Cienega Creek

We are on our way back from a retreat in Cascabel:
We have some time on our hands and I figure that it’s a good time to cruise the old Marsh Station Road. Once again, I’ll look for one of the coolest wash canyons that I have ever seen, a secret treasure that I lost the map for, maybe 40 years ago.
After passing through a barbed wire fence and walking across a desert field of private land, there were a string of mesquite trees. After they matured, digging their roots deep for water, the wash became deeply eroded. The roots of mesquite gather bark when exposed. The result is a corridor of an upside down forest of root. It is dark and mysterious, other worldly.
I remember that it was across a field near where the historic railway bridge crosses the creek. We would park next to the old bridge at one point, but memory and change in terrain have made the place disappear.
I pull into what is now a parking lot for entry to La Ciénega Creek Preserve. I eat a sandwich and relax and stretch from my drive. I stand working on memories, wondering where I have misplaced the hidden gorge.

It is 5pm on a Tuesday. There is enough time before sunset to explore the Cienega Nature Preserve. It isn’t a terrifically big spot, not a hike and more like a large city park. The large riparian trees are looking up at me, beckoning with their shade and sense of natural harmony.
I don’t frequent this place. It is easy to get to and therefore popular, making secluded naturism iffy. Today, might work, but I haven’t been in these parts for many years. We saw water down there. I …

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