25 October 2012

Geography Still Matters.

An interesting special "sense of place" report from The Economist has just been published.

The report covers the synergy between our growing use of computers (mostly in the form of mobile devices) and suggests that, even in our hyper-connected digital age, the physical realm still matters.

Indeed, rumors of the "death of distance" have been highly exaggerated, even as the virtual and the physical realms are increasingly intertwined. 

23 October 2012

Highlights of old New Mexico

A prose poem.

Chicago to Denver. A rough flight over The Plains. On the road South and up and over. Felix falling over the Highway of Legends, the Santa Fe Trail. The Sangre de Cristo range and the Rio Grande valley to the high desert hideaway of Taos, New Mexico.

Sage and pinon, green chili, tequila & lime. Beautiful views, wide open sky, kiva fires. Chimney Smoke. Ristras. Talavera. The Gorge.

A land of mixed race, religion, deep history and conflict and peace. Spanish until 1821. Then Mexico. USA since 1912. Centennial!

Of the conquered and conquistadors, occupied by Pueblo people never displaced. A land of inspiration and art. Neverending contradictions and characters. Stories on every turn.

Down the High Road under the sun: Truchas, Chimayo, Espanola to La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís: Santa Fe. Paseo de Peralta to Old Pecos Trail, Old Santa Fe Trail, Old Las Vegas Highway and into the hills. An adobe home awaiting under the shadow of Shaggy Peak. The most southerly named peak of the Rocky Mountains. With a warm hearth and open hearts.

National Forests Carson and Cibola.  A four-mile loop into the Santa Fe above Hyde State Park. Magic. Aspen gold among poderosa green.

Best read for history buffs: Blood and Thunder: The epic story of Kit Carson and the conquest of the American West.

Discovering sights and sounds, a flavor fandango. Tomasita's, Kowboyz, Collected Works, Parts Unknown, Goler, Double Take, Lucchese. The low ceiling Palace of Governors and high arches of St. Francis Cathedral, the Farmer's Market. La Fonda, where the coffee was not very good. High-end Art has taken over. But the real pulse of independence still courses through the Place, the Ancient Spirit. I felt it.

Highway 14, The Turquoise Trail, to San Marcos Cafe & Feed Store, Madrid and The Mine Shaft Tavern. Boots, boots, everywhere.

A controlled burn on the Jemez Mountains left a smoke stream haze for many miles floating south.

Dusty, dry Albuquerque. The Lobos running UNM. Nob Hill. Old Town. Sandia Peak. Sunset. The last day.

Leaving. Heading north. Weaving back up to Chimayo and one last taste of Taos. Then Angel Fire, Eagles Nest, and the swaying switchback of Cimarron Canyon. Where the Mountains meet the Plains.

Pronghorn, elk, bison dot the land. Raton and interstate to Trinidad. Bella Luna Pizzaria - the only happening place in town. Darkness descending, Pueblo, Colorado Springs into Aurora and DIA.

Another flight and home again to the Midwest rain. A week of New Mexican exposure has done a mind and body good.

The memories... a pull to return.

A door that's always open.