Travel & Outdoor
New Mexico Magazine

New Mexico Magazine

September/October 2020

NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE is about the power of place — in particular this place: more than 120,000 square miles of mountains, desert, grasslands, and forest inhabited by a culturally rich mix of individuals. Founded in 1923, NEW MEXICO MAGAZINE is an enterprise of the New Mexico Tourism Department.

United States
New Mexico Department of Tourism
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12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
burn notice

It was a newbie mistake. Back in March, I’d purchased a few jars of Hatch green chile salsa and mentioned in a meeting that they weren’t as spicy as I expected. “To New Mexicans, it’s not about the heat,” I was told. “It’s about the flavor.” Okay, so my first lesson in chiles stung like a bhut jolokia, but I very quickly realized two things. First, I was nowhere near ready to wade into the red-versus-green debate. (Just give me Christmas, thanks.) And, more important, New Mexicans have some serious passion for this fruit in all its various forms. I learned a long time ago that food writing isn’t really about what’s on the plate; it’s everything that goes into it—how history, culture, art, science, family, and love add distinct flavors. Each chile…

1 min.
abandoned new mexico

WHAT TO READ THIS MONTH After years of delighting readers with his City of Dust blog, John M. Mulhouse packs his knowledge of small towns and photos of iconic buildings into a book, Abandoned New Mexico: Ghost Towns, Endangered Architecture, and Hidden History (Arcadia, 2020). Arranged in road-trip style, the text avoids the “ruin porn” afflicting too much of social media, instead finding the stories of people and places—often from those he met while scouring the state’s less-traveled byways. His photographs add intrigue and serve as a historical record. Sometimes, he writes, when he returned to a favorite site, what he once saw had vanished.…

2 min.

Earth Rules I thoroughly enjoyed the July issue centered on adobe. As a chemist in the Earth and Planetary Sciences Department at the University of New Mexico for many years, I was often asked to analyze different types of soils and building materials. There is more information than anyone thought possible in Adobe: A Comprehensive Bibliography, by Rex C. Hopson (Lightning Tree Press, 1979). He has cited over 1,300 references. Rex is a charismatic and captivating emeritus assistant professor of librarianship at UNM and a good friend. JOHN HUSLER Albuquerque Adobe Rocks The adobe issue was a real winner! The New Mexico architecture is simply breathtaking. My only disappointment was that you did not also feature some famous adobe houses, such as the former home of artist Olive Rush on Canyon Road or the former…

3 min.
all that glitters

Gold hunters, rejoice! Autumn delivers the shimmering yellows of aspens and cottonwoods, and the reds and oranges of mountain shrubs. We picked a few ways for everyone to bask in the bounty. FROM AN IRON HORSE The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad begins picture-perfect round-trip excursions between Chama and Osier Pass in September. Hop aboard for a slow chug through northern New Mexico and southern Colorado peaks and valleys. Railroad President John Bush estimates riders will see tens of thousands of aspens during the trip. “It’s a stately ride through the fall splendor that they will never forget.” cumbrestoltec.com While you’re there: Tierra Wools recently moved its headquarters to the main drag in Chama. Shop for your next knitting project or sign up for a weaving class. handweavers.com FROM TWO FEET Fall tamps down the summer…

4 min.
here be dragons

Although the annual Dragonfly Festival at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, near Roswell, has been canceled this year, the dragonflies will attend anyway, pandemic notwithstanding. Those of us attracted to the charismatic insects can still walk the trails in search of their dazzling colors, dramatic flights, and mystical powers of transformation. Among the oldest insects on earth, dragonflies have used 300 million years of evolution to their advantage. Their four wings move independently, allowing them to hover, dive, and fly backwards and upside down at 30 miles per hour. Their bulbous eyes and near 360-degree vision mean they can effortlessly track moving targets, such as mosquitoes, and intercept them for lunch. Native American cultures honor the dragonfly as a spirit guide that can summon rain to thirsty crops, guard pools of pure…

2 min.
dream weaver

As a kid, Hosana Eilert spent a lot of time daydreaming from the back seat of her family’s car about owning a weaving shop like the ones that dot northern New Mexico’s highways. Those childhood images led her to Centinela Traditional Arts, in Chimayó, where she was immersed in the methods of master weavers Lisa and Irvin Trujillo. “When you leave, you have to really claim everything you’ve been taught,” says Eilert. “You jump off the edge and go for it.” At Wild West Weaving, her shop in Silver City, Eilert sells weavings, skeins of hand-dyed yarn, and woven accessories created by way of processes she learned from the Trujillos and taught herself. She brews vibrant dyes with flower petals, leaves, crushed nuts, and other bits of nature—marigolds grown in her garden,…