Hillsboro, New Mexico, seemed like the perfect town for a holiday RV getaway – small, quiet, and photogenic. And, as I was to learn, its best quality may be its people.
Hillsboro RV Park is a charming park along Percha Creek. I ended up staying three days. On our first morning walk Cassie, my rescue mutt, and I went by the Post Office and I read the notes on the bulletin board: upcoming concert, lost keys in the cemetery, help wanted, accordion for sale, free cow manure, and other important topics. Then past the cafe and up to the courthouse ruins.
I like taking photos in cemeteries, so we headed up the hill – the cemetery overlooks the valley. The heavy gate was closed so I climbed through and Cassie went under. The plots are dry and overgrown with grasses and a few mesquite bushes. We meandered through all sections of the cemetery. Most photos I took with my ‘real’ camera and a few with the phone camera. Spent over an hour there. Came back down the hill and took a few more photos at the museum yard. And took the creek trail to the RV park.
After I was back 10 minutes I couldn’t find my phone. Looked everywhere in the RV. Thought maybe I had used it last at the museum so I retraced my path and found nothing. I was going to have to climb back up the hill to the cemetery. Cassie was delighted with this prospect; me, not so much. The most likely place to have lost it was at the main gate when I clambered through. But no, it wasn’t there.
I tried to reconstruct my wanderings through the graves to look at every path I took. Finally, I got back to the one place I knew I had taken a phone camera shot. Still no sighting. Then turned around and walked back. Suddenly I saw some shiny flash of color – not phone, but keys! Probably the keys that the bulletin board alerted me to. I pocketed the keys and headed back down the hill. In this holiday season, the only place in town that was open was the post office. I handed the clerk the keys and the notice taken from the board. She said she would call. I left a note with her about my phone saying I was staying at the RV park.
Walked back to the RV. My neighbor, Charles, asked if I found the phone. No, but I found someone’s keys. He said to see Kristen, the park owner, because she knows the woman who lost them. Turns out the woman had stayed at the park over Thanksgiving.
I went to the post office to get the keys – Kristen would return them. When I got back, she was talking to a man in a car and called out to me. “He found your phone.” He left before I could do anything except shout ‘thank you.’ He found the phone at the gate and took it to the post office – the only place in town that was open.
I love Hillsboro.