We’re waiting on the rain here in northeastern New Mexico. Quay County has had some sporadic, crazy storms recently – the Collins Ranch 16 miles east of here got six inches of rain a couple of nights ago, while my house got a tenth of an inch. We’re mostly dry, dry, and dry again. . .which means that Ute Lake is daily losing water to evaporation. We want another six inch rain, but somewhere up the Ute Creek so that the lake will start filling up again.
Waiting on the rain and talking about going on the lake got us to talking about how we used to ride the spillway in intertubes when the lake would overflow. It was like a holiday, like Christmas in July, and the entire community would gather below the spillway to watch us ride the tubes, or to fish in the ankle to knee deep waters on the concrete apron below the spillway.
We’d take our cameras below the spillway down to the waterfalls that fed into the Canadian River – it was breathtaking, all that water in one place.
And when we were done riding the spillway or daring one another to walk under the waterfall, we’d load up someone’s pickup with the same intertubes and ride the Canadian River from just below the waterfall to the bridge near town. Big fun. A chance to get completely free of all the adults and ride the lazy river. Robin was remembering yesterday the time we somehow got our high school hands on a cooler of Heineken and drank beer for the two hours it took to get to the bridge. Big fun, and there was only one place we had to get out of the water and cross a fence. Cattle watched us from the banks of the Canadian River, and in the days before sunscreen, we all spent that night on cool sheets with severe sunburns.
We’re waiting on the rain in northeastern New Mexico. Everyone’s favorite phrase now is “Well, at least we’re one day closer to when it’s actually going to rain.” But what we’re secretly praying for in my neck of the woods is big rain, rain enough to fill the lake again and run it over the spillway. We want to see the water run wild over the spillway and down to the waterfall emptying into the Canadan River. We’re praying for just one more summer of big fun and a case of Heineken. Cross your fingers for us. . .