girl said...

I'm embarrassed~ I don't know what letterboxing is!?
You cleaning your saddle reminds me that I need to do that soon! It always gets neglected in the winter.
I have never seen "Quigley Down Under"! I will have to rent it...maybe my next snow day. Seems we've had a lot of them this year!
Saw pics of your Annie on Lisa's blog and I can't wait for her to have her foal! :-)

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Letterboxing is like geocaching. You follow clues to find hidden boxes. Only in letter boxing, you find a rubber stamp that you use to stamp your journal and then you leave their stamp there and stamp their journal with your personal one.

I am very excited about Annies's foal. Only 5 months, 1 week, and f days to go.

lytha said...

FV's stamp is her blogging icon (right?). I'd love to see that in a geocache/letterboxing hybrid logbook someday!

For some reason seeing your tack and cleaning supplies is making me miss leather. My stuff is all synthetic. Oh, but I do have a bridle, but darn it, I cleaned it recently. *snap*

We have tried to cache a "donut hole" around our home. That is, when you look at an image showing where all the caches are in a city, we want to see a big empty spot around our house (cuz the ones we found don't show up on the image)..ya know? Well we've just about done it, but someone hid one on the hill right next to our hill, that I can see out my window right now. But BUMMER, there is so much snow, it's not even an option to go out and try to be "First To Find". *sigh*


~lytha of the caching set