Read “‘Taos 2010’ dreams revisited” in The Taos News

In 1989, The Taos News asked residents to predict what Taos would be like 20 years into the future. Nearly three decades later, I asked them how it all turned out—and what they now hope for in the years to come. What emerges is a startling portrait of a community’s transformation over the years, and a new vision of what may be on the way.

Read my feature story in The Taos News, an all-too-brief sketch of a unique community in the Southwest.


Image courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives.


Read “Bridging Art + Education” and “Risking Life and Limb” in The Taos News

Every year, The Taos News publishes a series of special issues about Northern New Mexico’s history, art, and culture named ‘Tradiciones.’ The final issue honors people who have been nominated as “Unsung Heroes” of the community, including a “Citizen of the Year.”

I had the privilege of interviewing and profiling two of these “Unsung Heroes” this past summer, Claire Coté and Juan Abeyta. In very different ways, these two citizens of Taos County have contributed a great deal of their time and vision to their respective communities.

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Claire Coté at Wild Rivers. (Photo by Katharine Egli, design by Karin Eberhardt. Courtesy The Taos News.)

In “Bridging Art + Education: Questa’s Claire Coté inspires ‘awe’,” read about Claire Coté, an environmental arts advocate and educator based in Questa, New Mexico. While Coté is involved in an impressive array of community projects, her chief initiative has been the annual NeoRio event, which brings artists and participants to the dramatic landscape of the area known as ‘Wild Rivers,’ which is within Río Grande del Norte National Monument. There, in view of the Río Grande Gorge, the participants enjoy a community arts education experience unlike any other. Read the article here.

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Juan Abeyta in front of his station’s fire truck. (Photo by Katherine Egli, Courtesy The Taos News).

In “Risking Life and Limb: Volunteer firefighter and logger Juan Abeyta,” learn about Juan Abeyta, who has fought fires for 44 years in his native Peñasco, New Mexico. Aside from lobbying the county to build a fire station (which, after construction, was named after him), Abeyta has also enjoyed a long, dangerous career in logging. These days, he guides first responders down the the treacherous and byzantine roads in Carson National Forest, whenever he gets the call. Read the article here.

These two profiles are also available online through the ISSUU PDF viewer. (For Coté, refer to pages 30-33; for Abeyta, refer to pages 34-38). Special thanks to Katherine Egli, Karin Eberhardt, Scott Gerdes and Staci Matlock for publishing these stories and your help throughout the process. (Post featured image a photograph by Katharine Egli, courtesy The Taos News.)

Read “A trip around ‘Ancestral Circle'” in The Taos News

Myself, gazing at Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Photo by Jesse Moya, Courtesy The Taos News. 

Last month, I had the chance to visit two spectacular Ancestral Pueblo (formerly known as Anasazi) ruin complexes—Aztec Ruins and Chaco Culture National Historical Park in Northern New Mexico. I chronicled my experience visiting the two parks and the town of Aztec, New Mexico in this week’s travel section of The Taos News. You can read about the stunning vistas, ruins, and locales in my feature story, “A trip around ‘Ancestral Circle’: Aztec Ruins National Monument, Chaco Culture National Historical Park and the big empty in between,” available on The Taos News website.



“In the Rearview” history series: 10 weeks of the fascinating and strange in Taos, NM

Taos, New Mexico, is not an ordinary American town. In many ways, it is anything but ordinary. A mountain town that is adjacent to one of the oldest continuously inhabited Native communities in the United States, an early site of Spanish settlement in the 1600s, and the home of prominent characters of the Wild West, Taos’ history is staggering. So it comes as no surprise that many interesting things have happened there over the years.

This past summer, as an Editorial Intern with The Taos News, I was tasked with creating a new weekly history column. Sifting through the newspaper’s archives, each week I found a prominent (or more often, weird) event from that week’s stories from 10, 25, and 50 years ago. In this endeavor, I uncovered such varied events as the mysterious “Taos Hum,” some macabre murder cases, archaeological discoveries, Mt. Everest rescues, deadly carnival rides, the arrival of the hippies, and many more. Here, you can take a look at some of the stories I dug up in the ten-article run.

In the early 1990s, a mysterious low-frequency noise called the ‘Taos Hum’ began irritating Taos residents. The sound is still a mystery. Photo Courtesy The Taos News.

A thrilling mountain rescue, an investigation into the ‘Taos Hum’ and reactions to the Tijerina raid” June 22, 2017

In the 1990s, this French cyclist biked through Taos as part of his often dangerous and thrilling globe-spanning journey. Photo courtesy The Taos News.

A terrifying lightning strike, a French cyclist on a globe-trotting journey and first contact with ‘the hippies’” June 29, 2017

A juncture in the Cabresto Dam saga, a curious anatomy class and an esteemed visitor from Spain” July 7, 2017

In the 1990s, a local woman was mysteriously murdered. The case to find her killer was fraught with controversy and mystery. Photo courtesy The Taos News.

A snail-inflicted itch, a grisly murder and the return of the hippies” July 13, 2017

Archaeologists outside the D.H. Lawrence Ranch investigate the ruins of ancient ‘pit-dwellers.’ Photo courtesy The Taos News.

An Amtrak incident, an author’s milestone birthday and an archaeological excavation” July 20, 2017

In the 1960s, a fleet of Navion aircraft visited Taos for a ‘fly-in’—the largest assembly of aircraft in the town at that time. Photo courtesy The Taos News. 

A speedy search and rescue, a deadly carnival ride and a fleet of aerial visitors” July 27, 2017

A chocolate-obsessed bear, op-ed against a missile defense project and a mischievous land dispute” August 3, 2017

A Gorge Bridge inspection, ancient petroglyphs and Taos High School’s delayed 1967 opening” August 10, 2017

An Earthship bonanza, a missing girl and a snobby opera review” August 18, 2017

The legal saga behind a horrifying murder, B-1 bombers and the restoration of San Francisco de Asís Church” August 24, 2017

While that concluded my ten-article run, there’s still more stories I will have coming out of Taos, New Mexico. Stay tuned!

Read “New hydroponic greenhouse in San Cristobal grows ‘supercharged’ produce” in The Taos News

Credit: Harrison Blackman for The Taos News

After the Fukushima disaster spread radiation to the North American Pacific coastline, two Alaskans moved to Taos County. They started a hydroponic farm, and now they’re growing tomatoes with sugar concentrations that are almost off-the-charts. Curiously, their customers report what might be considered ‘miraculous’ results. Read on and decide for yourself. My latest feature for The Taos News. Find it here.

Read “The Plague of Taos?: A History of Plague in New Mexico” in The Taos News

Image Courtesy The Taos News

New Mexico has a problem with bubonic plague. It first arrived in the state in 1949, but at the time, not many imagined that it would never leave. In 2017, there have already been three cases of plague in humans. But the plague had a long journey to New Mexico. Read my feature story published in The Taos News, “The Plague of Taos?: A History of Bubonic Plague in New Mexico,” here.