I am writing in haste on a borrowed computer as I had to send my laptop off for rehab on Wednesday. I’m riding across gigantic ranches – 100,000 acres isn’t uncommon here. That sounds huge until you realize that with the long running drought here it takes over 200 acres to support a single cow! The drought has been going on for over 20 years and has gotten much worse over the past 2-3 years. The landscape is vast, flat and windblown – lots of cholla cactus and yucca and chamisa – where the Juniper trees grow the berries are thick and turning the color of dusty blueberries. Winter is breathing down my neck and the ponies are getting fuzzy again.
Wednesday the 10th marks one year on the road and I am hoping to be crossing the border into Texas on that day! Ranch hospitality is legendary and I have been taken care of and passed from ranch to ranch through this stretch with good advice and even better meals. When I came through Cuervo, NM a few days ago I found that I couldn’t get past Hwy 40 due to two cattle guards with no gates to allow livestock to pass. I went back into Cuervo and found the house of Rudy Chavez, the mail carrier for the area and a horseman, and I asked his advice. He put the ponies into his horse trailer (Finehorn barely fit with her pack!) and gave us what might be the shortest trailer ride in history to get us to the south side of the highway. He’s been keeping track of me as I’ve ridden through his territory and his wife has been sending me lunches!
The heat has broken and today is absolutely glorious – time to pack and ride.