We follow our hiking trail early this morning ,before gnats wake up to bother us, both of us turning and twisting, pushing past granite boulders, cactus, and junipers to take ourselves further up a sandy, small arroyo up into a little canyon in the Sandia mountains.

It is Saturday and most hikers are still not out of bed yet.

Charlie and I follow our small arroyo up into the canyon and finally stop. This is as far as we are going and gnats are are already diving into my ears.

On the way back down, moving more easily than going up,we meet a stranger playing with his miniature, battery powered ATV, a small Suburban that he runs up and over rocks and around obstacles.He holds the Suburban’s controls  loosely in his hands, like a surgeon holding a scalpel, and he turns his body gently to match the direction his vehicle goes.  

” There’s plenty of power with these guys, ” Rigo tells us as he works his controls. ” I can get parts on the internet. ”

” Nothing to them, ” Charlie adds, looking closer at the  engine that is just a battery pack with a computer chip for brains.

” I belong to an off road club, ” Rigo volunteers.  ” We are going to have a national competition here in a couple of weeks. ”

We admire his hobby and then continue our hike back to the parking lot.

What catches my eye,further down the trail, is another enthusiast flying his civilian drone. 

Surveillance and weapons have become a bigger part of our future than I want to admit and the man flying this little baby doesn’t seem in full possession of his wits. Having watched the Jack Ryan series on Netflix has shown me drones in action, the next war weaponry to come to our neighborhoods.

This little hobbyist’s drone is so far up I can hear it but can’t see it. It is still capable of watching me, filming my movements, even if it isn’t fitted to eliminate me in a quick explosion.

This is how rabbits must feel every day of their life.




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