We're staying in our first Army Corps of Engineers camp ground for the season, Cochiti Lake. Nicely appointed if not slightly over-engineered, including a solar light at each site. It's inexpensive, especially with winter and senior discounts, and provides hot showers, hookups and a dump station. It's located near Santa Fe, giving us a close camping option for city visits. There are lots of vacant sites during this winter season, mid week.
The dam is on Pueblo land, built by the corps for flood control of the Rio Grande and Santa Fe Rivers. According to the engineer we spoke with at the Visitor Center, the work for this earth dam was started in 1965 and completed in 1975. Because of damage to sacred Indian land, it was a controversial project from the beginning, with relations not resolving into team work until 2006. Now there is, according to our source, a model relationship between the two previously feuding parties.
We met a young Pueblo man and his girlfriend at the viewpoint near our camp last evening. His grandfather was one of the workers on the dam and the lake was a popular swimming hole as he was growing up. No animosity with him. He plays in a 4-member band called the Rude Boyz, but he was anything but rude.
Our dam bicycle ride was about 14 miles, or so roundtrip. The crossing on the dam itself was five miles, one-way, plus another couple of miles from the campground. Not a wildly exciting ride, but interesting enough, good exercise and no traffic. The muted desert colors always please.
We've been having heater mechanical problems in Thistle resulting in time with mechanics, but with no resolution. In e-mail exchanges with other Westy folks, we think we have found answers and we're feeling optimistic tonight after feeling completely discouraged last night. Thank you Westy friends.
We will be staying another two nights at Cochiti Lake. One day will be for Santa Fe and the second day will be for exercise. We are working at maintaining an every other day exercise routine, feeling like we are spending too much time driving and too little time exercising...no way to stay fit or to keep the pudge away.
Hold on to what is good,
Even if it's a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe,
Even if it's a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do,
Even if it's a long way from here.
Hold on to your life,
Even if it's easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand,
Even if some day I'll be gone away from you.
~ A Pueblo Indian Prayer