Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Friends on the Road

When I was in the Navy I made new friends at every duty station.  Either we were brought together at work or our living area, but through some force of the lifestyle we met and developed a relationship.  The same sort of thing happens out here on the road, and that has been especially true here at the Bosque.  In fact, one couple that I have become good friends with over the last 6 months wouldn't even be here if not for me.  When I happened upon this place they were looking for someone to start right away, but I needed a couple of weeks to go see brother Pat in Arizona first.  After I left our manager called the next name on the list, the Bubella's.

I returned to the Bosque a few weeks later to start work where I met Jim and Bev.  It turned out that Bev and I like to read some of the same authors, we both enjoy jigsaw puzzles when the weather is bad outside, and all three of us are geocachers.  Since our work schedules aren't exactly the same, we haven't always been able to cache together, but we do manage to find some days to get out in the field as a force of 2 or 3.  Bev and I have gone to Albuquerque together a couple of times to shop, do doctor appointments, and grab a bite to eat and even a cache or two. 
And a couple of times I've gone off caching with Jim when no one else was dumb enough to realize that his idea of hunting a cache meant a slightly scaled down version of the Bataan Death March (one morning Jim and I hiked 3 miles along what the early settlers called the Journey of Death portion of El Camino Real just to sign one cache and walk back.). 

Bev finds #37!
Just last week, as a farewell gift of sorts to me (since I'm leaving soon but they will remain longer) the three of us went back into the desert to hike for about 3 hours and sign 37 caches.  Now mind you, these were not just regular caches.  Each cache had a qualifier you had to meet in order to claim the find, and once you sign and qualify for all of the caches your 3 hours/37 finds show up on the map as a large question mark in the desert.  As if to beg the question, "Are you insane?"  Yes, I'm sure we all are. 

On the ride home we stopped near Caballo Lake State Park to sign a slightly evil cache near yet another New Mexico historic marker.  On the way back to I 25 we saw the perfect sign and just had to stop for the photo op.  It seems to express our 6 months together on the road in New Mexico.
  It's been great getting to know these two and I hope I get to spend time with them again down the road.  Bev is an ageless beauty with a sparkling laugh.  She inspires me.  Jim is a great friend and always so helpful to anyone who asks.  I will miss our escapades on the back roads and through the rocky canyons in their Jeep (although I do hope Jim adds me a step before our next ride).  These 2 have really given me some fond memories to take down the road.  And I will miss them dearly.

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