top of page

Somewhere in New Mexico

When I woke this morning there was snow on the mountain tops, both the Little Hatchet and her big brother to the south. It wasn’t there yesterday. A winter storm warming for elevations greater than 7,000 feet – and here I thought it was spring already.

We arrived just in time to ride and then sequester before the wind moved in fiercely. Down a red dirt road and toward the ghost town of Old Hatchita – or perhaps Eureka – depending on your version of history or that of the books or the locals. Adobe and rock walls stand in various states of disrepair and holes left behind from years of mining dot the landscape. Some marked, others not so much.

It strikes me how open the land is, how solid the roads, and how strong the energy. Desert grass shifts to and fro with each gust and the ghosts of the past whisper in my ear. But it pleases me and I ride silently around each dilapidated wall until the wind and the voices are too great and I must stop inside an old shelter and take a moment of cover.

But the wind has brough the cold and rain, so its job is now done and I like this place regardless - wind or not.

In the morning there is mud and more mud. Everything is wet and cold and a nearby stack of old lumber serves as a makeshift deck off the trailer door. My boots are caked and likely in need of replacing. It was about time anyway.

Border Patrol stops by. Cameras show a lone hiker to the south. Riding, I see three serape blankets and two discarded backpacks over a 2-3 square mile distance. Trailing’s of some who crossed before shed along the way.

There is only one store in nearby Hachita. A small grungy place with coffee and bare necessities. I spoke to two hikers there yesterday as they set off toward Crazy Cook Monument to catch the Continental Divide and climb from Mexico to Canada. I wonder how long it will take them to make it back to me here outside of Old Hachita, where the trail exits the bootheel of New Mexico and moves toward Lordsburg and the mountains to the north.

The dog stands barking at me, ball at my feet. I don’t know where I’m going tomorrow. Perhaps it’s fitting - camping here along the Continental Divide - that I do not know my direction. My next stop. Really it is not unlike the water as it decides which way to flow.

And suddenly the wind has ceased, as if we sat beneath the shadow of some giant mythological beast this entire time, flapping his wings and hovering then suddenly moving off into nothing and there is silence. Not the silence of my well thought plans but an unexpected silence one cannot make much sense of either way.

And in this moment I know it is time to go.


bottom of page