In Defense of Living in the Sage

an off-grid home just south of Taos

And so you see, it all depends

Put me in a house out here, it’s go to hell, you friggin’ butterflies, I’m watching eagles here! And that’s not all, oh no. The Rio Grande Gorge is in the distance, but the canyon of the Rio Pueblo lies just out of sight below. Could be bears and mountain lions prowling by to look for bighorn sheep or elk, shamans riding UFOs up out of secret caves… And at night, what would you NOT see in the heavens?

People also shoot machine guns out there somewhere—yes, I’ve heard them—so there’s that, I guess. These places are pretty much unsuited for a “normal” life, at any rate: exposed to wind and storms, rotten Internet, no mail delivery, and so on. Make your own electricity, catch water from the roof. Half an hour from the supermarket, yada-yada. But once you’ve seen it, been there, awakened to total silence in the morning—even if living by a stargate drove you mad and you ran screaming to Dubuque, how could you not keep coming back to get another jolt?!

Speaking for myself, I know.

(And still I miss the green, green grass.)

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John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

  • Sunday Tidwell February 27, 2013, 8:27 PM

    For a moment I thought you’d be seeing a check in the mail from Taos Chamber of Commerce, but then I saw the follow-up post with the trailer house and pickup.

    Have you seen a “real” yew-eff-oh yet?

    • JHF February 27, 2013, 8:56 PM

      I don’t know why I post that stuff. Gotta take this up a notch. Too much of a rut!

      Haven’t seen a UFO myself, but you might want to read some Christopher O’Brien books (Mysterious Valley & the newer ones). Have you been to Crestone, CO by any chance? Seen the Blanca Massif at Fort Garland? Those places are so damn spooky, a UFO sighting would be a relief.

      • Sunday Tidwell February 27, 2013, 9:16 PM

        Haven’t been to Crestone or Fort Garland, CO. My grandparents ranched near Deer Trail, CO, and in the late 1970s some of their cattle were mysteriously mutilated in open pastures.
        In 2008, Don came home from the rig one night and said he’d seen a UFO. It was large and had colorful, strobing lights on it. This was near Lueders, northeast of Abilene. He said other vehicles were pulled over so the drivers could take in the phantom. I doubted him a bit. But the next night, there it was on CNN, just as he had described. The footage was shot near Stephenville, which is maybe 80 – 100 miles from us.

        • JHF February 27, 2013, 9:25 PM

          Damn, I’m envious!

          Shoot.

          Cattle mutilations, eh? Between here and the San Luis Valley is something of a hotspot. Most of them supposedly go unreported, recorded as losses from predators or disease to make things easier. I obviously have no real knowledge about this, but that’s why people put flying saucer stickers on what I call the “wild cow” road signs.

  • Kaye February 27, 2013, 8:29 PM

    Funny you should mention running screaming to Dubuque! Done that! But I am always glad to run home to Wisconsin, where things are just as green. Would love to see Taos though. Sometime before I die! Thanks for all your pictures & insights!

    • JHF February 27, 2013, 9:10 PM

      Glad you like the pictures! Yes,Dubuque. I love the drama of the bluffs and river there. Good town.

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