I love hiking. To be outside under the magnificent New Mexican blue sky, drinking in brilliant sunshine … it’s intoxicating. One of my favorite hiking jaunts is the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) area around the Galisteo Dam near the Cochiti Pueblo south of Santa Fe. It’s an arid, cacti-studded prairie with rarely a drop of water in the deep arroyos that slice through the land. And yes, laughably, there is a huge earthen dam built right in the middle of this desert. It’s a multi-million dollar boondoggle from some 1960’s bureaucracy created to control flood waters (???).
Anyway … this is where we hike during the Spring and Autumn months. Driving back one afternoon from an exhilarating trek, our backpack filled with interesting rocks and petrified wood, we spotted a lonesome cow beside the deserted road. She was obviously curious about us and why we were disturbing her domain. Lowering the window, I waved howdy and snapped her picture. Like a pro, she stood very still – almost posing for her portrait.
I like to think that “Lonely Cow on the Prairie” captures the true southwest when you get off the highway and take the road less traveled.