As we drove Route 84 over and over in New Mexico, I became fixated on the white rocks that towered behind the Abiquiu Elementary School. I had to get close to them. Something kept drawing me towards them, whispering to come meet the challenge of spending time with them.
We finally figured out how to get to the trail head and I dreamed of scrambling around these towers that dominated my thoughts. On our first attempt on a parched afternoon, we arrived and stood in awe, what we viewed from Route 84 was nothing compared to what greeted us. It was awe-inspiring, mystical and a bit spiritual. The sun was high in the sky, we had plenty of water and our handy GPS.
We knew the trails were sometimes hard to follow, so we dotted our beginning spot on the GPS and headed out. We followed the trail to the first cluster, scrambled over boulders, around rocks, but I desired to go off trail. Then we noticed the dangerous clouds started to form in the sky….how were they moving, coming at us or around us?
We were a little over a mile from the car in unforgiving terrain. If a major rain started, who knew how fast the water would fill dry creek beds and I don’t want to even think about a lightening strike. We decided to play it safe and head out quickly. High altitude and heat mean you don’t move fast, but the clouds shifted and appeared to be coming at us and over us….that means you do move fast, no matter what.
We made it back to the car and quickly headed to the dirt road, as we entered the paved road, the clouds opened up and let down a tremendous rainstorm with picture perfect lightening taking aim at the ground.
This adventure didn’t satisfy my desire to explore Plaza Blanca more,. For some reason, I felt a connection to the eeriness and strangeness of this landscape. Was it is the spirit of the Native Americans or just the stark beauty that I couldn’t have enough of?
We ventured back on another afternoon, only to meet a similar fate of approaching storms. It seems we weren’t intended to spend much time at Plaza Blanca with it ghostly towers of rock rising to the sky. Another trip will certainly have us back exploring this sacred place.