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.
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.
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/