Desertphile or Bust….


David Rice is the kind of guy you’d like to have as a friend. He knows how to fix almost anything. He’s inventive. He’s friendly. His knowledge of the universe is limitless. He’s a good storyteller and he can make wine out of frozen grape juice. I don’t know if he can walk on water but my guess is that he can. What more can you ask of a friend?

Ohh…and David has hosted the annual Fennboree for the past two years. That’s where I met him, at the first Fennboree on the Gallina Canyon Ranch where he works. The ranch is about a million light years away from civilization and that’s it’s stock in trade. If you’re searching for an absolutely drop-dead beautiful place to get away from the world, The Gallina Canyon Ranch is your cup of tea.

David Rice aka Desertphile

David Rice aka Desertphile

What David does in this slice of New Mexico heaven is just about everything. He is caretaker, ranch hand, cow poke, web guru, wine maker and advisor. David also adds a couple hundred feet of character to the place. He is an original.

You might know David better by his screen name, Desertphile. And while we’re talking about him, let’s get back to the Fennboree. This is the reason I’d like to salute David. For the past two years he has organized a camporee type event open to all who want to make the trek. Last year he staged it at a campground on the Chama River. Cynthia was there, took pics and submitted a report on this blog for those who could not go.

The year before, Bill submitted a report with pics from the very first Fennboree held out on the Gallina Canyon Ranch. A sensational setting.

For me, and for others who have attended. The Fennboree provides a rare opportunity for searchers to get together, have fun, exchange ideas, talk chest finding and all things Forrest Fenn. As if that isn’t enough he organizes activities and builds a Fenn Shrine…all in the name of fun. At the first event we even had a spring fed swimming pool that David engineered and built.

Is David a searcher, you ask. You bet your booties he is and if you were to ask David he will tell you in no uncertain terms that he plans to find that chest. So if you like characters, here is a video of David, shot by David.

I told you he was a character!



33 thoughts on “Desertphile or Bust….

  1. I don’t think he should up grade the tequila at all… seems to be working just fine. Don’t ya just want to try some of his wine?

  2. Totally awesome when is this years and where? I cannot probably afford to go but who knows and will be there in spirit!! Love Desert Phil and Dal all seekers are wonderful explorers in my book. Need to get Forrest to come and give a talk and tell tall tales by the campfire. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.. Lots of love and admiration; Ms. Girl (STILL IN THE CHASE) See all of you in the funny papers!!

  3. Lucky for me Desertphile doesn’t look like a gunslinger, I may have been trespassing back in 2013, mainly just along their dirt road, never got close enough to see any out buildings.
    I rode my bicycle over the one lane cement bridge that crosses the Chama. To be fair there is a partially marked trail that heads west/ northwest I vaguely remember. Some day I will go back and hike the trail starting from Echo rock picnic site, over to the river. I’d like to see the inside of the Monastery as well.

    • Wikipedia has an interesting tale “In the spring of 1861 a group of settlers from Iowa were farming in northern New Mexico when they were set upon by a band of Navajo who had ventured into the region. The settlers (one family was the Zendalters and another family was the Treblers) were taken to the top of the amphitheater and executed. Their blood spilled into the amphitheater, staining its walls. Three years later, when the Navajo were being forced on the “Long Walk” to Bosque Redondo by the U.S. Army, ten Navajo men were killed at the top of the amphitheater in retribution for the earlier deaths. Once again, blood spilled down the walls of the amphitheater. The blood seeped into the pores of the rock and dried and supposedly is still visible today. It is said that in the echoes returned from the cliff’s walls one can hear the anguished cries of the dead.”

        • So Michael, are you are saying you’re receptive to “figurative” clues?

          quote…. “Figurative language can take multiple forms such as simile or metaphor. Merriam-Webster’s Encyclopedia Of Literature says that figurative language can be classified in five categories: resemblance or relationship, emphasis or understatement, figures of sound, verbal games, and errors”

          So hopefully, yeah maybe there’s a connection between Echo Amphitheater & ‘hear me all and listen good’ and it’s good to hear I’m not the only crazy one.
          Being that it is just off the road, that spot is a nice stand-alone site, problem is there’s practically 1 or 2 Amphitheaters w/ bench-seating in every Nat’l Park; YNP, GNP, etc.

          How do you feel about Fenn’s line…’done it tired now I’m week’ any chance this could be a play on used tires? Living in NM you must be aware of the community of ‘off-the-grid’ homes in the Taos area built from used tires, specifically Used Tires. There’s even a bed & breakfast.
          Mull it over.

  4. David, Do you plan to attend Forrest’s book-signing event at La Fonda in Santa Fe next Monday the 14th? I found a cool “treasure” today while searching for the main treasure in the mountains/canyons near Taos. I will give it to you if you show…otherwise I will probably make Dal take it home to his little island. cynthia

  5. Begin at Canyon Lake and take it down Farley Creek. (climb down)
    Put in below Fox Lake near left (nigh left of an animal)
    Don’t go up Russell Creek (your creek = Osborne Russell)

    In the wilderness, is wet, 500ft from the camp site. All lines up

  6. David, can’t wait to watch it again. On my lousy connection it would pause every 3 seconds. And was quite enjoyable, loved your enthusiastic facial expressions. DP strikes again!

  7. Thanks for this great article regarding Desertphile. I love that video! Gallina Canyon Ranch looks beautiful. I must visit Gallina Canyon Ranch someday. I used to be a wrangler at Ghost Ranch (I took guests on horseback trail rides, and I shoveled horse manure – shoveling horse manure is my speciality). Next week, I plan to travel to New Mexico, search for the Treasure, and say “hi” to friends at Ghost Ranch.

    Desertphile, may I come and say “hi” to you at Gallina Canyon Ranch? Does Gallina Canyon Ranch have horse manure that needs to be shoveled – I can work for a few hours, when I visit you.

  8. “I don’t know if he can walk on water but my guess is that he can.”

    Yes, Dal; worship me. As offerings for my devise largess, you may toss at me $10s and $20s. I also accept Euros.

    P.S. You are making me blush. Please keep it up.

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