I enjoyed a fantastic 3rd of July cookout yesterday. Many fun and fascinating folks were in attendance, and once the wind and rain blew through, the weather was just about what one would want for the occasion. A fine event all around.
The party took place on a bluff overlooking Lamy, New Mexico , and just a stone’s throw from a mysterious structure deep in one of the neighboring ravines, and which is just barely visible from surrounding hilltops. So I joined two adventuresome Scotts on a trek to find the entrance to a lost subterranean city site.
That’s right. We had our very own adventure JUST LIKE THE GOONIES.
Well, no, not just like the Goonies. For one thing, we found no pirate treasure. And there were no boobytraps. Or, if there were, they were old and out of commission by the time we stumbled upon them.
Our leader and spirit guide was Scott “I take my coffee with a shot of rattler venom on the side” Denning, ably assisted by Scott “sasquatch hunter” Phillips. As for me, I provided comic relief. Mostly by virtue of my hat. (What can I say? I burn easily. And hey, if the hat was good enough for Australia, it’s easily good enough for an afternoon in the New Mexico sun.)
We spent the first ten or fifteen minutes of our trek tumbling scrambling falling climbing down from the clifftop into a rocky ravine. Once near the bottom, we were able to follow the winding path of an arroyo past lengths of discarded narrow-gauge rail and hints of a long-disused roadbed. And eventually the trek paid off (twisted ankles, sandals full of sand, and everything) when we encountered this long-lost ziggurat:
Like characters in an H. Rider Haggard novel, had we stumbled upon the remains of a lost great ancient civilization? Had we traveled to the very heart of unexplored New Mexico?
It certainly felt like it, until we found this sign on just outside the entrance:
Of course! The fabled Lamy Lime Works! After all this time, it turned out the legends were true all along. I’m sure you can imagine the riches we found! That’s why I can’t be too specific about the location of our find, or even our point of departure. Otherwise the site would be overrrun with treasure seekers who would rob the site of every last chunk of broken limestone and flake of century-old charcoal. After all, who hasn’t heard fabulous tales of the legendary limestone smelters of New Mexico?
The leader of our expedition was the first to climb inside the lime kiln. But he came out just as quickly, sporting this rictus of demonic bloodlust:
Apparently the kiln had long been home to an imprisoned demon or djinn. But once Scott D. took one for the team, his possession cleared the way for me and the other Scott to investigate the kiln. This is the view from inside, looking up:
(Notice Scott D peering down at us. He flew up the chimney like something out of The Exorcist. It was scary.) Later, during out mad scramble leisurely climb back up to the party, we paused at the top of the kiln:
where we enjoyed a nice view:
(Photos courtesty of Scott “four-star general in the KISS army” Phillips.)