San Cristobal, New Mexico (2000)

San Cristobal scene, bumper used as fencepost

Early spring, 2000

Iconic, isn’t it? To me, this says it all. When we moved from our comfortable old farmhouse on the Eastern Shore of Maryland to the mountain village of San Cristobal north of Taos in 1999, the shock was overwhelming. No, we hadn’t been there before—just to Taos, and only very briefly—nor had we actually investigated Taos County very much or even made hard plans. The new millennium was a factor, but nothing concrete or rational had a role. It was very much the grandest notion taken up on faith, the craziest, scariest, most expensive, dangerous, emotionally disruptive thing I’ve ever done. I don’t think about it much in those terms now. More like what most folks call history, but I was there.

In those days the Internet was strictly minimal bandwidth. Graphics-heavy websites like YouTube didn’t exist, nor did Zillow or Blogging was in its infancy. There wasn’t any way to explore a distant locale online the way you’d do today. We just did it, in other words. My god. In Maryland the farmers spent time and money to mow the thick green grass between the highway and the the cornfields like it was a fancy lawn. In New Mexico they bridged a gap between two fenceposts with a bumper from an old dead car.

  • Marti Fenton February 15, 2016, 2:08 PM

    Ahhh! 2000, the big millennium change. I got my first computer in 1998 and it came without instructions because the people in Santa Fe where I bought it assumed I would know the basics. But the exploration had all the excitement of setting out into an unexplored land on your own. Email was personal. Sometimes it would be several days without email. The sound of the modem dialing is still clear in my memory. I printed everything, because I could. Inkjet printers were more expensive then, but the ink cartridges were much larger. Then manufacturers learned that the real money was in the cartridges. Websites had low resolution graphics because of the slow upload time. In a few months I learned some html and began designing a website for a friend and then myself. Wow! What an adventure. I felt the way I did running away from home as a five year old to see unknown places. There was such trust on the internet. It was a smart, helpful world of people who wanted to share info. I had that first computer for a year before I learned that the anti-virus software that came with my it had never been installed. The predators were still rare back then. Our grandkids could never imagine a world without YouTube and Google. Your photo makes time disappear. I’ll wager that place looks the same now.

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