June 9, 2011 at 9:54 AM
...we don’t know exactly where we are headed or what to expect.
By Susie Morgan
Hoof Prints in Santa Fe
Susie Morgan is a lifetime lover of horses, the outdoors and lives for adventures. She lives in Las Campanas, and is reconnecting with horses after working 27 years in New York City.
When this Beatles tune was released 44 years ago, I was barely a teenager. I could not have possibly envisioned myself today on horseback in Copper Canyon, Abiquiu. My husband Ron turned 64 a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t get that song out of my head.
Hauling up to Abiquiu, we stop at Bode’s General Store and Café for sandwiches and water before reaching Copper Canyon. Bode’s is worth the drive from Santa Fe just for a visit to this interesting and neighborly market, cafe and general supplies store.
Copper Canyon is one of the most geologically diverse areas in New Mexico. We are following directions provided by someone who has ridden this before, but we don’t know exactly where we are headed or what to expect. We get off to a later start than intended, so it is already warm.
Eight miles long in total, the arroyo is sandy and simple for the first few miles, and then becomes more technical. About every mile up the wash, the arroyo walls change color, textures and rock formations. The striations in the rocks evidence the changes that occurred over time. We pass a smaller feeder arroyo and wonder if we should explore in that direction, but decide to stay in the main wash.
There are few spoken words as we ride and gaze up the arroyo walls. The walls and rocks are going through more color changes than a Chinese fighting fish. Turning around, the colors change again with the angle of the sun.
Five of us rode about 3 ½ hours total, yet never reached the end. So we have another adventure to look forward to another Sunday morning. “…who could ask for more?” And I still can’t get that song out of my head.