79 – Big and Little Arsenic Springs, Lamas in the Parking Lot, Stuart on Local Wildlife, Descent to the Rio Grande

8 avril 2010 Un commentaire

Morning spent answering emails.
Confirmation of May 22 for the opening of the exhibition with Bernard Plossu and Eric Dessert, organized by the magazine Conférence at the Abbey of Port Royal des Champs.

When I arrive at the parking lot where the trail to Big Arsenic Springs starts, there is a truck with llamas and a guy closing his backpack.

– “Hi, you look like someone who knows everything around here.”
– “Yes, I’ve been hiking around here for 20 years. But I don’t have time to talk to you now.”

He looks worried. I ask him:

– “Why are you leaving when the llamas are in the truck? Can I help you?”
– “Thanks, but no, I called the fire department, they will be here any minute. A llama tripped and fell down the slope, he’s injured in several places and has a broken leg. He’s a little further down the trail. It’s the first time it has happened to me. But it’s true, you must never forget that it’s really wild here, you have to pay attention to everything, you can’t be careless. But there’s nothing we can do about it now. We’re going to bring it up, and I hope the vet can do something.”

I tell him I plan to go down the trail to Big Arsenic Springs because that’s the hike they advise when you don’t know the place.

– “Don’t go there, the llama is on the trail and there’s blood everywhere. I’m sorry, I would have liked to show you the beauty spots, some other routes, but now I really have to go back.”

I ask him for his email so I can get an update tomorrow.

– “By the way, my name is Stuart”.

I decide on the alternate hike, which looks very similar. When the firemen arrive at my level, they slow down and ask me if I saw the llama man.

– “Yes, he’s over there, he just went back down the trail.”

The firemen are two rather elderly Indians. I wonder how they’ll cope though I’m confident that they’ll finally get the injured llama back up.

On the way to the alternate Little Arsenic Springs Trail !

Descent by broad flat areas. When I arrive at the one that overlooks the Rio Grande, I discover the glittering water between the trees and the rocks.

I go right down to the water. A true wilderness, just as he said.

I set off on the trail again and arrive at the springs.
I take some pictures, briefly explore the surroundings, and start back up.

The first part goes well despite the blazing sun. What it must be like here in the summer! I cross the middle plateau, magnificent, and embark on the last part, much steeper. It’s tough.

I stop to look at the vultures gliding on the wind. I set off again. When I am not far from the end, I see a bench under a tree. I stop, drink, eat three cookies. I finally arrive back at the car, rather tired but very happy.

As I leave, I spot some deer and an elk. As soon as they hear the car, they vanish into the trees. Nothing but a cloud of dust.

Another glorious clear day.

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