I graduated from College in 1979 with a Bachelors Degree in Recreation Admin with an Outdoor emphasis. My first real job was with the Santa Clarita Valley Boys and Girls Club in Newhall, CA. I ran a County funded program, taking troubled teens into the wilderness to teach them survival skills and I started a community outdoor ed program called ECO HAWK that was run through the Clubhouses.
Into my 2nd year I received a brochure about a conference being sponsored by Outward Bound. Location: Glorieta, New Mexico. I had no idea where this was but I wanted to go. My boss agreed to pay for the conference but I had to pay for transportation and lodging. A round-trip train ticket was do-able. I found out that the train dropped you off at the Lamy, New Mexico station and a van would be sent to pick you up. They had a campground on the conference grounds so I borrowed a tent from a friend and packed up my backpack.
I left in the late afternoon from Union Station in LA. Seventeen hours later, l arrived at Lamy, New Mexico.
There was nothing around but this very small adobe building. No cars. Very few people. But I remember the air was incredibly crisp and smelled of earth and a scent I later learned was from the chamisa bush. I just kept breathing it in.
I was there for about 30 minutes when a train coming from the East pulled in and several people got off, a couple had backpacks like myself. A van finally arrived and we loaded up for the 30 minute trip to Glorieta. I was just in awe. I would get glimpses of red earth between pines and the sky was SO BLUE !!
The conference ran for 3 days. That day I arrived I became acquainted with a New York gal and she and I hitched a ride to the nearest convenience store for something for supper as neither of us paid for extra meals and we were both on a budget. A woman picked us up and shared some insights into the area. She said it was very common for the first snow fall to occur at this time and she was right. That next morning we woke up to a light snow covering the ground and the celebration of dancing and playing was just a natural response!
I was so full of this whole experience, I have no recollection of the train ride back to LA. When I finally moved to New Mexico I had the opportunity to return to Glorieta. My first impressions came back to me so clearly and yes indeed, you had me at Lamy…