New Mexico and Colorado usually get along just fine. In fact, the two states share ownership of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, which runs between Chama, New Mexico, and Antonito, Colorado, and which many of the attendees of the Alamosa conference enjoyed riding.
However, a rivalry has developed over who has the best chile (or chili).
Tired of northern New Mexico’s cold and windy spring weather, on March 11 Barb and I, and our wonder-dog Zoe, headed south in Thor, our 24-foot motor home. Since our plan was to spend at least three or four weeks in New Mexico’s southern (and warmer) state parks, our first stop was at state park headquarters in Santa Fe to buy an annual camping pass. With pass in hand, we headed down to Brantley Lake State Park, just north of Carlsbad.
After a summer of hanging close to home, Rover, my camper van, begged me to take it camping somewhere, anywhere. Perhaps my restless spirit grew more restless as the aspen on the hills near my house started to change. With kids back in school, the campgrounds wouldn’t be quite as full and insane as during the Covid-19 summer. Time to look for gold in them thar’ hills!
“Generally speaking, our farms are utterly devoid of anything like artistic features. There being no indication of original thought or beauty, much less actual practical utility.” —Benton Steele: Father of “the ideal circular barn”
New Year’s Day, 1985, was a typical winter day in Indiana—cold, wet, and overcast—but the roads were clear. Days like this are wonderful because of the solitude, and in my opinion, these days are the best times to take photographs. On this particular day, a photo excursion took me to Jackson County in southern Indiana. Heading over a small rise on a country road a beautiful white round barn came into view. I stopped, photographed it, and proceeded down the road.
In our last newsletter, I extended a gentle challenge to each of you, asking for photos or articles to let us know what you’ve been up to during the pandemic lockdown. The ink was barely dry on that article when David and I loaded the camper on the truck and took a six-week road trip. We had planned to return to Alaska this summer, but with the Canadian border closed, we chose Idaho and its cooler climes instead. Over those wonderful six weeks, we drove over 8,100 miles, dodged fires and cities, and found hundreds of wild horses to photograph.
This issue of Rocky Mountain Outdoors is chockful of great stuff. First there’s the 2020 contest results, then you can read some fun and interesting stories about what you and your fellow RMOWPers have been up to this year. Click here to read or download the pdf.
I hope that you are all healthy and as happy as possible in these strange times.
It has now been more than half a year since the Coronavirus Pandemic first hit the news and upended our lives, and despite some of the misinformation being distributed on social media, we don’t know how or when this will end.
One of our fountains is losing water. At first we thought we had a crack in the concrete. Curiously, however, some days the water level stayed the same. Other days, the level dropped two to three inches overnight. It was time for some detective work. We set up the game camera and quickly discovered the problem. Our rather large, resident raccoon had quadruplets this spring. The kits are old enough to forage with their mother now. They find the fountain irresistible.