“The book American Gods wishes it was.” --Despina Durand

Monday, July 22, 2013


We rented a place in Truchas, New Mexico, not far from Chimayó. The hills play hell with cell and TV reception. It would be a good place to to hide out from the authorities; just pay cash, keep moving from town to town. I kept expecting to see Edward Snowden.

They said that the peak we could see out the front window was a favorite of Georgia O'Keefe's. I saw what looked like a lot of hawks circling in front of it. When I looked closer, they turned out to be vultures.

Em and I took a walk through Truchas, which we had never done before. The main street was narrow, and snaked through the jagged hills. There were art galleries, studios, and businesses dead and alive. 

A graffitioid Quetzalcoatl was sprayed on a wall around the corner from an epic mural with anti-war, and UFO motifs – and somebody's mom. There was also what was either a mural of Jesus, or a portrait of some local guy. 

Buildings and ancient and modern buckled, and crumbled, cracks revealing adobe under fractured stucco. Funky style mingled with outback decay. A mushroom cloud of a storm dropped hard rain past distant hills. New Mexico style roadside graveyards were decorated with colorful artifical flowers. Some of the headstones were old: 1985-1915-ish. The dogs were laid back, a few lazy barks got the job done here.

Better put the rock in my pocket so they don't think I'm getting ready to break a window,” said Em.

After raining all night, mist pooled in the valley, then burned off early.

Once again we rode the Atomic City Transit Shuttle to Bandelier National Monument where we wondered at the Max Ernst-ian fairy castles, and were rained on as we saw petroglyphs around the cliff dwellings, and datura flowers watching over us.


The next day, on the way to Alberquerque, a peacock strutted by the side of the road, and clouds made a distant mountain look like a hovering island.

At the ABQ Biopark/Botanic Gardens/Aquarium we saw garden trains, dragonflies, butterflies, jellyfish, and a less than maneating-sized alligator gar.

Back in Truchas, cows were running loose in the street. Nobody seemed concerned. A rooster crowed – it was late afternoon.

While shopping in Española, we saw sikhs in the stores and parking lots.

In the wi-fi garden of Wired? Cafe in Taos, Em experienced Buddha envy.

We didn't find any great deals on Buddhas, but the Camino Real Imports and Gift Shop was having a JESUS SALE. We didn't find many Jesuses, but there were calaveras galore, Guadalupe Virgins, and other colorful manifestations of a peyote-enriched Catholic heaven.

And what can be more American than visiting buffalo on the Fourth of July? Okay, North American Bison, dammit! There was no sign of the mountain lions and bears that we were warned about. We did see a yak,too, though.

Meanwhile, there was a record-breaking, blizzard-like hailstorm in Santa Rosa. Meteorologists said it was nothing unusual.

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