Friday, July 4, 2008


This place does not like cars. Kaet's "beast" has been put permanently out of commission (more because we're scared of it than any actual problem) and Tuesday morning Chaco, a neighbor's dog, chased a squirrel under the hood of Mari's Honda Hybrid and preceded to chew off the license plate and emblem as well as scratch and claw the bumper and hood. Mari only joined us Sunday night and a busted car is not what you want on your mind when you have an 8 hour day out in the field ahead of you. I went into town with her instead of out to the field to figure it out. Stopped at Michael's while she made the necessary phone calls and got the most amazing chocolate cream cheese croissant. Eventually she talked to Chaco's owners and they easily agreed to pay the damages. It's still going to take some time and brain power to get it to the shop and fixed and all. Bummer.

Heading back a few days ... 

Saturday was a half day of work and Jeff's 20th Birthday. Sam, Albert, Christian and Tessa came out to visit. It was so great to see them! We went to the Gorge Bridge and the Earthship visitors center. We've decided we want to build and live in an Earthship palace. Albert's in charge of finding the land. They had to get back to Santa Fe so they couldn't stay for the birthday feast and hot spring jaunt. We made a surprisingly yummy gluten and dairy free cake and went to the hot springs they used in Easy Rider. They're more like luke-warm springs, but it was pretty idylilic. We walked down in the dark and some locals had built a fire. The sky was perfectly clear and the fire flys were out in record numbers (which for this area isn't tons, but enough). I was the only one who kept jumping in and out of the river to keep the springs feeling toasty. Lakeside has trained me to think this is the only way. I think it is.

Sunday was our "day off" and we slept in (until 8:30). Jim, a friend of Bob's who lives on the other side of the highway in Arroyo Hondo took us out on his land. There was an amazing concentration of lithics and pottery and an old pit house that apparently someone had preliminarily excavated a while ago. Jim is a member of the only non-native Katsina society in the world and is trained in putting on sweat lodges. He invited us to one on Saturday. We might go. It would certainly be a trip. He is a wonderful guy and has a very friendly way about him. He took us up to some rock art and gave his interpretation and while anglo appropriation and all that he was completely genuine. He has a silent thoughtfulness about him that's a nice change from some of the pontificating the goes on around here. After our field trip with Jim we came back and made a huge brunch feast. 

In the afternoon Anand, Kaet and I headed out to Santa Fe. Anand had to catch an early flight monday morning and I wanted to visit the clan at Tessa's so it worked out perfectly. Icing on the cake came with the revelation that Megafaun was also playing a little show that very night. We had a beautiful drive through a monsoon. Amazing downpour and thunder and lightning. Cranked the music and made a real road trip out of what became a little over 2 hour drive. Some snaffos (or "faffs") finding Tessa's, getting food, finding the show, but we made it in the end. The show was at this guy's house who hosts bands for free. Santa Fe is a little lacking in a deep music scene it seems. In any event it was the perfect intimate venue for their music and I was beyond thrilled to see the boys and their bearded little faces. Post-show we all went back to Tessa's to hang out and were greeted with fireworks from the roof! Tessa's dad has a beautiful place on a hill and we watched the lights of Santa Fe from the patio. So funny to have gathered such a group so far from all our native states. Because of our numbers crashing at Tessa's was out. So, the two chorts (Anand and Kaet) and I relied on the hospitality of Phil, Brad, and Joe and laid ourselves out on the floor of their hotel room. We had to get up at five to get Anand to the airport shuttle (only slightly brutal) which gave us plenty of time to grab grub and head out to meet up with everyone in the field. "Showers" in the Rio Grande are the only way to make it through the day.

Monsoon season has begun here and the clouds roll over the perfectly clear sky every afternoon at about three. The light is, if it's possible, even more incredibly in the early evening after the storm passes. It leaves little bits of clouds here and there that make the sunsets absolutely heart breaking. I had started to take the views here for granted, but driving back to New Buffalo every day we hit the highest point on the highway in just the right spot to see the whole Rio Grande rift valley and the gorge at the perfect time of day. One of these days I'll stop and take a picture. It may be that I'm particularly focused on the looks of things as I took my first real shower in four days, but I think that this may be one of those places that is never just so-so, but always breath-taking. Lindsey's impeccable taste in music helps keep us awake on the ride in in the mornings, but the drowsy carful in the afternoon perks up only on this curve.

Tomorrow is the fourth of July and we'll be working a full day I imagine. A few of the towns around here put on parades and parties and since we'll be taking Saturday off I think we'll try and celebrate somehow. Talk of putting on a BBQ here for the guys may manifest in more than talk, we'll see. 

Crotch splits in the middle of the day in the middle of nowhere (dun du duh)

$11 replacement jeans from WalMart 

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