So, as I was saying, this is the end of a story. It begins with Little Gen and I deciding to continue a Fall tradition of sorts, begun by our father, of going to the mountains for apple cider. The Manzanos, in particular, mountains conveniently named ‘apples’ in Spanish. We like to keep things simple here in New Mexico.
And so, semi-early on a Monday morning, we set out, two sun-dried tomato tortilla wraps and plenty of water in tow. In keeping with family tradition, we did not call ahead to ensure the availability of apple cider so as not to ‘ruin’ the adventure. Little Gen offered this encouraging admonition: "Sometimes we find it, sometimes we don't."
About an hour later, we found ourselves on a stretch of road heading south, passing signs for the mountain towns of Chilili, Torreon, and Mountainair. But we knew we’d found the right trail when these signs began to appear every hundred feet or so, directing us right to the very place where the manzanos are turned into cider.
The good news: we found the the place. The bad news: it was open Thursday through Sunday only. Our hopes only mildly suppressed, we took a picture with the sign, and turned around. Our treasure hunt was not fruitless, however. Right after we turned back, we spotted two deer, a doe and buck, in the brush on the side of the road. Also, we passed this intriguing sign for a book sale with no books in sight for miles.
Still imagining the taste of sweet cider from the source, we stopped at a local service station advertising cider. But inside, no cider was to be found. Determined, we stopped again at a small general store with signs for local cider. Inside, we found only cherry or raspberry flavored cider. Is it too much to ask for a normal quart of cider! Apparently it is. Getting a little desperate by this point, we paid for some cherry and left. Note: I’m pretty sure the cherry was well on it’s way to hard cider.
And, so, the story ends here, a few miles from our apartment, at our beloved Sunflower Market, where we finally purchased a gallon of apple cider in the refrigerated foods section. And where was said cider from? Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Unbelievable. This story was not as exciting as you’d anticipated? Well, join the club.
In other news, today was the last day of Balloon Fiesta, or the Balloon Fiasco, as I heard some photographers from the local paper call it. I bribed Little Gen with Starbucks to get up at 6am to go find a nice viewing spot for the mass ascension of hot air balloons. It was everything Balloon Fiesta should be....miserably cold, wrinkled winter coats just pulled from the closet, and glorious fire-lifted orbs ascending into the desert sky. The only thing missing from our location were hoards of people. But I think I prefer yesterday when one lone balloon silently sailed down the street, a half block from my apartment. Turns out, sometimes the adventure comes to you.