Dog days of summer

These weekends in Cloudcroft, N. M., have been a god-send for me, spiritually, emotionally and physically. With all the stresses of work, of money, of preparing for the baby and just the lack of immersion in nature, I’ve been somewhat of a basket case lately, but each time I have a few days to recoup in the mountains, I recharge my batteries for quite a long time.
As you can see from the photos, it’s been all about nature, the dogs, eating, cooking and reminiscing!
This weekend, despite the fact that it was the Fourth of July weekend, i.e., lots of crowds of tourists and lines at the grocery store, Christian and I managed to find lots of solitude spots, nature trails unknown to the tourist trade, and lots and lots of serenity! And we brought my dogs, Chin Chin and Dally, who are getting up there in years but were OH SO grateful to have the opportunity to chase squirrels on the Osha Trail and to sniff other dogs, and no shortage there.

We didn’t participate in the village’s offerings for the Fourth of July: a Spam-carving contest (intrigued, but no thanks), watermelon-spitting contest (I was totally game for it, but didn’t want to look too unfeminine, lol), horseshoes, Karaoke at the Western Bar or the street dance, but we sat on the porch, sipping Tchibo coffee and watching the clouds threaten us with a downpour (never happened, but was always on the verge); made kettle corn and chicken sandwiches with the Mountain Top Mercantile garlic cheese bread; took long baths in the century-old clawfoot tub; read all those books we’d promised to finally finish (Oh, read “The Road Home” by Eliza Thomas. Great! Especially if you’re up in the mountains in an old cabin); bought, no, hoarded Mountain Top bread and cherry preserves and cider; read the local town gossip in the Mountain Monthly newspaper (“Velma and Wilbur were caught eating at the Western Bar restaurant Friday night. Velma had chicken tacos and Wilbur had trout. They both said it was good.”); we hiked with the dogs on the Osha Trail, carefully making sure they didn’t see the multitude of skunks that also wanted to hike on the Osha trail; took afternoon naps as we listened to the powerful thunder rock the mountain; and just did a whole bunch of nothing. OH, and got to watch the Germany/Argentina World Cup match, which was great, since we have no TV at home.
The perfect holiday weekend.

And it isn’t over yet. We don’t have immediate or easy access to wireless here. Only the local coffee house provides Wi-Fi, and if it’s full, no dice. So hopefully we’ll get to post one more time while we’re still enjoying our “Little House on the Mountain,” but if not, I’ll see you again, back in the flatlands.

How did you spend your Fourth of July weekend? Hot dogs and s’mores, or brats und kartoffelsalat?
UPDATE: It’s Sunday, the Fourth of July, and I’m sitting here at Jamocha Bean coffee house in Cloudcroft, the only free Wi-Fi hotspot in town, drinking an Americano (good) and eyeing the slice of carrot cake I bought to have as dessert after lunch. We hiked the Trestle Trail today with the dogs and now we’ll go back to the cabin to cook lunch to enjoy on the porch. Downtown Cloudcroft is getting crowded with tourists from places like Abilene, Lubbock, Greenville, Amarillo, etc., and we’re getting claustrophobic. At least most of the tourists are only interested in shopping, eating and more shopping. Sort of sad. It’s so beautiful in the forest, and yet the majority of the visitors here are sitting on their cell phones, shopping, and complaining that there’s nothing to do.
We’ll stick to our cabin, thankyouverymuch, and the hiking trails only I know about, wink wink.


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