May 14 - 31, 2013 - Chama, NM
Our camp site has an open area behind us and another large open area across the road from us where we watch the deer grazing every day – sometimes two and three times during the day. A couple of the does are pregnant and we are hoping they will have their babies before we leave in June. We usually come here in September and always get to see the fawns then but it will be nice to see them right after they are born. It seems like every year at least one of the does has a set of twins so we keep a look out every day. In the mornings we do Tai Chi, Qui Gong and Ba Duan Jin exercises in the large open area across the road. Many mornings the deer will come to the edge of the trees and graze while we are exercising – that is really nice! We have put up two hummingbird feeders and a couple of finch sock feeders and are enjoying watching the birds. We have to take the feeders down every night so they do not attract bears.
Rex will volunteer as a docent on the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad again this year. The train’s season does not start until May 25th so we have a few days to relax before he starts. About a week before opening day they ran a special train for the inaugural run for engine 463, which has just been refurbished after 10 years of non use. We did not ride this train but watched it go by the RV Park on its return to Chama.
Early one morning a few days after we got here Rex found that the cover we have on our truck was ripped. Upon closer inspection you could see 4 claw marks above and to the right of the tear. We are pretty sure we had a visit by a black bear the night before. We are not sure what it was looking for in the truck as all that is in that compartment is tools. Our neighbors had forgotten to take in their hummingbird feeders that night but the bear did not touch them.
Opening day for the train was May 25th and Rex started riding as a docent on that train. He really enjoys his time on the train and gets to meet people from all over the world. He is scheduled to be on the train about every 2 days while we are here. Nancy started volunteering one day a week at the display of “Chama in Miniature” in the Cumbres Mall downtown. This display has an S scale model of the Chama rail yard as it looked in the 1950’s. They also sell t-shirts, hats, calendars and other train souvenirs.
We have been keeping busy with our volunteering, walking the dogs, visiting with friends, and watching the deer and birds around our camp site. We enjoyed a visit from our friends, Bill and Terri, from Colorado. We had a great time catching up with them and playing a few games of Pegs and Jokers. Bill and Terri visited us here last fall and were the friends who took us to the emergency room when Rex broke his ankle. They told us this year they would visit if we promised no late night trips to the emergency room and, thank goodness, the visit was uneventful!
Rex had an interesting ride on the 30th. He was on the east bound train to Antonito, when they lost air pressure on the train causing it to perform an emergency stop called “dynamiting”. The crew was able to clear the lines and reestablish air pressure in a short time. Just as the train was cleared and started to move forward, it was rear ended by the fire suppression unit that follows the train to put out fires – a speeder pulling a water wagon. It was a rather high speed collision for a narrow gauge railroad. The speeder and tank car were destroyed and the driver was seriously hurt. Rex and a passenger, who is an emergency room nurse, preformed emergency care all the way to the train station about an hour away. They were able to transfer the driver to a waiting ambulance at the station. We later found out the driver had severely bruised ribs but no fractures. Now all the employees on the train that he rides ask if he is ready for the next incident. Hopefully there won’t be another one.
The temperature has been in the mid 60’s to low 70’s and it has been beautiful except the last week in May when the wind blew pretty hard for a few days. Like most of the Southwest, New Mexico is in a severe drought and we are feeling it here also. It only sprinkled a couple of times since we have been here. Hopefully, June will bring some much needed rain.