el Norte

Crazy Wild & Busted

Lobo Peak

SAN CRISTOBAL, TAOS COUNTY, SUMMER OF ’99

“Welcome to the valley,” Ricky Medina said when we signed up for a post office box. We had no idea what we were getting into. At that time, San Cristobal had the only legal water system in the entire United States that operated without a treatment facility: just pure water piped into a small number [...]

Dead Calm

Taos Plateau

The Mountains Do Not Care

The wind was roaring at 45 to 50 mph across the plateau late May a year ago. It wasn’t cold so much as flensing, as the truck door flew out of my grip in search of bones to break. That kind of wind. I reached the spot you see above by driving west of town, [...]

Nearer Than I Have Ever Been

San Antonio Mountain in snow

San Antonio Mountain, 10,908 ft of free-standing volcanic peak 42.5 miles away.

This is your secret message. Read it, wad it up, chew it well, and swallow. No need to tell you to forget you ever saw this, because you will. Maybe down the road, something will trigger an association. A synapse or two will fire, and you will find a thing you never had before. My [...]

Tunnel

Costilla, NM

Costilla, NM

He awakened in spider webs with husks of dead moths and beetles in his hair. Yellowed newspaper pages lay about the floor and his clothes were grimed with dust. What may have been a squirrel was in the corner in what sunlight made it through the window as the clouds of autumn gathered in the [...]

Adobe Hell with Honey

window scene

Free from the chains of the skyway?

Sometimes I think I invented this life so I could write about it. Once I had the thought that everything that ever happened to me was “like holy fire raining down,” and all I ever had to do was tell the world. That was in the bathtub on the second floor on Still Pond Road [...]

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