Greener Pastures

July 17, 2000

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If you’re looking for seclusion for your camping pleasure, Red Canyon is the place to be. It is two hours outside of Albuquerque and about 8,000 ft up in the wooded mountains. This was my first time to camp out in a forest, and I must admit, I was wishing for at least one nearby neighbor. The moon was full as my traveling pal and I sat in the cold mountain air discussing what to do if approached by a wild animal. If it’s a bear, don’t stare it in the eyes, and talk softly. If it’s a cougar, do look it in the eyes and use a backpack, sleeping bag, or something big to hold above your head. If it’s a pack of wolves you’re screwed. After we downed a few beers, we developed enough courage, even going so far as to leaving our flashlight behind, to find a place to use the bathroom. I feel like I can do anything out in the wilderness. Life doesn’t seem as intimidating giving me insight with the knowledge that I can conquer anything life hands me. I was talking with one of the locals at a convenience store in a small town called Mountain Air gathering camping supplies, and she asked me what I was doing in New Mexico. I simply replied that I just love it out here, and she looked at me as if I had just told her that I was an alien from Mars. “Why?” she asked with cynicism, disbelief and mockery in her voice. I asked her if she had ever been to Houston.

Author: Lindsay Niemann

Writer | Graphic Artist