Stephen Fried: Ted Turner’s New Mexico ranch brings back American West
, 2022-05-23 22:00:00,
Diane and I are driving fast along a lonely stretch of Interstate 25 in northeast New Mexico, where the weather and landscape appear consistently perfect — blue skies over endless, unremarkable prairies — because there is almost nothing for the fierce seasonal winds to actually whip except for our car. Oh, and the countless tumbleweeds skittering across the highway, five or six at a time, some like somersaulting little bunnies, others as big as exercise balls, making us wonder just how many of them it would take to actually stop a Nissan Rogue SUV stone dead, and then how we might go about unraveling them from the axles. I can only imagine how that AAA call would go — if there was cell service.
We are far from where we’re supposed to be, but we don’t know quite how far, because we’re headed to a place where Google Maps or Waze themselves get lost.
“We came from all over … And all of us … were actuated by a common purpose — we were going West to see the country and rough it. … We were a daring lot and resolute; each and every one of us was brave and blithe to endure the privations that such an expedition must inevitably entail. Let the worst come; we were prepared! If there wasn’t any of the hothouse lamb, with imported green peas, left, we’d worry along on a little bit of the fresh shad roe, and a few conservatory cucumbers on the side. That’s the kind of hardy adventurers we were!” – IrvIn Cobb, on the way to the Grand Canyon in “Roughing It De Luxe,” Saturday Evening Post, June 7, 1913
It’s Vermejo Park Ranch, at over 550,000 acres the largest single piece of privately owned land in the United…
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