Walking On The Moon

Last weekend, toward the end of my visit to New Mexico, my best friend and I decided we needed to go somewhere without much in the way of civilization.

A break from the every day is good for the soul.

This year my friend had drawn out a tag to hunt Oryx, and about a month ago, she and her husband went out to the empty land around Upham, New Mexico as Oryx are plentiful there.

While she didn’t manage to get an Oryx this year, while hiking around, she witnessed a vista so amazing that she wanted to share it with me.

So we loaded up and went bouncing down dirt roads, me riding in the passenger seat. My job was to open and close gates so that we could make our way past ranches without much in the way of fences to contain their hungry cattle.

Since the truck we rode in sounds a lot like a feed truck, they’d come a galloping along to greet us. It was kind of hard to let down all of our bovine friends as we only had a fried chicken picnic to eat, and that’s not really cow food.

The land we saw as we bumped along was empty, otherworldly and beautiful.

My New Mexico readers will also know a bit about Upham as that is where the New Mexico Spaceport is being built with taxpayers money.

By taking publicly accessible roads, we were able to get pretty gosh darn close to the construction site.

Here’s what it looks like (click photo for larger size):

The Spaceport website has quite a few construction photos as well. I was struck by the fantastically long tarmac, pure concrete rumored to be almost two miles long and three feet deep. How the heck they got that much water out there to create that much cement is absolutely beyond me.

The actual location of the Spaceport is quite a ways off the highway, almost an hour in the truck, and it’s a good thing my friend was familiar with the area. I would have been quite lost.

After ooh’ing and aah’ing along with cussing and discussing the merits (or lack of) of the spaceport, we headed up a long and somewhat winding trail to get to a certain spot my friend had in mind.

That’s when the ooh’ing and aah’ing really began.

This photo does no justice to the almost 180 degree sweeping view from Anthony to Truth or Consequences. It was absolutely breathtaking.

Other than the guy who lives in the small ranch at the top of the rise, and some Oryx hunters, I don’t imagine a lot of people have gotten the chance to see this amazing view.

It made me proud to be a New Mexican. This is who I am. This is where I come from.

(click for larger size)

All photographs by Karen Fayeth and subject to the creative commons license as seen in the far right column of this page.

*crickets chirping*

Wow. Sure is quiet around here.

World Series is over. Key to the city handed out. Parade is finished. Streets swept.

Good. Excellent.

So. What else is going on?

Football? Hmm. The 49’ers. Played in London. Beat Denver. Brought their record to 2-6.


Basketball? Not my thing.

Hockey? Meh. Maybe.

Nope. This begins the long offseason.

As Bart Giamatti once opined, baseball is designed to break your heart. “The game begins in the spring, when everything is new…and leaves you to face the fall alone.”




Pitcher and catchers report in 102 days. (Feb. 13, 2011)

Meanwhile. All the fun is gone. The good times are over. The party has walked away.

Funny what totally appropriate image the “randomizer” button will net you on stock.xchng.

“Cow’s Behind” by Alix Morse provided royalty free via stock.xchng

I doubt your bumper sticker, sir.

Last evening, while out running errands, I found myself at a stoplight behind a shiny new black Cadillac Escalade EXT (the one that’s sorta kinda a pickup, but not really).

It was a nice ride, tricked out with big fat shiny chrome custom wheels, all the expensive add ons, and a sticker on the back window that said “Cowboy Up.”

Oh really? Cowboy up? Is that your philosophy on life? Are you sure, Mr. Driving a Luxury Vehicle in the Suburbs, that you are, in fact, ready to cowboy up?

Are you prepared to lose a thumb as you throw a loop around the head of a recalcitrant steer, dally up around the saddle horn and whoops, get a digit caught in the turn?

Are you ready to try to throw a calf while you currently nurse a broken rib, courtesy of the back forty of the calf that came down the chute just before?

Are you all set to trim a budding horn from a young cow only to hit the artery, thus shooting blood straight into your eye with force and velocity? And are you further ready to then take a hot branding iron and sear that bloody mess, leaving the smell and taste of burning flesh and blood lingering in the air?

Are you man enough to sink your arm up to the shoulder inside the back of a birthing cow to assist that mama with a backwards facing baby, and when that same mama cow prolapses her uterus out onto the ground, are you ready to shove that bloody mess back inside and stitch her up? (if you don’t know what I mean, I suggest you do a search on Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, she even posted photos of this horrifying event)

And are you ready to be bitten, kicked and thrown off a horse all in one day? Are you ready the haul hay? Are you ready to pray for rain and curse the wind? Are you ready to turn your hands to hamburger from stringing barbwire? Are you ready to face birth and death and life and manure and blood and saliva and the unpredictability of the life of a cowboy?

Are ya?

Cause you know what? I betcha you aren’t, actually, ready to Cowboy Up.

I might know a thing or two about it, and even I’m not really ready to Cowboy Up.

Not even in the suburbs.


Not to be confused with arithmancy, the art of divination using numbers.

No, I’m talking romance here…and, uh, numbers.

You see, I have a sweet, fatty love.

No, not The Good Man. It’s rude that you thought that. :)

No, my love is creamy, and delicious. And the best topping Mexican food ever met.

I’m talking the fantastic invention that is…Sour Cream.

Oh sweet love.

And here’s where the numbers come in…did you know that if you took a spoon out of the drawer and used it to eat an entire Costco three pound tub of sweet, delicious sour cream, you’d only be out 2,700 calories?

45 servings times 60 calories a serving.

I mean…not so bad, right?

I believe this is the type of post that, when read by the good man, he will remark, “I can’t believe you blogged about that.”

Believe it, Cute Boy.

Did you know?

That the word “maverick” was originally coined to apply to cattle that didn’t have a brand? Meaning they technically didn’t belong to anyone.

Is the heavy campaign usage a mis-application of the word? Oh I think so. Oh yes I very much do.

So does Terrellita Maverick. See, her ancestor, Samuel Augustus Maverick was a guy who “…was more interested in keeping track of the land he owned than the livestock on it…unbranded cattle, then, were called ‘Maverick’s.'”

Ms. Maverick isn’t buying it when John McCain uses the word to describe himself.

“‘He’s a Republican,’ she said. ‘He’s branded.'”

Next time McCain or Palin uses that word. Remember: cow.



Image “Boo Moo” by Nick Piliero


1. The good news is the word maverick didn’t crop up in last night’s debate.

2. One might think after the last two posts that I am an Obama supporter. I’m not. Call me undecided. A lot. And call me disappointed. As in where can I park a protest vote?

3. Political posts two days in a row. TGM might faint!