Real New Mexico Stuff

horses on a road in Taos, NM

I’ve seen people walk their dogs like this

Those horses aren’t going to move themselves, so I guess that’s why they’re tied to a truck. We don’t mess around down here. The man looking at me over the horse’s butt is a neighbor. You can’t see, but he’s leading three or four more, with a loose colt running alongside. His father is driving the truck. Safer for him than holding onto the rope himself, I’ll bet. Now this is a lot of fun.

Be that as it may, the awful trash we saw on top of U.S. Hill on NM 518 some twenty minutes later wasn’t. What kind of animals are we? (Surely not as worthy as the ones above.) There used to be a nice sign at the lookout. The place looks grim now, battered, wrecked. Mountain bluebirds on the fence posts down the road, household garbage scattered in the grass… By the way, someone spray-painted over the sign and map at Taos Valley Overlook, where I go hiking all the time. Beautiful New Mexico, so fine it makes you want to beat somebody with a two-by-four.

April snow tomorrow night. Maybe a couple inches on the beer cans and the ponderosa pines on 518, less down here in Taos on the horses’ backs…

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “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.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Rhodesian April 13, 2014, 1:34 AM

    Sadly, the human condition has left its mark even in the remotest of places on this planet of ours.
    Even space and the moon itself are not exempt.

    We who are so advanced, so civilised, who eat with knives and forks, sleep in comfortable beds in even more comfortable houses and crap in a flushing toilet can take a leaf out of the books of the most primitive tribes in the world when it comes to looking after the planet which looks after us.

  • Bob April 13, 2014, 10:17 AM

    I tell myself these people are too poor to pay for trash service or to go to the dump. Deeper inside I think they’re the scum of the earth with no consideration for anyone but themselves. Trash dumps trash.
    Enormous rocks along one of my favorite fishing stretches of river have been used as a canvas by some urban artist. I see sofas and refrigerators, big black bags of who knows what, along four-wheel drive roads. God help them if we should chance to meet, that two by four will be coming out.

    • JHF April 13, 2014, 10:34 AM

      I was too shell-shocked to take a picture of what I saw, but maybe I’ll go back. It was sickening. Someone I know reported couches and chairs dumped along a nearby Forest Service road.

      There’s something to the poverty angle, I suppose, but every place I’ve ever lived has been polluted by local wretches. It’s not like gangs come in from out of town and dump their kitchen garbage. Back in MD, there was a beautiful creek not far from where we lived that boasted a refrigerator and a couple of stoves. Of course, back there green things grew so fast, they covered up a lot.

      Painting over a trail map where dozens of people hike every week was vandalism (and could endanger lives). So is dumping trash. The spot on U.S. Hill is probably used by kids who have no pride. I just don’t understand it. I would never even toss a cough drop wrapper out the window. I simply couldn’t. It goes against my own religion. When I wander off the trail to pee, I even cover up my tracks. The outdoors is a temple. I respect it.

  • jane smith bopp wiscott April 13, 2014, 1:03 PM

    Hey Johnny, glad to hear from you. Keep in touch. Yes you are right some people don’t have any couth a bout trash. Me and me only. I see it in my neighborhood. Of course these people only rent the property. We need pride in this nation. Consider others.

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