John and his wife moved to the high desert of Taos, New Mexico seventeen years ago from Maryland. These very personal notes from Taos cover the last six years. From the introduction: "The floor is hand-smoothed adobe mud spread directly on the roughly leveled earth. The internet cable comes in through a hole at my feet drilled through eighteen inches of adobe bricks. There’s a wood stove and a gas wall heater. No ceiling lights or closets. The oldest washing machine I’ve ever used empties into the kitchen sink unless you forget to hook up the hose. Once I found a baby scorpion on the counter. Black widows thrive in nooks and corners. We’ve had coyotes, foxes, and stray cattle ten feet from the back door. There’s a ninety-mile view from the mailbox. Northern New Mexico (El Norte) is one of the most compelling places I’ve ever lived, with impossible vistas, extremes of climate, mountains, deserts, wildlife, and extraordinary people. It’s also ancient, isolated, and harsh. We came here from established lives in Maryland in 1999, neither of us young or wealthy. Speaking for myself, it was the most outrageous, dangerous, and necessary thing I’ve ever done."
43,000 words, 82 chapters, 85 beautiful high-resolution photographs. Sections include A Certain Edge, Llano Quemado, Mystery Train, Garden of Eden, and Amor y Muerte.