Santa Fe New Mexican, June 23, 2022

Dear Dad, I’m sure it’s raining on the east side of the Pecos today. That’s good because I’m afraid the Calf Canyon/Hermit’s Peak fire has burned all the way west to Hamilton Mesa or at least to Iron Gate.

Bob Robertson on Hamilton Mesa, June 1970.

I guess it’s also burned over where we left your ashes with Pat’s near the Mora River. I won’t annoy you with any biblical stuff about ashes and dust. Instead, I’ll just remember how much you loved the Pecos and be thankful that it’s getting significant rain for the first time since the whole fire mess — now New Mexico’s largest wildfire ever — got started on April 6.

I guess I’d better mind my words, though, because now people around Las Vegas are understandably worried about flooding through the giant burn scar. For one thing, the Gallinas River, near where I remember visiting Jean and Swede Johnson in Montezuma when you taught at Highlands in the 1950s, is still a big Las Vegas water supply.

At least the rain, which I think started most places in Northern New Mexico on June 17, will cool things off in the heart of the Pecos. There was another fire there last year in June — the Rincon Fire — that worried firefighters enough that they wrapped the current Beatty’s Cabin in that weird, fire resistant plastic stuff. This is all climate change, warming and aridification, Dad, things I can’t remember us discussing before you passed in 1995.

But on to happier things. Here you are with Pat sometime in the 1970s, drinking bourbon and rain water out of Sierra cups near Mora Flats. I think it was a trip with Gordon and Norma Peters and I’m sure Gordon took the picture. And there is good old Mus in the background. Pat is no doubt warming up her green chile stew.

Bob and Pat Robertson, between rain showers at Mora Flats, sometime in the 1970s.

Thank you for the trips we took there together, and with Pat and Rob and Phelps, although spare me days like the one in the 1960s, with Oliver McMillan, when we got caught in lightning on Trailriders Wall.

Cheers, Dad. Love, John. June 19, 2022.

See also ”Canyon Road, 1960.” https://dreamranch.blog/2015/03/12/canyon-road-1961-dreams-and-troubles/

Now they’re going to tell me to give up cookies.

I’ll cut back under scientific pressure but I won’t be happy about it. I whistled through an echocardiogram this week, then got zinged for A1C.

Why do I have to be apologetic for my lifelong love of potatoes and pasta? How could a wholesome-looking oatmeal raisin cookie — or two — be a shady character? The list of taboos seems pretty extensive.

I haven’t pleaded bum knees when facing lack of exercise charges. I haven’t eaten a fast-food cheeseburger in years, despite my affection for Blake’s Lotaburger. I don’t like drive-through fries. I can’t remember the last time I treated myself to a root beer, let alone a Brown Cow. I’ve learned how to BAKE apple cider doughnuts at home.

LOTA Burger® “New Mexico Style”

I only use potatoes for breakfast burritos and green chile stew. I admit I might have screwed up during the last A1C testing period by consuming more tortillas while cutting back on bread. Those giant while flour ones are great for my large-diameter breakfast bombs. But where does it end?

I would rather wait for one of those snappy New York Times health stories that upset the apple cart. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t gotten a break since the medical world lightened up on coffee and eggs.

I am not asking to reverse the indictment of cigarettes. I’m not talking about indulging in alcohol after 37 years of aridification. I just got my second Covid booster shot and I wore a mask during my stops today at the Wild Birdhouse and Presbyterian cardiology. I drove right past a beckoning Blake’s after fasting for the damn blood sugar test.

Cookies are about all I ask, although I’ve come to more fully appreciate daytime relaxation in my early 70s. I am RETIRED. I believe in the “keep moving” school of thought but it’s also true that days off from walking, afternoon naps and ibuprofen — another no-no from the sensible health and medical faction — make my joints feel better, too.

Meanwhile, I’m afraid my mission for the rest of the week is to convert my 30-year-old mountain bike, which has been gathering dust in all the wrong places, to an indoor exercise machine.

— 30 —

With temperatures nearing 10O and no rain for 70-some days, I don’t think I regained consciousness most days until near dark.

There were daytime outings but other than my usual post-doctor-visit lunch at the Range, the nights are about all I remember.

Wednesday night

Thursday night.
Saturday night.
Later Saturday night.
Every night: Crossword puzzles and Cowboy snores.

— 30 —