It has been a very difficult 2 days – I hope the worst is over. The temperature dropped to 0 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Chandler did something last night that he has never done before or since. He climbed onto my chest in the middle of the night, as if to do CPR! I managed to survive the cold with the 5 dogs in the pickup, but I woke up with a frozen right foot – no sensation, pink, little ability to move it. I had taken a picture the night before at Wal-mart of my feet since I had known that I had developed a stress fracture in the 5th metatarsal on the left foot about 2 weeks ago, and I wanted to compare my feet before and after.
This is right before the freezing night
This was from october
The white circle is where a callus was (and still is).
Anyway, it never got above freezing yesterday, but I did manage to run the dogs twice.
Last night was again very cold, although not quite as cold. I had slowly moved up to Socorro. The thermostat is really not working in the truck so it overheats, and there is no heat in the truck. I have to pull over every 10 minutes or so, abruptly brake on the shoulder on a downhill slope a few times and that usually jiggles the thermostat open. But, when the shoulder is iced over and sometimes not clear – it was a slow and painful trip. This morning the battery was dead on the truck and I had to get a jump. A little later, I went over a speed bump and the last 4 feet of my tail pipe fell off (it had rusted through). Still nothing catestrophic, we are still mobile.
We made a trip out to the Acoma pueblo – settled around 1100, it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited villages in the United States. Although I was too late for a tour, it was a beautiful sight with sad history… in 1598, the conquistador Don Juan de Onate invaded and took the city using attack dogs (fed on human flesh and trained to eat humans alive). A population of 2000 indians was reduced to 250 after the attack, and all children under 12 were taken from their parents and given to missionaries to raise. The surviving men had their right foot chopped off. Other survivors were sold into slavery (reference).
With this tragic background, the people are understandably very protective of their culture and village. Their is an enormous cost to maintaining their heritage and way of life. As I passed through the magestic rocks in the descent into the valley from the unique sandstone bluff,
I felt the spiritual nature of the landscape deeply.
A Mountain of Prayer
A Family on the Rocks
Later that evening, I climbed the Buffalo Sandstone Overlook of El Malpais with the dogs (there was too much snow for a truck to climb without 4 wheel drive). The land is one of several volcanic landscapes (lava flows) in New Mexico.