Less than two week I have been in NM. My 4-mile run last night turned into 6.4 because I had to retrieve the hat I left hanging on a tree mid run because I was too hot. I was only going to run 4 because it is so much effort. My pace averaged just under 10:00 miles. There is a 5k in two weeks and unless I can run some 7:00 miles on the track there is no way I will do it. The terrain I am running these slow miles on is really steep and sandy so I am hoping some flat track could be quicker.
Saturday I hiked to Gold Hill in Taos with the Sierra Club, two of the six others I hiked with back in 2005. One endearing thing about Sierra Club is they vet you before coming on a hike. They grill you to make sure you are up to the 12 mile, 3411′ gain, peak at 12,711elevation and for good reason. I passed the test.
The hike starts at 9477′ elevation from the Taos ski valley. It was a rocky steep climb for the first 45 minutes, about one mile. After 1.5 hours we came it a gorgeous meadow surrounded by snow-covered mountains where we took a snack break. On our way to the peak, another 1.5 hours, we trudged through hip deep snow. Some of the group stopped to put gaiters on over their long pants, I stayed in shorts, I liked the cold on my legs. When we got above tree line there was a herd of big horn sheep that was super cool. They just looked at us 7 humans and 2 dogs and went about their grazing. We climbed to the top through some massive wind. On the whole, the altitude, the elevation gain and the rocks were nothing, but the wind was blowing me right over, that was a tough. At the summit there is a little three-sided rock wall to shelter. We climbed inside and ate our lunch. You could see Wheeler Peak to the south and Colorado Mountains to the north.
Today I got the bid for building my new studio. Stone foundation up to 5′, topped off by adobe brick up to 11′. I will have south facing passive solar large windows, a barn style sliding doors to bring equipment in and out, and wood doors to the west and north. The north door will eventually be connected to a guesthouse. The roof will be tin with an insulated ceiling. I will be working with Felipe to build it. The rock walls are lava and very heavy. We are going to a neighbor’s property to pull it off his land. The mortar for the house will be mud rather than concrete because it is warmer and the floors adobe. It is going to be magnificent and open to printmakers everywhere! And anyone who is interested in learning how to build you are welcome to come help and camp out at my house. Printmakers are invited to trade work time for studio. Felipe gave me a bid but said he will “pay” me for each hour I work and take it off the total. This all feels like magic.