"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Back roads journal, New Mexico-I

NM 392--Eastern Quay County, north of Endee.
You find yourself on backroads, windows down, wide open spaces, scarce traffic and guardrails,  sometimes without centerlines, straight stretches to far horizons, or lots of curves, gravel, big skies, cattle guards, abandoned buildings, stacks of firewood. Small details. Quiet, except for the cry of magpies, ravens. Deer beside the road. Buzzards soaring on updrafts. Dramatic geology. Obscure state highways. 
Roads and journeys for solitude, for thinking, for imagination. Where you can see all the way from the past to the future. Take a trip with me, down William Least Heat Moon's "Blue Highways," or Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road." Shhh.
I love wide open spaces, but also the roads that twist and curve, like the sign on NM 120, coming up out of the Canadian River canyon in Mora County. Life is much more interesting, wondering what is ahead.
What's ahead? More to see, more to wonder.
Down the Canadian canyon east of Roy toward the NM 120 bridge  that separates Harding and Mora counties, as the river makes its way toward Oklahoma. Bug spots on the windshield.

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