Sunday, June 17, 2012

Travelers' Rest

Some people say that digital devices are getting in the way of interpersonal relations, but I'm inclined to doubt it. Neither E nor I is a great multi-tasker, but we're both up to the modest challenge of enjoying each other's company while looking at a flat panel.

We're just as relaxed as we look, having arrived back in Ruidoso yesterday to smokeless skies and optimistic fire containment reports. The Little Bear blaze is finally living down to its name.

We did have an anxious moment or two on the road into town as we logged onto the nmfireinfo site for the latest. One of the few unchecked items on the doomsday scenario scavenger hunt list we've been working for the past couple of weeks was flood, and it looked like we might get to check that one off yesterday.

There were thunderstorms in the area, which authorities warned could mean flash flooding driven by runoff from the burned areas, now denuded of vegetation. People living in low lying areas along streams below the blackened zones, such as ourselves, were advised they might need to evacuate.

The rains did come, but not in hazardous amounts. The warnings were withdrawn before nightfall, so we unpacked.

Today our worst problem is that we're far enough up the canyon from town that our AT&T wireless phone service doesn't reach. Our landlords didn't bother to provide a router, and it will take us at least a couple of weeks to get the cable company to bring us a box. Helpful neighbors gave us the passwords to theirs, but although our devices claim to connect, the Internet still stiff-arms us.

So we're off the grid except for a feeble pair of Verizon bars on Pam's iPad, unless we come into the village to a coffee shop like I'm doing right now.

In the photo above, E is watching videos of herself on Pam's iPhone, and I'm reading an e-book. I'm not complaining. That's about as much excitement as any of us needs for a while.

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