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  • hardie karges 3:42 pm on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Agua Prieta, , , ,   

    La Frontera: Arizona/Sonora, a Wall Runs Through it 

    Great Wall of Arizona

    Great Wall of Arizona

    The border used to be a happy place, the US border with Mexico, that is. This was Geography 499 for most Americans, the Big Trip to that wild wacky “whole other country” that lay just south of a line dividing us from ourselves, for the most part. There are no shortage of ethnic ‘Mexicans’ within US borders, after all, and no shortage of ‘Caucasians’ on the other. Most people don’t realize that national borders are a relatively recent phenomenon. Ancient times—the turn of last century—had none, only spheres of influence, and taxes. History is all about ethnic mixing. The twentieth century is all about ethnic ‘cleansing’.

    But the border used to be lively and weird (it was only south of there that things got ‘normal’). Teenagers could drink at eighteen years old. Boys could shop for switchblades and Clint Eastwood ponchos. Girls could shop for cheap perfume and velvet Elvises. Women could shop for kitsch and kitchenware. Men could shop for tequila and women’s pelvises. There was something for everyone. Best of all: it was cheap. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:53 pm on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Most entertaining! Did you finally find something to eat? You are a hoot – and I like it.

    • Donna Catterick 4:27 pm on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Very observant and very well written. I look forward to the next installment!

    • Traveling Ted 7:18 pm on October 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Reminds me of the poem, “Mending Wall,” by Frost. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall. Entertaining story and reflections.

  • hardie karges 2:59 pm on October 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Bisbee, Douglas AZ, , , Nogales   

    Southeastern #Arizona: Borderlands and not-so-Badlands 

    My Digs in Bisbee: rustic chic

    My Digs in Bisbee: rustic chic

    When I think about ‘God’s Country’ I generally think of Oregon, or New Zealand, or southern Chile, or Mongolia, i.e. wide-open spaces, with water… and mountains, generally more god-like to me than beaches, beaches too easy too sexy too many excuses to take your clothes off, while mountains are not only higher, so closer to God, theoretically, but also cooler, so more heavenly by that very fact…

    Heaven, by definition, is ‘up there.’ Hell is ‘down there’ somewhere. So is Arizona, but that doesn’t mean it’s Hellish. Arizona is in fact one of the nation’s more mountainous states. But upper Arizona is not limited to Flagstaff, and southern Arizona can be as nice, if not nicer, for views and hues, at least in the southeast corner up near the Continental Divide. This area is not desert BTW, though certainly not a rainforest; but it’s green. I think ‘God’s Country’ is supposed to be green… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 10:16 pm on October 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I am not used to reading such profound and descriptive comments – not cut and dried like our local news!
      You are never boring!

  • hardie karges 12:51 am on October 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Deming, Hurley, la Mesilla, Las Cruces, Lordsburg, , , Texas   

    Borderlands, New Mexico: C U in El Paso, Pablo Picasso… 

    Arts district in El Paso, TX

    Arts district in El Paso, TX

    What difference does a line on a map make? In El Paso it means a lot, not only La Linea with Mexico, but even that smaller line with neighboring state New Mexico, El Paso itself something of a historical anomaly, part of a cartographical peninsula jutting into the then-frontier, with historical ties to Texas, not with whatever would come (much) later, i.e. New Mexico and Arizona.

    Fact is: El Paso lies almost due south of Albuquerque, so when the clouds and rain roll in, I roll south. The skies clear, and the temps warm up, almost on cue.

    But even though less than 300 miles from Albuquerque, and only slightly more to Tucson, AZ, this is still Texas, and I find myself slipping inadvertently into a southern accent, y’all. But it’s almost twice that far to the nearest Texas city of that size or larger, San Antonio, and even more to Dallas. It’s 852 miles to Beaumont, as the crow flies, on the other side of the state, down I-10. There’s only one problem: crows don’t fly down I-10. They take the I-20 turn-off to Dallas. Guess they don’t want to fly too close to the sun. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 4:40 am on October 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      My bedtime reading again – enjoyed to the fullest – putting it mildly. You are a master of the English language.

    • hardie karges 4:51 am on October 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      And you are a master of flattery, Esther…

  • hardie karges 1:56 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Chihuahua, Ciudad Juarez, , El Paso, , Palomas, Tarahumara   

    La Frontera, Part I: the Line that Divides Us Can Unite Us 

    Raramuri' lady in Palomas, Chihuahua

    Raramuri’ lady in Palomas, Chihuahua

    The first time I left the US was right here, at El Paso, in 1974, crossing the bridge across the Rio Grande (okay, so not so Grande right here), and into Ciudad Juarez. It seemed like the weirdest place in the world. Now I know why—it is.

    Juarez was pretty much a sea of brothels at the time, it being 1974 and all, with the ‘Sexual Revolution’ in full swing, Denver at the time not so different, in all honesty. But that wasn’t the attraction. The attraction was the life! In the streets! I loved it, and ended up spending several days here, albeit resting my bones on the American side of the line every night (and yes, I had at least one drink thrown at me by a prostitute for ‘just looking’). The rest is history. I’ve since been to more than 150 countries. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 2:50 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I saw you mention Terri Zebert – and we have not had an update today. Lots or prayers are going up for her.
      Be careful there – all reports are scary from that part of the world.

    • Esther Fabbricante 2:54 am on October 13, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I sent a reply earlier but don’t know if it went through. We are so worried about Terri Zebert.
      Be careful in that area of the world – where reports are scary – we don’t want anything to happen to you.

  • hardie karges 1:24 am on October 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Galisteo, , Las Vegas NM, Madrid NM   

    Viva Las Vegas! New Mexico, that is, #Madrid and #Galisteo, too… 

    Historic Plaza and Hotel in Las Vegas, NM

    Historic Plaza and Hotel in Las Vegas, NM

    (February 20, 1992) The weather is dreary as I leave Flagstaff, headed for Denver; isn’t it always in February? Since living in Flagstaff the Weather Channel has become my main TV station, and since the World Wide Web won’t hit the public consciousness for another year, hit the streets in another five and become de rigueur in ten, thennnnn… that’s the best I can do. I can’t live in the future, unfortunately. It’s difficult; I’ve tried. But I’m not the first person who’s misjudged the weather in Flagstaff—small consolation.

    The weather deteriorates rapidly when I turn off I-40 on to I-25 going north at Albuquerque. It doesn’t help that the sun is getting low in the sky, either. I’m wishing now I’d gotten away before noon. Such are the travails of the self-employed trabajolico. It’s still a long ways to Raton Pass, near the Colorado state line. I’m starting to have my doubts that I’ll make it, much less arrive in Denver by midnight, a respectable hour. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 5:16 am on October 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      This was my bedtime read and I read every word – and really enjoyed it.

  • hardie karges 1:23 am on October 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Flagstaff, Gallup, , Kingman, , Williams, Winslow   

    Indian Country: Arizona Highways, Arizona Highlands 

    Route 66:The Mother Road

    Route 66 in Winslow, Arizona:The Mother Road

    Think of Arizona and you don’t usually think of mountains—more like deserts, or canyons at best—but there they are, topping out at 12,637ft/3852m near Flagstaff, and that’s not the only one. Flagstaff itself sits higher than half that, high and lonely, something that’s come as a surprise to more than one motorist stranded in a snowstorm there, and a boon to the hospitality industry. It’s better than being stranded there in jail—I hear.

    Leave LA 9:45 a.m., gonna’ tow my rental car at 10 if I don’t, (only time I can find a parking place in LA is in the run-up to street cleaning), perfect timing, freeways clear by then, click on Google Drive and set co-ordinates to Flagstaff, no sweat, get the 101 to I-10 east past San Bernardino, then I-15 to Barstow, where it fades out, temporary no-man’s land until you stumble on to I-40 east, miss my last gasp for cheap gas there at Montara Road, make a note, shoulda’ known since I used to drive the route religiously back in my previous life as a itinerant salesman of trinkets and unrequited desires… (More …)

  • hardie karges 3:07 pm on September 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Show Low, Snowflake,   

    ABQ to Tucson: Arizona Highways, Arizona Canyons 

    Salt River Canyon

    Salt River Canyon

    West of Albuquerque doesn’t look much different from Pueblo country north and south of Albuquerque, this being Pueblo country, too, though a bit higher and dryer, without the Rio Grande’s famous little trickle southwards. First comes Laguna Pueblo, then Acoma, then Zuni, hop-skipping-and-jumping over to/from the Hopi mesas where time stands still and continuous settlement goes back to times immemorial…

    But right around Gallup is where the Navajo ‘Rez’ begins, one giant emporium for rugs, turquoise and silver, just like Flagstaff used to be, in the old days. Too bad it’s Sunday—and raining—or I’d stop and have a look around. As it is, I just keep on truckin’, ‘cross the continental divide, which once featured Navajo nude dancers, if I remember correctly, ‘cross the AZ state line, where the broad New Mexican valleys and vistas gradually broaden out into something higher and flatter, plateaus and platitudes… (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 3:50 pm on September 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “Painterly” is a good word. I wish I could write as descriptive an account of my trip with Charla to Nashville to visit Sherri and Tom; to Brentwood and Franklin, Marty Stuart photography exhibit and lunch at Union Station, dinner at the famous Loveless Cafe, and attending the funeral of country singer/ambassador George Hamilton IV in the original Ryman, and a tour back stage afterwards. A concert by Music City Roots – Australian artists who had appeared in the Americana Festival. Then to my hometown in Kingswood, KY, touring the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson, TN (where Bobby Joe Swilley is recognized for a song which he wrote about Carl Perkins, the originator of rockabilly.)

      • hardie karges 11:10 pm on September 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Actually ‘painterly’ is a literal translation of the word usually translated as ‘picturesque’ from the Spanish: ‘pintoresco’…why don’t you start a blog, Esther? It’s not that hard. Go to WordPress…

  • hardie karges 12:06 am on September 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Globalquerque, , Los Alamos, , Pueblos, San Felipe, Santa Clara, Santa Fe   

    #NewMexico: #Pueblos and #Alamos, #SantaFe and #Albuquirky 

    Rules and regs on the rez

    Rules and regs on the rez

    America has lost its center—centers—plural, every city’s central core, its coeur, abandoned in flights to the suburbs, only to hopefully return some day when some mathematical formula for redemption is hopefully satisfied. Its small towns are dead or dying, too, riddled by meth and boredom, too-simple answers to complex questions, mansions constructed on shifting sands, two-by-fours on bedrock…

    Many of them had not much reason to exist in the first place, I figure, just a wide spot in the road where two wagon trails crossed, now forgotten when the new highway skirts the central business district and shifts the center of gravity to the outer edges, with big box stores and not much else. The modern American paradigm is that every person is attached to a car at all times, no exceptions, so cities still sprawl to the hinterlands, looking for liebenschraum and a place to park that f*cking car… (More …)

  • hardie karges 9:17 pm on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bluegrass, , Mamou Playboys, , Pickamania, Sarah Jarosz, , Steve Riley   

    #SilverCity #NewMexico #USA: Hippie Fix, aaahhhh…. 

    Bluegrass, Silver City style

    Bluegrass, Silver City style

    If you were a member of the 60’s-70’s counter-culture, then it never really leaves you: that camaraderie, that look in the eye, that length of the hair, that… that… hipness that defined you as a card-carrying member of a special group, raised in revolution and defined by contrariness, contrary to the mores of ‘society’, contrary to the dictates of government, and—especially—contrary to the will of Mom and Dad. Hey, you gotta’ have priorities.

    Sure, there was a certain amount of self-satisfied know-it-all smugness to the term (i.e. I’m hip; you’re not); and the politics were never as notable as the parties; and more than a little bit of the economy was based on clandestine agriculture or Mom-and-Pop trustafarianism, but still… Being a hippie was good, and fun, and had meaning, in stark contrast to the increasing materialism of modern Western societies and the increasing militarism of the US, in particular. (More …)

    • Esther Fabbricante 9:38 pm on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Love it. I have a niece by marriage living in Albuquerque.
      I have never been there.
      You are the greatest.

      • hardie karges 9:47 pm on September 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I’ve been in Albuquerque the last two days, escaped to Santa Fe to dodge the storms. Thanx, Esther, stay tuned…

    • Esther Fabbricante 10:32 pm on September 30, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t begin to blog, as you suggested. No one would want to read my trivial stuff. I want all my children to read your fantastic writing and unlimited vocabulary.

  • hardie karges 5:22 pm on September 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Biosphere, , Nevada, southwest US, ,   

    Las Vegas to Tucson, South by Southeast… 

    Southwest in my front yard

    Southwest in my front yard

    If you want to drive from Las Vegas to Tucson, as the crow flies, you can pretty much set your crow compass to SSE and put it on cruise control. That’s US Highway 93, soon to be usurped by the I-11 “super corridor” direct to Phoenix, if the powers-that-be have their way. I’m not sure who it would benefit, truckers mostly, I figure. Their isn’t much traffic there, as it is, mostly empty desert.

    The highway already circumvents the Hoover Dam, which was still in effect last time I crossed the lower Grand Canyon at its ‘west’ rim. I don’t even know if they’ll let you do that now, what with the threat of terrorism and all. Environmental activists ‘Earth First’ played a hoax way back when, pretended to crack the dam, black streaks on white concrete, made a great photo op, but they seem like picnickers now, what with ‘real’ terrorists all over the news, Insh’allah, people willing to slit throats for cheap Facebook ‘likes’, and claiming women as ‘spoils of war’. They’re so spoiled, got oil money flowing through the veins of false religion, playing with souls like so many footballs. (More …)

    • Kc 1:51 pm on September 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Pics. of desert so lovely. Enjoy for us all. Does anybody hitchhike anymore?

    • hardie karges 8:27 pm on September 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Hitch-hike in the US? No, not much, too dangerous, I reckon…

    • Esther Fabbricante 7:51 pm on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful countryside. Visited Phoenix and Scottsdale and area twice some time ago!
      Loved it.

      • hardie karges 9:15 pm on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        For me the desert was an acquired taste, but now it feels like home. I still prefer high desert, though…

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