…We visited this location during a weekday when no other folks were (originally) within 20 miles of this section of the wilderness study area. Standing at the top of the Mesa, you can see Arizona, Colorado, and the Sandia Mountains to the far, far east. It was while standing here and admiring the view, we heard calls. Like signal calls, along with some brief drums and a horn. They were carried on the wind, and would die down to sub-audible levels when the wind slacked….
…Remember how I said to be respectful of the locals? Surrounding this area are the indigenous Laguna, some Acoma, and those granted access by the Spanish King via blessing way before this region became a US territory (or state). If you fail to be respectful to land or the people, there are whispers that if you touch/drink/interact with the waters, they will judge your soul and deal with you appropriately. The edges of the cut away cliffs on this Mesa church “bleed” (iron deposits) when the shrine isn’t cared for….
We hiked a few short trails, but our older big dog was NOT having it. He was usually quite curious, and loved hiking in the desert. He stayed up that night as well. Sleepless and annoyed that my dog was being soo wigged out, I awoke in the early morning hours to watch the sun rise. As I opened the door to the camper, I opened it to the expansive view of the El Malpais, and saw large grey/black canine type figures rushing across the main road. They were running away from me, and I was less scared and more curious. They looked like REALLY BIG coyotes. Thinking nothing of it, I started to cook breakfast and set down to share my eggs and steak with the dogs. Suddenly, we heard a group of coyotes howling at the edge of the canyon. It sounded like 30 of them. With that, again, my big dog dropped his piece of bacon, crawled into the camper, brining his leash and all the desert dust in with him. But then we heard something else. We heard the same thing we heard in Lobo Canyon, the loud, long, deep howl that didn’t sound like it belonged to any known creature. Now both my dogs were trembling, our older dog actually peed on the camper, and my husband was DONE. He decided we were going to try to find a “less weird” place to camp out.
….The night security guard gave us the keys to the abandoned county jail just up the street. (!!!) A group of us trekked up the road in the dark as it began to snow lightly. The jail was just a small stone hut with perhaps 8 cells lined up down a short hall. It looked about like you’d expect. Pitch dark, silent, spiderwebs everywhere. We went into a cell with the other ghost hunters and the leader asked us to close the door and just be silent for a few. I sat down on a metal bench in the cell to make room for everyone. As we sat there, I began to feel a creeping sadness. I kind of just ignored it … but then I really started to feel it. It was just an awful, pure sadness. No anger, no anxiety, just a horrible “I miss my mom” kind of sadness….