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 Realtor.com. 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.