We had another day off today and used it to visit the small towns of Hillsborough and Kingston in the foothills of the Gila Mountains west of Truth or Consequences. Both were mining towns in the late 19th Century. Both became ghost towns after the ore veins played out. Both have been resurrected by a handful of misfits who insist on living outside of the mainstream.
New Mexico seems to attract more than its share of people who march to their own drummer or, perhaps more accurately, refuse to march at all. Self-styled artists, homeopathic healers, astrologers, reflexologists, herbalists, poets, and vegans seem drawn to New Mexico’s out of the way places like trout to cold mountain streams. We saw a fellow walking along the road with a gold-panning vessel tied to his belt. One guy we met kept referring to his mother as Beatrice as if we knew her, and he claimed that she was adopted by Gertrude Stein. He also claimed to be related to Hillerman, but said he couldn’t prove it because he had left his mother (single at the time) to make it easier for her to attract a husband. He gave me two poems, one of which, he explained, had remained incomplete for twenty years because he couldn’t find a word that rhymed with meadow. Hmm.