So Much to Write Home About!!!

Well, I’ve been at Heron Lake almost three weeks, and have so much to report, so I think I’ll do it in installments. Hopefully, the next camping site will offer more phone and air card access.

The NM LoW group, the Roadrunners, had a campout here over last weekend, so I had some time to socialize and do things with others for a few days. We took in Chama and some of the shops and restaurants in the area. On Monday, some of the group rode the Cumbres & Toltec RR and had lunch on the trip. I didn’t go with them.

Instead, as I had some business to mail off, I went to the Tierra Amarilla P.O., just a little south of the junction at Highway 64 and the road to the lake. I had heard on the radio that a new coffee house had opened in Tierra Amarilla, so I took a short drive into the little town, that is also the county seat of Rio Arriba county. Next to the court house is a renovated, updated historic building, now known at the Three Ravens Coffee House.

The owner, Paul Namkung, opened the coffee house on Monday, and was offering free coffee until Wednesday. He is a former social worker, and a drum maker. He also plays a washtub base on occasion. He has lived in the building for 10 years, and has gradually been able to complete the rehabilitation through sales from his drums. The coffee is pretty good too!

Unfortunately I didn’t take my camera on my visit to the coffee house; but the next day, one of the LoWs wanted to find out about it, so she invited me to ride with her. I took my camera this time, so I have shared some of the visual delights here.

As most of you who know me know, I love architecture, historic preservation, especially adaptive use, and art. It felt so good to be in this environment, and it’s in such an ‘unpredictable’ place.

Another place that felt good is the Tierra Wool building in Los Ojos, where weavers make lovely rugs and other woven goods using wool from the special “churro” sheep – sheep that have four horns. They were almost extinct from being run out by other herds in the past. Now the local people are trying to bring back the weaving economy that used to be here. Some of the wool is spun and hand-dyed using organic plants on site.

Another thing that I’ve been working on, a few days at a time, is a painting on the tire cover on the back of the trailer. Yesterday I finally finished it – I think. I was going to put a medicine wheel there, but in another inspiration, decided on a swan – duh!!! The medicine wheel seemed too complicated.

I’ve also been working on some beads. Two weeks ago I went to the Jicarilla Apache powwow and spent the day. I made a necklace to match some beaded earrings I wanted to wear there. As a powwow, it was pretty normal, and I enjoyed it very much.

I leave on Monday for Navajo Lake, northwest of here. It’s been raining a lot, every day, so I hear that the mosquitoes might be bad there, next to the river. I’ll report on that later, along with some more from Heron Lake.

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