The Treasure

Casita Chronicles   The Treasure

June  24,25,26  2016


We awoke early and I was feeling much better.  Made coffee and drove to the rim to analyze where we had been on the other side of the canyon.  Glen had made an apt for work on his truck in Espanola and there was one more place I wanted to check out.  Glen took off into town and I stayed and emptied the waste and filled the water in the casita.  I met him at the auto shop and dropped the casita and we headed back to the Lady of the Wood.  This little side canyon abuts Bandolier and is Tribal land.  We cut across Bandolier cross country and headed down the wash.  It was obvious this also could be a prime possibility.  In some ways i believe the treasure has already been found by whomever used the repel lines at our prime search spot.  However I also have a good feeling about this place,  old ruins, all the right vegetation and many holes in the tuft walls to hide a chest.  We reached our pre determined turn around time and headed back up a road we discovered not on the map.  Glen is thinking he might come back and go farther. ME, well, its time to go get my beloved!

Our rendezvous is an abandoned gas station off the highway and the road to her Yogi Bahgan camp.  While waiting there Kiowa the intrepid suddenly disappeared.  i blew my whistle and heard him barking but he never came.  Investigating I found him behind the building in a live trap bated with dog and cat food.  I released him and looked around for any indication that the food might be poisoned but found none.  Will have to keep an eye on him.

It was wonderful to see Rajni again after her Summer Solstice extravaganza aka adult summer camp. LOL.  We packed up her things and headed north for the long journey home.  My plan was to head thru Taos and over the Sangre De Cristo mtns out onto the plains and then north through points of great interest.  The First was the ghost town of Kiowa.  Coming out onto the great plains is always a great feeling for me.  It is the place i feel most at home, open sky, vast distances, great sunsets and sunrises and no people.   Out of Maxwell we headed east on a dirt road past the ghost town of Chico.  There are many ghost towns in this part of the country.  It is a vast landscape full of old volcanoes and mesas.  Small mountains and canyons but mostly the sea of grass.  Remarkably we saw very few Ranches and no other cars.  The shear number of antelope is equal to Wyoming and over one hill we came upon two of the largest Bull Elk I have every seen, 6×6 or maybe 7×7 still in velvet.  The sky was gathering clouds and by the time we reached Kiowa it was about to rain.  here we ran into a small herd of Cow Elk.  These amazing creatures used to be plains animals  that travelled in herds of thousands along with the Buffalo.  The Buffaloe were vanquished and the Elk pushed up into the mountains were they adapted quite well.  Here they are slowly moving back onto the plains.  There is not much left of Kiowa, a few foundations and old appliances and the struggling remainders of man planted trees that seem out of place now.  It would be interesting to know its history.  This is all part of the Kiowa national grasslands area where it is not private.  The Kiowa tribe pushed out of the Black hills by the Cheyenne inhabited this area when the europeans arrived.  Kiowa loves it here and has room to run at will.  lighting and thunder and rain make for a nice nights sleep.


Awoke to a cool cloudy morning, coffee and sdasdona singing.  We made love on the buffalo grass in the center of town.  Rajni the disciplined did her Kria in this amazing place.  Mrs O feathered her nest after the bachelor occupation while i went for a walk in this wondrous place.  These few scraggly trees could they be some of the few surviving American Elm that exist due to their remote location.

Past the youngest of the numerous volcano cinder cones (now a national monument ==can we stop doing this??)   Most of the land in Northern New Mexico is owned by the 1st and 2nd biggest land owners in the U.S.  maybe the world.  The first being some guy in Colorado Springs and the other Ted Turner.  It is one of the reasons most of the hamlets are now ghost towns.  Without families living on the land and need for schools, services etc they have all vanished.   We came to the small hamlet of Folsom on the dry Cimmaron river.  There are many nice stone buildings there and a very cool museum which we spent several hours in.  The Story of Folsom is the story of two very unlikely heroes unknown to most, and an event in 1908 over 100 years ago.  A huge downpour upstream had been damned by the freshly cut hay that had not been taken up.  When the amount of water became overwhelming the damn broke.  George McJunkin a black cowboy who had been born into slavery saw it and immediately called ahead to Folsom that a wall of 5 foot water was coming down the valley.  Sally Rooke the some 60 year old operator began immediately calling everyone in town and along the river to warn them.  Sally never left her post calling to the very end when she was swept away.  Her body found some 8 miles down river, her hand reaching out of the silt.  Her sacrifice saved many lives and a small monument was erected to her in the cemetery by dime donations from operators around the country.  After the flood George while inspecting the damage found some bones sticking out of the side of the hill.  Somehow knowing they were important he collected some of them and brought them into town.  Little did he know was one of the great finds of the century.  The find was not recognized until after his death when an Archeologist returned to the site and excavated.  It would be called Folsom man and it would prove positively that man had been in North America long before the current “Land bridge”  arrivals we call native americans showed up and took over.  We are all indigenous to the earth and have moved around pushing, conquering, purchasing, ==change.

It was a long drive thru two thunderstorms north on the great plains.  We stopped in Limon for gas and could not get the vehicle going till i got a jump.  We camped by the museum and walked into town to the local movie theatre and saw X men Apocalypse.  A nice action flick. Paid full price $7 and even bought mrs o some popcorn being the big spender that I am.


Mrs O wants to make it home tonite for the pot luck 25 year anniversary for our friends Andria and Jim.  It means a more or less 8 hour drive.  Just have to get the vehicle started.  I think i will walk along and peruse the old farm equipment and train stuff outside the museum first.   The long ribbon of highway 71 took us home through now familiar towns and the amazing sand hills.  Turns out Anna and the grandkids will be arriving the same time!!  Organized chaos but MY FAMILY!!  So ends the quest for the treasure.  Someone has it and I hope they enjoy it with Gold prices soaring since Britain left the EU.   Until the next casita chronicle— so long.

The Treasure

Casita Chronicles   The Treasure

June  23 2016


After the hugging episode things went down hill.  I already was not feeling well after the Casino burger the pervious nite.  My condition steadily worsened.  We went into town and got all the parts to fix the vehicle and casita and by the time we returned it was sizziling hot on the pavement.  It took all my strength to make the repairs.  Thank Glen for his help.  We were planning on camping at Bandolier and visiting the ruins but we ended up back in White Rock where Glen wanted to go down the red dot trail and maybe swim the river back to the location of the repel lines.  I was not up for the 1000 ft drop and swim and return and fell asleep.  Amazingly the weather clouded and we actually got rain.  The plan changed to checking out the far said of the rive by binoculars in the morning before we go back to Espenola where Glen has ordered tires and a hitch for his truck.  I have not eaten all day and hope to feel better tomorrow.  We will be picking up Rajni at 1 and Glen will head home.  It has been a great adventure and I believe someone got there before us and as I would have done not reported the treasure for obvious reasons.

AMMA was a strange phenomenon.  This very overweight woman with bad teeth came from a poor fisherman family.  It is unclear how this practice got started but it is claimed that she has hugged over 30 million people.  There was a large Indi population there and I asked one person if they were from Santa Fe.  Surprising they had come all the way from India!  something only the highest income person could afford.  The practice goes like this.  People pay for a gift usually a lai from the vendors while they stand in line. This is place on AMMA before she gives her hug.  She immediately after the hug takes it off and hands it to an individual that returns it to the vendors to be sold again.  Lets crunch those numbers,  say an average of $1 for each hug.  over $30 million which she claims to give to good causes after of course a generous cut for her and her group.  I find it amazing that this whole thing is accepted and believed.  There is no limit to the power of belief faith as a mustard seed misplaced as it may be.  Oh, and you get a hershey kiss and a rose petal.

A brief word about my friend Glen, A world class runner he exudes confidence and has energy that seems limitless.  A few years back one of his lungs collapsed bringing his running program to a stand still.  The Doctors told him that if it did not get better in a year or so the only thing he could do with no promises was surgery.  He did not do the surgery and today his lung is healed.  HMMMM  Belief,  in what, in who, often misplaced.

The Treasue

Casita Chronicles   The Treasure

June  22 2016


Yesterday afternoon we headed out in insufferable  heat.  We made our way to where Glen thought was a probable location in the NF north of Santa Fe and made camp right by the Rio Grande.  We probed the area with the 4wd and hiking with no success.  We are camped right were the vehicle was found that belonged to they guy that was searching for the treasure this last January and was never found.   Numerous people have also made the journey to swim and play in the river.  i have to admit that was a highlight after walking in the heat to jump in the cool waters of the Grand.   Near evening we had the place to ourselves and i made Korinna special.  A mid western dish made for me by my nephews wonderful wife.  Certainly not as good as hers but wonderful even though.  Glen did a meditation by the river and I took a long walk towards a grove of Cottonwoods in the evening.  Glen had a nice fire going  when i returned and we chatted late into the night.  My appreciation for my wife Rajni increases steadily having now assumed her tasks of cooking and keeping the casita clean.  She is truly one of a kind.  I miss her every day.   I concur with some that the real treasure in this quest is not only the experience but the non attached surrendered life shared with loved ones.  We definitely found the treasure there.

After coffee and donuts by the river and more great conversation we decided to pack up and head to the main place I have determined to be the location.  This will be a long slow drive almost directly across the river from White Rock.  We will probably camp there and either carry the gold out or head back to Bandolier to camp the last night and probe the ruins and possible Frijiloes river falls  for the last day and night before Glen heads back and I rendezvous with the Sadhana girl.   While in the river I thought something had bitten me only to find a cactus floating under the water had attached itself to me.  It took me some time to remove it as the needles were very deep and numerous.  What a strange thing to happen?

What a day!  We packed up and headed all the way to Santa Fe and then deep into the national forest (mostly juniper) on FS 24 and then with the help of Glens aerial photos on his phone we followed a very rough road towards the spot i think the treasure is.  After about 3-4 miles the road became too rough for the casita and we dropped it there and jumped in the Ranger 4wd.  Immediately we had a flat tire driver front.  The spare is in pretty good shape and we got it on and continued.   This road was one of the roughest I have ever taken the Ranger on and it was slow going for over 6 miles.  At one point Glen had to make a rock bridge.  When we got to our destination it was perfect.  Pine, piñon and sage.  and a very bright white band of stone as a blaze.  An old man could make it down into the ravine if he knew where to go.  The final drop to the Rio Grande would make a magnificent waterfall should have water.  Across the canyon was White Rock and the red dot trail i had gone down a few days prior.  At the drop off where two slings that someone had used for a repel down??  did someone get there first?  Was this never the location?  We shall never know.  It was a very long drive back to the casita and Glen and I both were ready to get cleaned up.  We decided to head back to a Reservation Casino I had heard about that had full hook ups and such.  The rough road took its toll on the truck and casita.  About the time we pulled into the casino parking lot the tensioner on the serpentine belt froze up and the belt came off.  i lost power steering and of course the radiator already hot boiled over.  We made it to the RV parking lot (not the Campground).  This is as far as we could go!!  On top of that we discovered that the pvc pipe from the kitchen sink had gotten busted.   It will all have to wait  till tomorrow.  We decided to get a meal in the Casino tired as we were.  Turns out AMMA the guru of hugs was holding a convention of some 3,000 people.  We signed up for a hug and got some holy water blessed by her for holy coffee in the morning.  Ate, played some cards and craps and fell fast asleep so thankful that we had made it to town before everything broke down.  The line formed for hugs at 11pm  at 7 am it was still going.  Glen and I both got hugs.  This woman had been sitting there all night hugging people.  The room is charged with emotion, chanting and extreme reverence.  it is all very organized.  She smiles and holds you close to her and whispers words in a strange language in your ear.  She gives you two hershey kisses and a rose petal.  The woman before me was obviously stricken with some kind of palsy and i almost wept in her quest for i am thinking healing or relief.  It was truly an interesting experience for uriah the dakotan. LOL.   I will get this out and we will pursue all the many repairs after the epic journey for THE TREASURE.

The Treasure

Casita Chronicles   The Treasure

June  21 2016


Yesterday was a quite relaxing.  Welcome to Los Alamos county which has the largest per capita millionaires of any county in the U.S.   This entire county probably has at least one member of each household employed by the Government.  The communities are all well planned the public transportation is free.  I decided to just board a bus and take it anywhere, hopefully to some nice museum.  The AC was so cold I froze!!  People are all very nice and the image is the perfect community.  However, this socialist picture is not all it seems.  Face it,  the high wages that these people earn and then pay taxes to support such things as free transport are an impossibility.   Let me explain,  The wages that are paid come from taxes paid from the labor of hard working private enterprise to give these people the high standard of living.  The taxes these people pay does not even come close to paying they’re own wages let alone the perks.  All this money comes from somewhere else.  The hard working private industry or borrowed money from the cartel of bankers the Federal Reserve.  So don’t be fooled.   I lunched at the Sonic on a double bacon cheese burger with fries and chocolate shake!!  i was almost comotose digesting it but it did taste good.  While eating I had a conversation by phone with a Boulderite who was irked because the city council has set aside $100,000.00 for a study to see if Boulder is perceived as a friendly city.  Say What??

I spent the rest of the day at the Manhattan project museum.  Fascinating to say the least,  I could write oodles on the things I learned.  The events played out here in the last two years of WW2 are without the most impactful of the 20th century.  It indeed changed the world.  Professor Oppenheimer  and General G        now known to but few now were impressive people.  We owe so much to them.  The whole scenario and the location was truly fascinating.  The National Park is just now scrambling to preserve what little is left of the original site and what few buildings remain.

Glen is here!! driving thru the nite arriving after 1am???  having coffee and discussing the plan.  We will head across the river to the old Beckman Road and either drop the camper or if the road permits head into this very rough and tough area just north and west of Santa Fe.   It is good to have some company.  We have three days of glory to find the treasure and probably no internet.  We shall see.

The Treasure

Casita Chronicles   The Treasure

June  20 2016


The temperature soared to over 100 yesterday afternoon.  Kiowa and I landed in White Rock a bedroom community for Los Alamos.  This county is small consisting of the labs, town and ski area.  It is a well planned community with recycling trails and free public transportation.  Most jobs are government and well paying.  The people i have met are friendly and polite.  Towards evening we hiked the shady side of the canyon down 1 mile 1000 ft drop to the river.  There was an amazing clear cool spring with lots of water near the river and i took a bath.  Kiowa loved the river and somewhere after swimming and in the brush he lost his collar.  We hiked out and made the rim after dark.  I pulled in near the  grocery store and went to sleep.   The RV dump and water was free so I am good to go.  Glen called and will be here today late or tomorrow so I will hang here.  I met Sabrina yesterday, she is a retired school teacher and her husband has retired from the Park service.  They are interested in buying a casita.  I showed her around and if she buys one I will get $75!!!   She also filled me in on great information regarding the old man Fenns clues.  Below us is where an individual was last seen some 4 months ago looking for the treasure and his picture and description is on the trail head  board.  I am thinking we are near.  Santa Fe is some 15 miles away as the crow flies but over 30 minutes drive.  Between here and there is definitely no mans land and all public.  Another RV parked ahead of me on the street.  Her name is Ona from Phoenix.  She is on the road with her dog gypsy.  She is a massage therapist looking for a new home and considering seriously White Rock.   I told her I would be her first customer but she was unclear if she could just set up her table by the side of the road.    I think I will take the free bus and tour all the museum leisurely, question is what to do with the dog??  Right now i am having a mocha visiting with the proprietor about the community and where to buy a dog collar.  Life is good except for the run this am.  Kiowa tripped me up and I went down hard, particularly my knee.  I am still ambulatory but should take it easy.  Finally made contact with my beloved.  She sounded very happy and ready for siekhood LOL.   It is Solstice and from here on the days will get shorter.

The Treasure

Casita Chronicles   The Treasure

June  17,18, 19 2016


It is always profound to me how things change, some for the good some for the bad.  In a system such as ours we rarely do the best thing or the worst thing. Typically we compromise somewhere in the middle.  I awoke late.  Coming into the campground late last night after taking Rajni to her gig the sign said FULL for the campground.  I knew that I did not want to stay any longer in such a congested place so i hooked up the casita and headed down the road to where the maps indicated FS 106 with close vicinity to San Antonio Hot Springs.  I had been there before many years ago, and had hiked in some 4 miles with a backpack and camped.  This is beautiful country and the hot springs are a series of pools on the side of the valley.  I remember them well because I was the only one there then.  FS 106 took me into a remote subdivision of primarily seasonal homes.  confused I asked for assistance from an older man on an ATV.  Loo, was his name, he had vitiligo on his hands, and he told me to follow him which i did.  He took me to the end of the “road” that used to go for many miles and connect to other roads but is now gated.  He told me this is where i could park “legally” within 45 feet and camp.  Loo had worked at Los Alamos in his career and was very familiar with the area, the history and beaurocracy.  He explained to me that all the FS roads are now closed by the current administration.  He also surmised that I was looking for the hot springs.  Loo was very up front and explained that the FS had held meetings wanting to know what the populace wanted.  He had attended them and overwhelmingly the vote some 90% wanted all roads to remain open. A mere formality that had to be conducted since the decision had already been made by someone in the Executive branch that controls this issue.  The FS  closed the roads.   The locals drive ATV’s which under state law do not fall under wheeled vehicles and are under the state wildlife rules.  It is a constant fight between the State and the Feds when they are caught going around the gates.  So far they have prevailed, but it does not help me with my PU and camper.  He told me to hop on behind him and he took me on a small tour of the area.   This is the rim of the old Caldera.  This subdivision is the result of homesteader that filed a claim in the 1800’s and was growing potatoes of all things.   This small 160 acre parcel deep in the mountains became more accessable when Los Alamos drilled two wells which he showed me for geo thermal energy  production.  The improved roads for equipment eventually brought into existence the subdivision of some 90 residents in this beautiful onclave.  The well sites are now slash pits  where they dug for mud for the wells.  Environmental groups made a stink about impact and the wells were capped.  Of course the environmentalist were not the catalyst but the excuse since literally free energy produced on public land would infringe on the profit margin of the local energy producers.  The wells were capped.  Even as i type two FS vehicles have come up and turned around????  Kiowa let them know they were not welcome!!! Many of the shallow wells in the subdivision have at least warm water!!    I asked Loo if their representative in DC was doing anything about all this.  He laughed.  I asked him if he thought Gary Johnson was a good Governor and would make a good president?   He indeed thought Gary was a good Govenor putting the state back in the black and since then it has once again gone in the red.  He was discouraged about the current race and while he would like to see Gary in the White house he thought it a very slim possibility.  I guess the point here is the populace growing at an exponential rate clearly has has changed in its view of public lands, and uses.  i am saddened by the dis joint between rights and actual laws.  The constant battle that must be fought and is seemingly being lost for freedom and liberty.  I am thinking I am the last generation to experience to some degree freedom and self responsibility as an individual.  Oh well, time for a pleasant walk.

This is my 3rd time to San Antonio Hot Sprngs.  The first time I hiked the 4 mile trail in late fall.   I backpacked and there was some snow and the night was very cold so I pitched my tent right next to the spring of 104 degrees the perfect temperature.   In the morning I just rolled out of my sleeping bag into the lushish waters.   The 2nd time I came with the Raven  Sue Schmidt on one of our many adventures.   It had been warm during the day but the temperature dropped rapidly with very cold rain.  The young family that had walked in on the road some 5 miles were very poorly dressed and hypothermia was a real issue.  We humped out quickly and called 911 to alert them to the situation.  Never knew what happened after that.  This time, after looking at maps I found there was another forest road 106 that at one point comes very close to the springs where it skirts the river on the ridge.   While the road is now closed off  before this point I figured I could easily walk it and determine when to drop down into the San Antonio river valley.  Indeed it was so!!  In fact the trail leading down the steep embankment to the springs is very well used.  On it I met Loo’s son and wife who knew about me already.  We visited and he explained about the various roads and trails and how the subdivision people know and use the springs often.  The springs are gorgeous temperature, scenery, depth and all.  Truly the star of the crown.  At the springs I met a young man from Boulder with his girlfriend.  He not only was a graduate of the same high School as Josh but knew him and described him perfectly.  There were several other people including one man from Albequerque which is apparently only 1 hour away and the other man from Sante Fe.   They were both my age and we had a pleasant conversation while we soaked.  They have been coming for many years.  The funniest story was a result of the way the FS has been heavily monitoring the spring.  The FS 376 is apparently an easy drive now to the base of the spring but they have gated it 2 miles away.  They also threaten people with fines for nudity.  On one occasion  one of them was soaking nude in the spring when the government had been shut down due to congress fighting over the budget.  Someone in the spring had asked if it was okay to be naked.  One person replied, lets ask the ranger and turned to the naked person next to them.  He answered it did not matter to him he was not working.  hmmmm   Some other amazing comments.  One person said that they could let go 75% of the government employees and it would still run just fine.  i am thinking more like 50%.  Another man who had been a government employee at Los Alamos laboratories remarked that if he had down what Hillary Clinton did he would be in jail right now.  A sad commentary on one of our presidential hopefuls.

I loved the stroll home walking barefoot almost the entire time.  I believe I will stay for a couple of days and explore the area on foot before I head back to treasure country over the hill.  Or maybe I will just use this as home base.  A wonderful meal of beans and beanies an all time faorite.


This was my fathers birthday.  I awoke in the early hours knowing that Rajni was also awake and I walked out and looked at the stars so bright despite the almost full moon.  I sent her good SOM wishing her a wondrous time at her solstice event among the sieks.

Old Man Fenn was 79 when he decided to hide his treasure of some 42 lbs He was intimately knowledgeable of all the roads and arroyos of the area north of Santa Fe.

At his age he did not drive to Montana (also there are no pinyon pine in Montana).  He did not walk far from his car but it was remote (he went in alone).  It was a place he had an affinity for.  I have drawn an arch of the 8.25 miles around the north of Santa Fe just to see where that point hits.  The most promising places that fit the criteria of the poem and additional clues lie off of roads that may now be closed but were not 5 years ago.  It is Saturday and I am thinking i will enjoy this area and do some exploring not related to the treasure today and head into Santa Fe checking  out some of these roads on Sunday.  Glen is coming down to help look on Monday and I will need to be somewhere that i can get phone reception or even internet to determine a place to meet.

Wow what a day!! i decided to hike to the ghost town of Sulpher springs on the map. It appeared to be south and east cross country a couple of miles.  So glad I put batteries and took the satellite locator with compass!!   With those amazing Army trained skills i hit it dead on!!  The springs are bubbling up in the middle of a man made catchment pond.  They are not warm but are certainly filled with sulfur.  This is a dead zone and nothing lives in close proximity to the springs.  The buildings are run down and vacant.  It is strange what people leave behind, Star Trek books and strange poems.  I followed the power line above town to another geo thermal well that had been capped.  It was a scorching hot day and I tried to ration my water.  I followed the road north to a  locked gate indicating it was the Valle Grande administered by the national parks system.  It is a perfectly good road.  It said a permit was required to enter so I wrote Fuck off in the register and proceeded in.  You may be wondering why the harsh attitude toward the department under the Executive Branch that administers the public lands.  I have had many experiences with this segment and most of them not positive.  The most recent being in South Dakota National Forest.  This forest is honeycombed with old logging and mining roads and trails.  When i discovered a combination of these that would connect our small town of Hot Springs to the Rails to Trails Mickelson trail it was exciting.  Our town has long been wanting some kind of connection for bicyclist and walkers to augment our tourism industry.  When i proposed to the USFS that with a few signs we could direct people through the forest so they would not get lost their response was there would have to be a very expensive exhaustive environmental impact study.  I explained to them that not a shovel of dirt would be turned, that the trails not only existed but were being used already.  The only thing was some signage.  Their response was that they were understaffed and underfunded.  To this I responded that i would staff and fund the endeavor.  The response was NO.   One can only conclude one of two things.  They were just lazy or there was a directive from the Obama Administration to discourage public use of public lands.  Its all documented  I found a small pond and stripped down for a dip and I could tell there was still a sulfur smell but it was cool and refreshing.  Kiowa found his own water and when we found a ravine heading west I took it.  It was an amazing hike of over six miles back for a total of 8 miles for the day.  Going cross country i knew I was seeing places few if any had seen.  At one point we walked up on a large bull Elk and surprised him from a deep sleep.  By the time we found the camper I had been out of water for some time.   It was good to have that compass to keep me on the right track.  I got a text message from Rajni saying she was fine but could not reply despite numerous attempts.  The casita is home sweet home. I am thinking I will go check out the huge boulders and cave that Loo told me about and then head down slowly to Santa Fe to make contact with all my beloveds.  It will be Fathers Day.

I have been reading a book  “The Things They Carried”  by Tim OBrien.   It should be required reading for EVERYONE.  The things we foist on our sons because we buy into the domino theories and attack on the twin towers.  Wake up America we need you now.  It would be the end of the Single Democrat/Republican party that has done these things.


Fathers day, Awakening to sun, coffee and my last donut.   I decided to walk down to the rocks/cave Loo had told me about.  The morning was cool and I continued on down a seemingly well used trail down the ravine and came to what I was sure was the 4 mile trail on the east side of San Antonia river to the hot springs.  I followed it and sure enough it is true.  Definitely an easier, shorter trail.  I investigated the old buildings below the hot springs built by the CCC.  They had electricity, propane and accommodated many individuals at one time.  The roofs were good.  One wonders why they are left to disrepair.  On up to the springs and a soak with a vagabond who had a sanskrit name translated meaning Nectar, which is what i called him.  He was the same age as my young bride Rajni.  It was a very pleasant conversation and i learned that he lives off the land wintering in Arizona and summers here.  He loves the public land and uses it for his home.  He has had both positive and negative interactions with the governmental authorities.  He was of Celtic ancestry like myself and I found a comradarie with him.  I took the original trail I had taken back.  I had noticed barefoot prints on the trail and now i know they were Nectar’s.  i also discovered his campsite on a ridge.  In all a very pleasant morning hike of some 3-4 miles.

It is 2:30 Sunday afternoon and the temperature is over 100 degrees here in White Rock where I have stopped to get on the internet.  My phone messages all came thru but all attempts to contact Rajni have failed, her phone does not even ring.  i can only guess how hot it is where she is at.

The Treasure

Casita Chronicles   The Treasure

June  15 ,16 2016

The ides of June and closing in on the longest day of the year.  Yesterday we rendezvoused with Lou Ann the Queen of Yoga.  She was my first yoga teacher.  She and Rajni know each other and we spent the day soaking in the various minerals and sun of Ojo Caliente.  This is a very old place.  We hiked to the top of the hill where they have excavated an old pueblo.  Nothing left now but pottery shards and depressions.  It is estimated that  a 1,000 people once lived there. This of course is highly unlikely since this valley even today cannot support that many people.  The climate must have been substantially different  then!.  In some ways, this area has history older than most of the U.S.  The spanish having pushed north before the Revolution.  Ojo was a trading post and interestingly a record of Kit Carson visiting often.  As president of the Kit Carson club this is remarkable.  When I first visited Ojo it was a dumpy little family owned wayside.  In the last few years it has been acquired by a corporation that has re made it into a spa of international fame.  Rajni herself has said her mother would enjoy it.  The camping area, now with power hook ups and water was mostly vacant but the ever expanding hotel and cottages were jammed full.  I will probably not return, but enjoyed them for the last time.  Corporate has many advantages with the ability to develop and employ a lot of people and bring tourism to the area.  It has also raised the price.

We headed south to Espanola, they have a Walmart and Lowes!!  This is Pueblo country and numerous reservations checkerboard the land.  Heading up, and I mean up to Los Alamos the birthplace of the atomic bomb.  It was a long hard pull for the Ranger.  We did our recycling there, the only place we could find.  This is a very prosperous town now, modern and middle to upper income.  It has a ski area and the Government laboratory still is in existence providing high paying jobs.  We got in the wrong lane to exit town and to just pass thru the mile of U.S. property we had to show I.D. and have our camper searched.   Into the Jemez mountains we went.  This is truly the Jem of NM.  This huge volcanic uplift with its collapsed cauldron  is strikingly beautiful.  It has peaks over 10,000 ft and bountiful water and springs many which are hot.  It is a candidate for massive thermal energy development.  Hopefully well thought out so as not to deter its other uses.  We stopped in the Valle Grande and watched a massive herd of Elk below.  We parked in the Jemez falls campground by evening.  This is a very very large campground in a relatively flat Pondersosa pine forest.  Some quite old but not like the Piedra.  It is obviously a favorite destination for respite from the heat for the dwellers of Sante Fe and Albuquerque.  It is clean and currently not full.  We will leave the Casita there while I take Rajni back to Espanola for her gig.  i ran with Kiowa to the falls,  the observation point near the campground.  To get down to the falls requires some rock climbing skills or a longer steep descent but worth it.  I checked it out for the treasure as it was on my list, however there are no pinion pine which would indicate it is not the location.   We plan on hiking down the valley of the Jemez to McCally hot springs some 2 plus miles on the morrow.


The hike to McCally hot springs or should I say Warm springs was magical.  However just before the spring i took another trail thinking it was a shortcut and the springs were by the river.  Mrs O stayed on the trail.   I ended up over 2 miles away near the other end of the trail!!  I humped it back in time for a nice swim and soak and lunch with Mrs O.  With the hot day the luke warm water was great and the pools deep.  It is quite amazing how they come out of the mountain way up high.  Also of interest was the large amount of poor grade volcanic glass called obsidian that was all over the area.  I woke up with a swollen throat and by the time we got back to the truck between the extra 4 mile hike and the sun and the throat I was done for.  We packed up Rajni and i took her the 45 miles to her solstice event in time for the opening ceremony.  Time for dinner as well in Espanola.   On the way up there was a van by the road and it was still there after I dropped Rajni off.  A young woman from Taos had transported some seiks to the event and had a flat tire on her 3/4 ton van with trailer.  Her jack did not work getting it off the ground and tho several had stopped no one could do it.  Enter one Uriah the Dakotan.  No good deed goes unpunished or so my Grandma used to say.  She offered me some money but I did not take it.  Stopped by the library to check the email and shopping and its back to the Casita and on my own till Glen shows up.