Sunday, June 19, 2016

Top of the World

The view from 10,500 feet. That's the sloping from of San Antonio Mountain some 40 miles distant at the far right.

In the dark of night I repaired to the big corral on FR 87 just past San Antonio Mountain. There I was to meet Andrew Abeyta and ride with him to Cuba’s second camp and follow Cuba and 340 wooly critters to their high camp in the Cruces Basin Wilderness. This endeavor required a 2:45am wake-up call with no shave and breakfast on the road if I was to meet him at 4:30 sharp. By mid-afternoon I was paying the price. Old people aren’t meant to sleep four hours.


I hadn’t been at the corral for more than five minutes when headlights approached from US 285. I jumped in to Andrew’s pick-up and we began the tortuous trip to the Top of the World. This was the missing piece to the whole year of following the annual sheep ranching cycle You may recall that I couldn’t reach the high camp last year because of bridge construction on FR 87.

This is what it looks like at 5:30am when you've had no sleep.

Ready to leave camp two.

Leaving camp two

On the way to the Overlook

Arriving at the Overlook

Victor and Andrew at the Overlook. Those guys make me smile.

It was easy going getting to camp two but from there all bets were off. That is some rutted out mess. Andrew bottomed out at least three times but was able inch his vehicle and trailer out of the crater every time. Guy's a pro.

The journey was rewarded by a camp site they call the Overlook. From Cuba’s aerie is a view over a lush valley with a shimmering blue lake and beyond that mountains separating the Cruces Basin from Highway 64 between Tres Piedras and Tierra Amarilla.

Do I look fat in this picture, Andrew?

2 comments:

Daryl Black said...

Congratulations on completing the annual sheep ranching cycle. 2:45 a.m.? Tinker toys for the likes of Steve "he-man high country photographer of the year". Who is old?

Love the photograph of a man and his dog overlooking the top of the world. Perfect shot for the upcoming book! We can't wait.

Steve Immel said...

Thanks Daryl.The light was crap. I feel lucky I got even one decent one.