Saturday, July 26, 2014

The High Road to Monte Vista - Part I

Out ahead, the road melded into the horizonless expanse of the monsoon. After more than two hours of grey clouds and intermittent showers I had succumbed to the deep depression that affects New Mexicans whenever the sun goes out. I was trundling north solely motivated by smoldering patriotic fervor: I would do what I could to aid in the economic recovery by burning gas. (Does that qualify as a "burning" desire?) I pulled onto the shoulder and got out the map.

After intense perusal, I spied the dirt road along the Conejos River. Executing the necessary u-turn, I caught a whiff of the subtle change that signals "alignment."  

That afternoon, as we passed the final vestige of civilization (an RV Park) on Forest Rd 250, a woman in a small group looked up and gave a friendly wave. Too far to discern more than the gladful energy, her gesture inspired a gentle stiffening in Eggbert's white. I smiled as he straightened his cummerbund and perched himself a bit higher on his shoes. 

The one daunting aspect of the stretch between highway 17 and Platoro is the restricted camping -- only in designated sites, in this case...campgrounds. Being Lucky Herrmann I often find the one & only dispersed site available. (Dispersed is Nat'l Forest speak for an undesignated campsite i.e., wherever I choose. RVers refer to it as Boondocking.) But as sundown drew nigh without even a hint of an alternative, we resignedly pulled into Spectacle Lake Campground.

The campground's hand-pumped water is severely sediment-laden so when Richard, the host, offered use of his purification setup, we gratefully accepted. He recommends the 50 micron filters rather than the 30.

A whole greater than its parts.

The pump came with clips. Richard converted the negative connector to a long-term solution (above).

The filter canister (below) required a couple of adaptive nipples to fit this application. 

Richard recommends the 50-micron filters rather than the 30 shown below.

The water, which was brown when it went in, came out clear. It took less than a minute with the 50-micron filter to process five gallons. Thanks Richard!

It was an uneventful night and nearly everyone left the next morning before nine. I sometimes puzzle over where people are going at that hour. Now that they've freed themselves from their constraints, you'd think they'd spend the morning making love (scroll down to "Erotic Writings" under Literary Career).

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