Posted by: bunnyterry | February 7, 2010

Canadian River

Under the Canadian River Bridge January 2010

A couple of weeks ago, on a chilly and windy Saturday afternoon, Dave and I drove out to take pictures for my “24 miles from Logan to San Jon” idea for a post.  I wasn’t particularly pleased with the universe that afternoon – what I really wanted to do that weekend was drive to Cimarron and spend the night at the St. James Hotel and wander around the cemetery there and do the walking tour and maybe try to talk the management into letting me do some copywriting for their non-existent website.   I wanted a weekend away from home but a weekend in New Mexico before I had to fly to New York for market, and Dave had very simply said, “I really don’t want to go to Cimarron.”   I always get my way with him – he is truly the best boyfriend I’ve ever had, especially in the sense that he just goes along with the nuttiest of my ideas for entertainment and never picks a fight with me when I’m being unreasonable.   But that weekend when I had my mouth set just right for an overnight in Cimarron, he said, “How about if we do that some other time?”

And even though I’m 49 years old and should know how to be still and be grateful for what’s in front of me, I had to spend about two hours silently pouting and wondering if he had decided he didn’t like me nearly as well as I thought.   I had all those silly girl thoughts that we have whether we’re 15 or 52 when our men don’t act as totally attentive as we believe we deserve, and when he suggested that we go out and aimlessly drive somewhere and take pictures, I agreed almost out of spite.   It was cold and miserable, and by God, I was going to go along although I was pretty sure he would rather stay in and watch Wolverine or something equally mindless while he recovered from the tail end of cold he’d been nursing all week.

View of Logan from the Anniston Cemetery

But when we got on the road to San Jon, he knew exactly what I wanted to do, although I didn’t know it myself, and we first went to the Anniston Cemetery (see previous post) and took a raft of great photos and walked through every row of graves looking for familiar last names, and then we headed back to town.   He stopped at every single place in the road where I wanted a photo of something in the distance, and even in the middle of the Revelto Creek bridge so that I could take a picture of a view I see almost every day.   We could have been mowed down by a semi coming down the road, but he risked it for my insistence on being able to get that view on this blog.

This isn’t really a post about my fabulous boyfriend, although he deserves a medal for putting up with me most days.  It’s a blog about how sometimes the thing you really wanted wasn’t what you needed at all.   When we got to the Canadian River Bridge, where I also wanted a photo for my blog readers, he didn’t simply stop on the edge of the bridge so that we could take a picture from the road.   He drove down the road on the east side of the bridge and stopped under the bridge, and then, even though we hadn’t discussed it, we got out and went for a walk.   

This is a bridge many of us cross daily.   It is the only route out of Logan heading south.   I think one of the coolest things about Logan is that it sits on a bluff overlooking the Canadian River.   Okay, maybe not “overlooking” the river in the same sense of towns like Huck Finn’s Hannibal, Missouri, on the Mississippi, but Logan is at the top of the bluff after you cross the river, and I think the view of the river coming or going is beautiful.   What I had forgotten was how beautiful the view is under the bridge and down on the river.   It’s one of those scenic places on the edge of town that we seldom visit.

 I have great memories of tubing the Canadian on hot summer afternoons when the Ute Lake spillway was running over and the river was high.   We’d park a vehicle in the same place where Dave and I parked and then another vehicle, usually the back of a pickup, would be our ride to just below the waterfall behind the spillway.   Most people don’t know that waterfall exists, mainly because it isn’t there until the spillway is running over.  

Ute Lake Spillway - climbing up for a wild ride!

We’d put in just below the waterfall and ride our intertubes (sometimes it took all afternoon to locate just enough tire tubes for eight or ten of us and get them patched and aired up) all the way to the bridge, three or four miles, and then we’d climb out of the river to the back of another pickup and go again.   It was such an event when the spillway ran over – there were often five or ten years between occurrences – and it is one of my great memories, riding the Canadian River in those crazy tubes with my friends. 

So Dave and I found ourselves in the bottom of the Canadian River canyon under the bridge, and we walked between the salt cedars and the water, which was actually quite deep for just being seepage from the dam.   There was no wind, and we followed dozens of deer tracks in and out of the cattails. It was peaceful and he was patient and I was exuberant and we had a wonderful couple of hours in a place that has been there all along.   We just needed to slow down and see it.   We didn’t need to drive two and a half hours to have an adventure.   It was right there at the edge of town waiting for us.



  1. I love reading this, especially right now when I am particularly homesick and dreading 75 minutes in a lecture hall. You make me feel like I am there and remind me why I am so thankful that Logan, Ute Lake and the Canadian River are home to me. It is a place you can’t understand until you are from there. It is magical and calm and welcoming. It’s not just another small town, well at least its not to me. (Thanks for makin me live ther mom.) BUT next time you even think about drivin two and a half hours for an adventure, just tack on another 20-30 and come to Albuquerque instead! (Theres no Frontier in Cimarron)

  2. […] stable.  The spark of remembrance (Of Things Past I will not quote) was a blog about the Canadian River, by blogger I Love New Mexico.  When I saw the photographs of that desert river, dry-as-a-bone landscape of eastern New Mexico […]

  3. Okay, you gotta go to my blog and read “Leroy and Alibates (The Notes) that developed from your “Canadian River.” Your third photo from the top of this post jingled my memory. Great piece on a river I identify with a lot.

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