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Sunday, August 21, 2011

On the way to the corn

Water tank outside of Questa, New Mexico
A mysterious swath of landscape lies in a place that's north of Northern New Mexico and south of Southern Colorado. Some might place it on the fringe of the Taos Plateau, others on the edge of the San Luis Valley. It's an old place, and mostly empty. Here, wild horses have gnawed shrubs to dust; here the harsh white of an abondoned trailer sits juxtaposed against the Blanca Peak, rising out of a haze.

People here keep to themselves, mostly, but their broken dreams scatter the earth for everyone to see.

I passed through here recently on my way to Taos to see the work of Tiwa Farms (more on that later) and to see one of my favorite landscapes in the world. 

Abandoned adobe, Costilla, New Mexico.

The Exceptional Institute, San Luis, Colorado.

The Rio Grande before it enters the Gorge.

Storefront, San Acacio.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Global West

I've been back in the US of A for just over a month now, and the culture shock is waning. Kinda. After spending a year in Berlin, my wife, daughters and I came back for the summer. I'll be sticking around for another nine months, as a Ted Scripps Environmental Journalism Fellow at CU Boulder. I'm super excited about the opportunity; I'll be taking classes, reporting and writing, with a focus on environmental issues in the West.

Which is just what I focused on for several months while still in Berlin: I wrote a monster of a story for High Country News about global economic influences on the extractive industries of the West. It's some crazy stuff. Check out the story, and accompanying infographics here. And starting in mid-August or so, you can follow my musings about the region at the Goat blog at