Hidden Treasures

From the dirt road in northeastern New Mexico the canyon was not visible.  The cattle ranch of nearly a millon acres stretched almost as far as the eye could see. The horizon, as is customary in the desert, merged in a hazy seam with the distant sky.  As we treked out across the pasture covered with scrub brush my companion was telling me about the history of the place.  The owner had shown him the canyon when they were out hunting lost cattle.  He had been the go-between for me to be hiking out across the plain.

A fork of the Sante Fe trail crossed one cliff near the path down.  The well worn and rock hard track was clear as it came out of the desert and then moved away along the rim to continue west.

Climbing, and sliding down the canyon path, a new world came to light.  A row of buildings, a cemetery, an old church and a house or two.  An old artesian well had been tamed and a pump stood ready to fill canteens, buckets or wash tubs.  One of the houses had the tattered remains of more recent occupancy; cowboys as they rounded livestock and others.  A few places, faded gray and rusted over, showed no one had lived in them since the late 1800's.

Sitting on the rocks, drinking from the well, feeling the breeze in the canyon and enjoying the shade of Cottowoods and scub pines, I marveled at this hidden treasure.  From the road there was no clue the place even existed.  You had to climb higher on the plataue at one end and then turn back to see it behind you.  It was the only way baring a fllight overhead.

It is something to remember.  The way may look like nothing but desert, empty, barren and hard to reach.  You will never know what treasures - what surprises - await until you decide to may that journey. Hidden treasures - little surprises to remind us that there is always something more waiting to bring us joy and allow us to sit by fresh water as the wind cools us down from our efforts.

Happy journey.

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