Jim had an ulterior motive for selecting this route as he wanted to check out the old "ice pond" area in the Gallinas River -- his mother had told him stories of the times she went skating on that pond as a child. This pond was not only used for recreational purposes but really was the source of blocks of ice that were cut for use at the Montezuma Castle resort back in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
While we were in the canyon I was pleasantly surprised to discover this bluff above the pond area. Anyone who has read Tierra Red will be familiar with the setting of Guy Boardman's Willow Creek Ranch and how strongly he stated that everything echoed off the bluff at the rear of the ranch. Let me tell you, he was right! Although Willow Creek Ranch was fiction, every dog's bark and every vehicle that drove through Gallinas Canyon last Sunday did indeed echo off this bluff. You would have enjoyed seeing the huge grin on my face knowing that I described it correctly.
Montezuma Castle is always a stunning sight to behold, even after all these years. The United World College dwells there now and keeps the Castle in wonderful repair. Imagine, over one hundred years later and the Castle still seems magical when one drives around the curve of a road and it suddenly appears in the middle of the forest. Just as captivating as it was the afternoon that Lily and Roman fell in love . . . .
Back in Las Vegas we were pleased to find that the facade of both the Plaza Hotel and the Ilfeld Building next door have been masterfully restored. In fact, the Plaza Hotel ownership bought the Ilfeld Building and made a lovely ballroom on the first floor, then expanded it's room count by adding more hotel rooms on the upper two floors. I rather think Lily would have approved of this arrangement heartily.
So, you may well ask, just where did all those cars come from and where are the horses and carriages? Can't tell that I am working once again in 1900 . . . .