New Mexico and the road
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

May 4, 2014

New Mexico… you leave and it silently sits there in the back of your mind. The dust particles float low after the midday wind sweeps across the Jemez Mountains and up the valley towards Santa Fe. The specks splinter the light as the sun moves towards the horizon creating a melody of oranges, yellows, and reds.

While finishing my thesis, I have found my way back onto the ambulance based out of Las Vegas NM. I enjoy the shift work, the unique challenging calls, and the ability to help those who need it most, even if only for a moment. Las Vegas New Mexico, unlike that of Las Vegas Nevada, is a small town with only a few main streets. Brick buildings and Victorian wooden houses carry the town’s history forward. Our three units are responsible for some 30,000 residents spread over 5,000 square miles, an area roughly the third the size of the Netherlands. I find myself often commuting along the southern flat lands that border the Pecos wilderness, which itself is comparable in size to the entirety of Great Britain! Often we’ll transport patients to larger regional hospitals or find ourselves responding to rural settings and so the story goes. I find it strange, but the endless movement across the land, eating up stripes and asphalt reminds me of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.”

Early morning frosts, late afternoon thunderstorms, or under a starlit sky, the road continues to role itself out, weaving around the beginning… or the end of the southern Rockies. The scenery sits in stark contradiction to our speed. The Chamisa, Pinon, and Sage dot the landscape and as they slowly fight off the risk of drought, they merge into a passing blur. With little traffic on the road at night, the only light splayed across the road is that of our own headlights and the moon. After calls and as we drive back to base, I am left to my thoughts and imagination. I come up with possibilities of places to go, careers to follow, daydreams to live. It may be six months, maybe a year, but I know this job won’t last forever before the road takes me again… a little further down the road. For now though, I am once again home under the New Mexican sun.

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road

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