Today we visited the Resumidero Campground off Forest Road 93 in the Santa Fe National Forest. I remember from my days as a plumber in El Paso that sumidero is the Spanish word for drain. (I was the only native speaker of English among the fifteen employees of United Plumbing, so I quickly added plumbing terms to my Spanish vocabulary). I don’t know what adding‘re’ as a prefix does to sumidero, but Aggie Villanueva says it means sink hole.
Aggie lives in Regina (pronounced rre-hee -nah in New Mexico, and be sure to roll that first ‘r’), a collection of cabins and houses in the forest above Cuba. She shares her cabin with three dogs, and a mouse has taken up residency in her pick-up. All of them seem quite content. Aggie is an author and artist, attracted to New Mexico like so many others by the dry air, clean-scented forests, and magnificent vistas. I urge you to take a look at her fantastic photography at http://www.aggievillanueva.com.
Aggie was married at the Resumidero Campground. The marriage didn’t last, but her love for the area has endured, and she took us to see waterfalls, rock formations, beaver dams, and high alpine meadows in the Land of Enchantment. Our picnic on a Forest Service table was joined by a chipmunk who devoured two big leaves of romaine lettuce and several grapes. There were also birds, butterflies, and bees. In a break with tradition, there were no ants.
Tomorrow we head south for a signing in Las Cruces, but we have enough time for a stopover in Engle, a small village most people – even New Mexicans - have never heard of. I’ll tell you tomorrow why we want to go there.