We recently had dinner with Brian’s dad and asked him tell the story of how he got the land in the first place. It was not from a television commercial, as we’d originally been told. Apparently back in the early 70s, he was having lunch at a restaurant in Artesia, where he met a sales guy displaying maps of plots of land that had been foreclosed on and were going cheap. Brian’s dad bought a plot and for the next many years, paid the taxes, visited a few times, and eventually gave the land to Brian and me.
We then told him about our quest and our many brushes with danger along the way. As we described the route and showed him the photos of snow-covered pines, he realized that this could not be his plot since the land he bought was right outside of town and covered in homely scrub. And had a different address on the deed.
I checked on Google maps and sure enough, the land is pretty unremarkable, actually matches more closely with my original vision. I’m a little sad that after all our driving we still don’t have an actual photo. But I’m philosophical about it: an adventure is an adventure, and in a world where everything is so easily discoverable, it’s nice to know that there’s still something left to uncover if we choose.