*I just reread this post and wanted to add one bit here. I think it’s fitting that the Apache of Mescalero inhabit the mountains beacuse they have never lived on level ground. Meaning, their people have always faced distress. However, please don’t let my writing about a few alcoholic tendencies paint a picture of the entire tribe of people. Despite all that’s been handed to them, the people of Mescalero are still a proud and true people. I was honored to have been able to visit their land.*
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Ah, the brutal reverberations of civilization. I had to set an alarm clock at Bob’s because his home is so secluded, my cell phone doesn’t even get service (I use the alarm on my cell, and when it doesn’t have service it dies quickly. It’s a whole thing. Why am I wasting both of our time writing about such insignificant things?).
Anyway , Bob drove us all the way to Ruidoso, but first took us through the Mescalero Reservation. He shared some intimate stories about the reservation and how devastatingly alcoholism reign cripples so many natives. Bob has taught at the school in Mescalero so he has a credible voice in the matter. He told me stories of finding students in fields strung out after 3 day benders to acquiring a full ride for one student to a college in Florida, but he was unable to stay sober and could not attend. Not everyone who lives on these reservations is an alcoholic though. It’s problematic to make such a claim. However, Bob did inform me that the tribe holds onto most of the money in the reservation which leaves most residents in poverty. Most residents also own horses. According to Bob, it’s a way to remain in touch with their ancestry. Owning horses is a way of displaying manhood in the tribe, but maintaining a horse is ridiculously expensive. If I wanted to, I could dedicate this entire blog to discussing the current state of Native Americans and their exploitation. I mean, a blind man could see how subjugated and mistreated Native Americans have been in this country so I’ll save the tirade. It’s just a different experience seeing it firsthand in such immersed proximity.
Once we reached Ruidoso (which is an extremely wealthy secluded mountain town) Bob dropped me off and wished me luck. I learned a lot from the man, and I appreciated the time I shared with him as well as the bizarre way in which we met. He warned me not to spend too much time in town because of my elevation. Because of its elevation, I had to ride quickly or I would certainly find myself in freezing conditions yet again. There was a Billy the Kid museum there. I stopped in but learned nothing. I just kind of stared at the wall in an exhausted daze. Everything I know about Billy the Kid I learned from Billy Joel and my mind was not in a state to absorb any new information. There was a bear taking a wiz in the bathroom of the museum. That’s pretty much the only thing I remember. That and the lady who worked there seemed like she was riding a Quaalude rainbow.
I left Ruidoso not on a Quaalude rainbow, but in a thunderdome of endless agony combating headwinds. This was supposed to be a jovial downhill ride all the way top Roswell, but instead transformed into a ‘Tom throwing rocks at the road and cursing Aeolus for hours’ kind of day. GREEK MYTHOLOGY REFERENCE IN YOUR FACE!
I reached Roswell by night and sought warmth in a Denny’s. I shudder now in disgust at how reliant I’ve become on these hellish restaurant chains because of their access to the outside world via the interwebs. It’s good to know that they have wi-fi in Hell, because this place was the grundle of Hades. SECOND GREEK MYTHOLOGY REFERENCE, THIS ONE SLIGHTLY LESS OBSCURE! I had planned to stay with a Couchsurfing host on Sunday, who was busy Saturday. Because I received a ride to Ruidoso, I was able to get to Roswell a day early. I didn’t want to bother the host (Peggy) so I just planned to sleep in the town’s baseball field dugout. I had don’t it before in other towns, it’s actually quite pleasant if there aren’t a pair of teenagers trying to awkwardly explore each other’s bodies on the opposing team’s dugout. It doesn’t bother me, but having a creepy guy staring at you from across the field isn’t a real mood setter. Sorry Bradley, find a new spot. I called dibs first. Why don’t you try one of the cars on the lot of your dad’s dealership? I mean you mentioned it to Kimberly at least five times now, if that’s your way of sealing the deal, you better step op your game, son. What am I talking about? Why does my brain do this? Whew, ok.
So Peggy contacted me and was kind enough to let me come over a day early. It was very late in the evening and I was very grateful for her allowing me to come over so unexpectedly. We were only able to talk briefly before she went to bed. Hopefully, we’ll be able to talk more during breakfast. Peggy has a ton of pets: two dogs and three cats. Seeing them was great, but my heart wrenched at the thought of just how much I miss my little kittiez. I bet Brandon is running around right now trying so desperately to be the center of attention, while Rafiki prowling around from lap to lap in her stretching her legs out and showing off her toe feathers off. Shout out to Auntie Liz for taking care of them!
So this is a song I used to play all the time while I cleaned up the apartment in Philadelphia. There was a lot less cleaning, and a lot more singing/dancing with the kitties. You can imagine me flying around the room with Jean Claude-Bran-dan in my arms serenading him as Rafiki watched on in terror, because she knew she was next. I miss the little furballs.
Total Ascent: 1231 ft.