Indian School is an east- west Albuquerque boulevard that ends at the Embudo Canyon Open Space at the far east side of the city..
The parking lot, at the roads end, is the beginning of a city Open Space area that moves into the Cibola National Forest Wilderness. The nature walks and trails, at the cities edge, open at seven each morning and close at seven each evening. If you are bold, you can hike back as far as you want into the wilderness and camp out all night under the stars.
Along our normal hike, Alex and I pass Apache Plumes, cactus, mesquite, juniper trees,jagged granite boulders with lichen holding to them tenaciously, rugged mountains laughing when we stop to catch a breath and catch our bearings. Along the trail is also a huge city deep water well enclosed by a chain link fence and guarded by government signs showing statutes that warn bad things happen to those who trespass.Wildlife has hidden itself but you see signs they are close by and paying attention to our progress as much as we are.
Other hikers are out, and, as we pass them on the trail, we all say our hellos cheerfully. Nature lovers are glad to be out even if seeing humans is not what we come to the foothills for.
By the time Alex and I finish our route,more parking spaces have opened up and the lot is looking empty like it should.
It is funny, to me, to see signs putting Open and Close times on the Wilderness and metal gates locked to keep people out at night.
Starting my car and heading home, I’m very sure no one that lives out here gives a damn about our human time tables.
Wilderness time and people time use different watches.