Sandia Mountain Mystery

We had a bit of excitement a couple of weekends ago, while driving up the Sandia Crest road for an Imogene Pass training run. It was early in the morning and cold and rainy, and we noticed a set of skid marks on the road leading right over the edge of the mountain. Keith and I thought about it a moment, then decided to have a look. Well, there was a vehicle down there, caught in the thorns on a 45 degree slope about 75 feet downhill. A sheared-off tire lay right next to a 2″ diameter broken tree. The truck had apparently flipped, and now was pointing towards us. We got out the binoculars (always at hand) and couldn’t see anyone in the cab, but the brush was so dense there was no way to tell if someone was nearby. We hollered to no avail. Keith  told me NO – you are not going down there. I didn’t know if it was related, but an empty Coors can was lying at our feet. We called the local police office and told them there might be people down there (it hadn’t been reported yet). They asked us to wait. 35 minutes later, two sheriff’s vehicles showed up. They were laughing about the cold weather, and paused to don jackets and gloves. Then sauntered over and said “you think there’s a car down there?” I said “there IS a car down there-look for yourselves.” It was Gomer Pyle -ish, the expressions when they saw it – “golly, there is a car down there! How are we gonna get to that?”

mountain mystery  theres a car down there

We bugged out to go on our run, and four hours later, on our way back down, one of the deputies and a tow truck was at the site. We found out there were two drunken Arizonans involved, who had both gotten out and crawled up the hill. They were with another group in a different vehicle, and caught a ride with them. As the police were checking out the scene (they got a rope and made their way down the hill), a car with AZ plates slowed down as they neared the cops, then sped away. They were coming back for the truck! One of the cops gave chase; don’t know the outcome. As Keith walked over, the tow truck driver said “I don’t think I can get that out”…

tree vs tire

Two weeks later, it was gone. The hardest thing to comprehend is it was so cold and rainy, and now we are in the 90’s!


Up the Creek

Late summer rains have been hitting us hard.

Also, you may have figured this out already but I am a sucker for animals in need.

These two facts collided in such a way as to bring about one of my more unusual rescues. A creek runs around our house, and one of my deepest pleasures is taking a pair of binoculars and wading through the water. Birds, snakes, crayfish – I love ’em all! But my unexpected rescue was after a bout of flooding. I couldn’t go into the creek, which was running too high for safety, so I contented myself with walking next to it. When I reached the end of my path, I turned up a dirt road to head home. Numerous puddles cut through the gravel. I sidestepped one only to see movement within. A fish had somehow gotten trapped. Now, this may not seem too unusual, given our proximity to a creek. But this particular puddle was UPHILL, nowhere near the creek proper, and at least a quarter mile from any tributary! The sun was coming out, and puddles that had seemed huge were disappearing fast. Soon the finned one would be high and dry.

little puddle   little fish

The fish eyed me suspiciously when I returned with a mason jar. It was surprisingly easy to catch him; after the first few attempts at eluding me he seemed to give up. I hiked back home, to the main creek. I paused only long enough to take a few pictures, and released him gently into the water.

almost home

It makes no difference in the big scheme of things, I know, but that one little act of kindness sure felt nice.

A Box Full of Puppies

Another off-birding topic – My sweetie and I were headed for a run on a remote hilly trail. When we pulled into the parking lot, I slowed down to look at an incongruous box. A black puppy lay outside of it, head on paws. When Keith asked, “What the hell is that?” I replied, “I think it’s a box full of puppies.” Because I could see one more nose peeking out through a square cut into the side. Sure enough, when he got out to investigate, puppies exploded everywhere!. We had to corral them back inside, the little black female being the hardest to catch. We delayed our run to take them back home. We only had cat food, and they fell upon it like a school of piranhas. A huge bowl of water was attacked in the same fashion. These kids were starving, and yet very afraid of us. blackie

My first calls to local rescue groups were in vain. Being the height of summer, everyone was full of puppies and kittens. All of the County shelters were at capacity, and would likely have no patience for half-feral, wormy-and fleabit- pups. Even the local no-kill shelter had me make an appointment to “see if they were adoptable”. Over and over again they asked if they had any pit bull in them.

puppies5  puppies4

Thankfully, I have a friend who works the rescue circuit. An organization that told me they had no foster parents miraculously had a home open up. The pups were taken to Critter Cavalry, where they will receive health and mental care. Although some of the puppies responded exuberantly to our attempts at love, there were a few that still seemed terrified. I gave as much of a donation as I could. But if you are able, every little bit helps!


Karma… it’s a bitch.. or three! There are also 3 boys 😉

If you are interested in adoption or donation, please check out

We are not set up for a puppy right now, or I would have kept the little blonde girl with a slight squint. She was the first to realize that we, as people, didn’t suck. Even little Blackie had a tail wag for us at the end.

All of our pets are rescues.