White Dog and the others were awake before the alarm went off and immediately lined up at the door ready to go. "Whoa, White Dogs," I said, "we have a few things to do, like putting gear in the car and the birdcage on the roof before we can go." They paced and waited impatiently as Steve and Michael got the final touches in place then zoomed to Pumpkin, jostling for the right to be first in.
We were on the road! Everyone settled in and were delighted when Steve stopped midway to Las Cruces so that the pups could stretch their legs. It was windy as we traveled South.
We got to Daisy Mae's house and Quinn was overcome with shyness. While the others supervised the unloading of Tane, the Macaw's, cage, TOWD sat next to the bunny pool and made friends with the equally shy rabbit.
White Dog was amazed that bunnies could be inside and so calm; she really wanted to play hop and dash. Daisy Mae showed Nuka around the house and introduced her to Tane (pronounced Tah- nay).He even came down on the floor to meet AWD face-to-face.
TOWD and Daisy Mae spent a bit of private time in the yard, where under the shade of the portel, our fluffy boy gave his White Dog of Love, a quick kiss on the nose.
We shared a delicious lunch with Daisy and her family and then headed to the Gila Wilderness for an adventure. It was an adventure from the get-go. The fierce winds we mentioned earlier? They had continued to build in intensity until we were stopped just outside Deming (and still an hour+ from our destination) by a State Police barricade. The road was shut-down because of 75 mph gusting winds and dust storms creating zero visibility. They had no idea when things would let up but suggested trying "a couple of hours" later.
Those who live in urban areas or in the populous states might not understand that New Mexico is very large but has a VERY limited network of connected roads. To get to our destination by backtracking and rerouting would have meant an additional 150 or so miles on the trip. So we went slightly back to town, took a coffee break and then bought groceries in hope that we would be having dinner in the Gila. When we got back to the barricade, they were allowing a stream of cars to go in one direction at a time with a police escort front and back; we managed to time things so it was the NW traveller's turn. And so we were escorted for nearly an hour and as we climbed in elevation, the winds died. We all gave a sigh of thanks and relief as we pulled onto the dirt road that would lead to our get away just as dusk was falling.
But it wasn't the cute little cabin style house we saw from the main road, instead we continued to follow the dirt road until it became a two-track through a cow pasture and crossed over a ridge. As we crested, we did a quick jog around a tree (obviously just felled by the wind and dragged by some good Samaritan just recently enough that the gouge was still wet). Speaking of wet, we then had to ford a small stream in Pumpkin!
Now this is something we would not have thought twice about in our old SUV but a minivan? The White Dog Army eagerly watched out of every window as Steve waded us through and then managed to follow the ever fainter "road" up over another crest and then around a bend...to the perfect house with a fantastic view, warm beckoning lights, and a place to call home for the night.
White Dog was very proud of her pack who went in using perfect party manners, met the property manager and then politely and quietly explored the space. When we were alone the pups lead us to a small deck off our bedroom and we all watched night fall on the mountains.