July 16— Raise your cross hairs and lift the barrel. Single pump action. Chamber loaded. Breathe in. Exhale and release the trigger. We turned loose our rounds on a firing squad of empty sodas strewn across a laundry wire in the back yard. We were in Santa Fe at Greg and Benito's house shooting off pellet guns and sipping from aluminum cans. After watching a day movie in theater we settled into the front yard of the fabled Alamo House, where a musical showcase was staged and everyone would be participating. Several notable locals performed short sets to our delight. Greg put on a delicious beef stew. Several made a climb to the roof. The night's lights were out. A falling star fell. After the sets were done, a jamboree broke out and sounds erupted from every corner of the adobe living room. The night gradually wore out and wrapped us up in a blanket of coyote sounds.
July 17— Everyone in our crew sprang to life and made a three thousand foot march down into the womb of the earth. The descent to the valley floor is directed by a pebble–covered trail hemmed in with stones, cacti, and sagebrush. The hike led us to the emerald waters of the roaring Rio Grand. Lesser-known hot springs trickled nearby. We took a dip in the river, gazing upward toward the walls of the gorge. We reclined against algae outfitted rocks in warm, pellucid waters. Minnows darted around us begging to know what we newcomers brought. Tiny crawfish nibbled at our feet. We made friends at the springs. Cara, Diana, and Megan shared a gallon of their local beer with us. We said our goodbyes, hoping to see them again for our scheduled show. Off to KTAO radio, a twenty-five year old solar-powered station. On a tip from a local we showed up at the doorstep of the station and spilled into the studio. Rick DeStefano was kind to air us. Five points on KTAO. It seemed serendipitous. Next stop: Seco Pearl. The venue is a gem, a kind of community house with a tiny charming stage curtain and hardwood floors. Kristina, the new owner was generous with us. She prepared some savory plates. Friends old and new came out. It was great.
Photos by Sara Kerens.