When errands in town ran long, when the road was wet or the creeks were up form
afternoon thunderstorms, or when we‘d lingered over the dinnertable at the Whites’
ranch, the last ten miles of dirt road to Nana’s ran through the blackness of night lit only
by our headlights. The only other houses within a good many miles were at Campana, up
the narrow canyon of Atarque Creek. Above the loom of familiar mesas, the sky was the
deepest vlue velvet, or black behind brilliant stars, or full of moonlight, or the darkest of
black thunderheads with sheet lightning flashing between them. Lying sleepily on the
back seat of somebody’s sedan, I watched the enfolding skyline of caprock and
occasional cottonwoods and junipers.
The cattleguard below the point of Alamosa rattled as we turned in to the Home Pasture
and in another half mile we could see a light at Dog Canyon – in the bunkhouse if Gail
hadn’t gone to bed, or in the house if somebody was waiting for us. About three minutes
later we could hear the dogs’ welcome – sharp terrier yaps from little Tramp, and deep
hollow “ah-oooof, ah-oooof” from Otto the bloodhound. We were home and all was well.
By Linda Decker