Monday, May 31, 2010

Las Vegas, Hummingbird and Beyond.....

Greetings! We've been spending the Memorial Day weekend here in Las Vegas, New Mexico with our dear friends the Ruge Family. Some readers may remember that we spent more than a week on the Ruge Ranch in March, taking care of the horses and dog while this charming family of four went skiing. Their kindness is endless, and being here after winter has loosened its grip and the warmth of spring has arrived is blissful. Our son Rene and daughter-in-law Bevin came along for an overnight, and the Memorial Day feasting on Saturday was legendary. (And Mary even got to ride a horse completely on her own!)

On our way to the Ruge Ranch, the four of us stopped at the Montezuma Hot Springs just outside of Las Vegas. These hot springs are basically the ruins of a former resort which is now kept up by volunteers and is across the road from Armand Hammer's United World College. Rene and I managed to swim in the icy river and then dip ourselves into the hottest spring which is approximately 113 degrees Fahrenheit.....not for the faint of heart! Mary later caved and did the same but only after immersion in the the other springs which were a more balmy 105 or so. It was a great way to relax after the long drive from Taos over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. 

Yesterday, we borrowed our hosts' Prius and drove an hour north to Hummingbird Ranch, an intentional community that we visited over the winter when we passed through northern New Mexico the last time. Our return to Hummingbird had the specific purpose of joining in the celebrations as our friends Ryan and Mandy ended their two-year and six-thousand mile bicycle trip around the country in search of an intentional community to call home. (Sound somewhat familiar?) 

After visiting 100 communities, Mandy and Ryan have decided to live at Hummingbird, and their arrival was a festive event replete with a film crew (they are making a movie about their journey), music, costumes, and a gaggle of Hummingbird residents and visitors who created a homecoming unlike any other. The intrepid cyclists and communitarians had no idea that such a party was planned, and they arrived with tears of joy, getting off of their bikes to kiss the ground and receive a plethora of hugs. 

We met Ryan and Mandy when they visited the Sirius Community in Shutesbury, Massachusetts last September, and their quest for community inspired us as we prepared for our own journey. They have been instrumental in our adventure by sharing connections and contacts at key communities, and we are so thrilled that we will be relatively nearby for at least the next few months. We do not believe it's a coincidence that we've all chosen intentional communities here in northern New Mexico, and the intertwining of our journeys is a sweet synchronicity.

Today, our young friend Cassidy took us on our first official bird-watching adventure at the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge. We "only" observed about 30 species of birds (chicken-feed according to Cassidy) but we were happy to play with scopes and binoculars while taking in the view and learning from our highly intelligent guide.

Tomorrow, we will, alas, leave the Ruge Ranch and complete our own journey (or at least this portion of it) as we arrive to The Commons on the Alameda. While our arrival will be much more low-key and under the radar, we have no doubt that the folks at The Commons will be as kind and welcoming as they were when we passed through during five snowy days this past winter. There will be much to reflect on once we've landed and unpacked our humble belongings into a home that has no wheels. We will, no doubt, share some of that joyous and perhaps challenging process with you. Meanwhile, Tina looks forward to it the most and we will be sure to honor her loyal companionship with a special blog featuring  the old gal, traveler extraordinaire. Now, off to tell her the good news!

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