(Mis)Adventures in Wild New Mexico (Part 2)

After a meal in Cuba, we decide to drive back to Santa Fe by going through the mountains to Los Alamos – a long but very scenic winding route in warmer weather- and uncertain in Winter. In fact, much of it is closed during cold snowy weather. As we drive, the sun is shining, although it is rather cold and windy, and the snow drifts get higher by the mile; we have not passed a single farm or building for at least 10 miles. We reach a cattle guard with a sign warning that there might be difficulties ahead. We stop to consider our options.  At that moment a couple appears on foot from the opposite direction – the woman is extremely pregnant; the man is carrying a very young child; they have a large dog on a leash. They wave their arms at us to tell us their car has gone off a dirt road into the snow about a mile or so down the hill. 

We devise a temporary plan. V. drives in his truck down to the site with the other guy to assess their situation; the woman and her very adorable little daughter and I remain at the turnoff where we are to flag down any other cars/trucks for assistance. Time passes, and we begin to get edgy. Our cell phones don’t work up here. There is no traffic. Finally a truck with two guys and three huge black labs stops – they say “No problem, we have a winch and shovels.” Off they go.


We wait. Nothing.

Another ½ hour passes when aSubaru 4WD station wagon comes along with an elderly couple in it; they stop; we tell them the problem; the man says he’ll go check it out and will report back to us. Great.

We wait. Nothing.

And it is getting colder and cloudy now. The sun has disappeared.

The child is screaming.

A long wait, & then a guy driving an open flatbed truck full of hay bales pulls up. He says he’ll check it out.

More waiting.


Finally, after another eternity, V. appears in his truck and has a very serious look on his face. All the vehicles have driven in over ½ mile; V.’s  truck and the hay bale truck have had to back out; the other two vehicles have gone off the road into the snow banks in their attempts to help. Everyone has been helping get everyone else out. But it has not been a success. And the snow is getting softer. Will people have to wait till night till the temperature drops?

We pile into V’s truck and barrel down the hill to the site.

About 3 hours later & everyone has backed out. It has been a real ordeal, tho’ quite a bonding experience. 

The ones having the best time were the 4 dogs–leaping and prancing and pulling on branches and barking.


    Then it was time for everyone to go home.



  1. This is my favorite thread(?). I love these images.

    • Leah Siegel says:

      i am so glad you like them—wish you could see them in person….maybe……………………………

  2. Sara Altherr says:

    Finally got around to looking at your blog. Wonderful stuff. And really glad this trip was successful! Gorgeous photos, with a hint of danger & risk.

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