The Great Chile War

Hatch, NM logo. chile.
This says it all! (Logo for Hatch, NM)

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).

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Laines Thrown out of New Mexico State Park!

By Don Laine

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. 

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Autumn Splendor

Text & photos by Maryann Gaug ©2020

Dallas Divide, Colorado, fall color
Autumn Splendor at Dallas Divide © Maryann Gaug

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!

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The Round Barns of Indiana

Text & photos by John T. Hanou

“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”

Menno S. Yoder's 1908 Brown Swiss Dairy Twelve-Sided Barn, Shipshewana, IN. John T. Hanou
Menno S. Yoder’s 1908 Brown Swiss Dairy Twelve-Sided Barn, Shipshewana, Indiana. © John T. Hanou, 2018

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.

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Hello RMOWP Family!

White Sands National Park; sunset
Sunset from White Sands National Park © 2009 William Horton

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.

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We Have a Cecil…

By Don Laine

A Cecil, according to RMOWP’s own photographer Jack Olson, is a sunrise or sunset photo named in honor of Academy Award-winning producer Cecil B. DeMille (1881-1959), whose Biblical films featured characters such as Moses atop a mountain, arms raised to the fiery sky. You don’t capture Cecils very often, Jack tells us. They must be special in one way or another, a spectacular show in the sky, reminiscent of DeMille’s epic films.

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2020 RMOWP Conference Cancelled

By President Virginia Parker Staat

With heavy hearts and a unanimous decision, RMOWP’s Board of Directors, Conference Committee, and staff have voted to cancel our 2020 conference scheduled in Alamogordo, New Mexico, from October 5-8. RMOWP has held annual conferences since 1974. This is the first time we have cancelled. Due to COVID-19 concerns, however, we face tremendous uncertainty about our ability to provide a safe and positive experience for participants. Your health and safety are our utmost concern.

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Pie Lady of Pie Town Calls it Quits

By Don & Barbara Laine

New Mexico has lost an institution.

Pie-O-Neer cafe in Pie Town, NM
The Pie-O-Neer was a popular spot. © Kelly Gatlin

The Pie-O-Neer Pie Bar in Pie Town, New Mexico, has closed after more than 20 years in business, a victim of the Coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made by owner Kathy Knapp, according to an article in the Socorro, New Mexico, newspaper “El Defensor Chieftain.” She told the newspaper that she opened the pie shop for the season this year on Pi Day (March 14), but because of the pandemic closed the next day. More on Pi Day below.

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Fog Light in Antarctica

By Ian King

You’re going to Antarctica, what many refer to as the “seventh continent,” as if it’s a collector’s item accrediting them with significant prestige in a time of global travel. But the first two days of your trek are not particularly auspicious. You’ve spent them forging a labored trail through the infamous Drake Passage, rolling from side to side in the heaving swell of the Southern Ocean, the forbidding gateway to this “last and final continent.”

fog in Antarctica, icebergs, moody
Iceberg ghost ships emerge as the fog lifts. © Ian King
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