Here’s the weird thing about New Mexico–it’s all about the contrasts. It’s one of the newer states, coming in just before Arizona as the 47th of the 48 contiguous states. Statehood came in 1912, but settlement of New Mexico dates back over 11,000 years. (There seems to have been some argument about if New Mexico was American enough to be American–and “settled” is a word that’s a bit iffy when applied to New Mexico.) Everything here is old/new–and rural, but not. We have the Very Large Array in just about our backyard, and fiber optic cables laid everywhere, and Los Alamos, and plenty of tech. It’s cows and cell phone country. And it’s been like this for a very long time. At least the last hundred years.
There are lots of plans for New Mexico centennial events. For CLR, we’re planning a centennial garden. This is the year to put our compost to use and get our greenhouse growing–it’s going to be a proof of concept garden to show folks that gardening is possible at this altitude and climate (it’s amazing how many folks think this is cow-only country–and maybe a few elk, deer and antelope). There’s a Pony Express recreation ride, which is funny given how little impact the Pony Express had on anything–it never really ran all that long. But it left an imprint of glamor behind. And quite a few events are taking place at the Indian Pueblo museum in Albuquerque, which is also amusing, given that the pueblos date back to hundreds of years before the state showed up. But…there you go. Those contrasts at work.
Maybe that’s why the state is also one that always offers up a choice–red or green. Chili that is. But the green chilies are fresh versions of the red (they turn red after you pick them and dry them). So they’re different but the same. We eat a lot of the green here–they’re great in anything with cheese and eggs. And the green chili cheese hamburger is a New Mexico must–made only with local beef, meaning all grass fed.
We’ll be posting more on the history, including photos such as this one of Taft at the statehood signing party, which doesn’t look like much of a party for anyone. Taft doesn’t look too sure about what he’s doing–or maybe he’s exhausted from the trip out from DC. But, from all the stories, the rest of the state partied it up really good.