Sunday, October 4, 2009

Gold Hill and Boogers...

This morning I awoke (to a 77.6 pound dog jumping on my legs) at 8am and happily finished my most recent tapestry.  All I had to do was decide on a name, (which isn’t usually difficult but I wasn’t channeling Anni Albers today) but I did eventually come up with something acceptable, make a tag for it (which took 3 tries as I managed to fuse the first two to the towel I was using for an ironing board because BOTH ironing boards in my studio are covered with tapestry yarn), and deliver the tapestry to the gallery.  When I was done with this (and the gallery did seem pleased with 

it), I took that 77.6 pound Labrador retriever on a hike from the Taos Ski Valley… Gold Hill is my favorite TSV hike, but be forewarned if you go, every single hike from that valley with the exception of Williams Lake (which, admit it, is for tourists from the flat lands) is straight up.  Whoever built those trails did NOT believe in switchbacks.

And I must say that I kicked some hiking hiney!  9 miles, 3,000+ feet elevation gain, 5 hours… and that included the chatting time with the 70+ year old couple who were BACPACKING (!!!) and the 30-something hunter from Ohio who was sucking wind at 12,000 feet trying to get high enough to make a cell phone call to his hunting buddy who was supposed to meet him on the back side of the moon.  I realized on my way up that I was doing great… and that finally I must be in shape for backpacking season, what with the 2-3 mile walks up the mesa every day and hiking every weekend to some high-altitude destination.  Unfortunately it is now October and pretty soon the winter sloth will set in and all that sweat will be wasted on eating GF pizza (which, alas, I will have to make myself) and reading books.


It was a beautiful day.  I set out hoping to see the colors changing, but the high-altitude colors have done their thing… and there were a lot of sad little yellow aspen leaves on the trail.  The higher I got the windier it got until I left treeline behind and thought I was going to be blown off the ridge.  I crawled on my hands and knees to the edge of the ridge to get a look at 

Goose Lake, afraid I was going to get blown to Kansas.  The horse-riding hunter I saw 15 seconds later probably thought I was insane.  Seriously the wind was about 47 million knots—and no, I don’t know how fast a knot is although I did sail as a child… I never was good at conversions.  Still I have to ask my German friend Conni how much a Euro is every time we talk about any currency that isn’t the dollar.  Hopefully she takes pity on me and doesn’t reveal this particular intellectual flaw to her fellow citizens when I visit her lovely country next year for our Bauhaus show.

Anyway, the wind was so fierce up there that I had to first dig out the fleece hat I always have in my pack… then realized because of the over-sized craniums that Mezoffs are blessed with (which doesn't really seem to say anything about how smart we are), this particular hat doesn’t really cover my ears very well.  So I was forced to tie the bandana that I had just used for a snot rag over my head.  It was that or be deafened by the wind and probably suffer frostbite to my lovely ear lobes.  The thought of turning back never crossed my mind.  I’m a stubborn hiker babe after all and sometimes sacrifices in the realm of personal hygiene have to be made. But, alas, my nose was still running and so I was forced to practice the farmer nose blow.  I’ve never been able to do this and today was no exception.  I’m afraid my clothing came back smattered with mucus.  (I’ll wash it Mom.)  While at the top where the wind chill must have been hovering around freezing, I found globules of ice in the stone wind shelter.  I’m guessing these are the frozen boogers of the last hiker up there who undoubtedly had to use her snot rag to cover her ears also.

Gold Hill is 12,711 feet high. At the top I tried to send a text message to my girlfriend feeling for all the world like I was on the top of Everest radioing the world that I was still alive.  The wind messed up the signal, and the message, sent back in the Taos Ski Valley parking lot, lost a lot of its zing.  Tomorrow, when I’m back at my loom, my hiking hiney is going to be mighty sore!  

Weaving note:  Last night was Rachel Brown’s retrospective at Weaving Southwest.  It was so packed with people I couldn’t see the art and had to go back today to spend some time with it.  If you’re in Taos this month, stop by Weaving Southwest and see the show.  These pieces are owned by collectors and won’t be shown again any time soon.  Rachel is an inspiration.


  1. You go girl! That is something to be proud of! 77.6 pounds - are you sure after that hike that the lab still is!

  2. Sick! (which I'm using in both of its connotations to comment on your post-- 1) sick: very very cool, & 2) sick: very very gross --I knew I liked you a bunch, Rebecca!)

    I love your latest tapestry!!! Check out the latest FiberArts, it has an article about the Bauhaus weaving artists.

    By the way, I am GF now also (I mean to write about how this happened in my blog soon) & I have found a fabulous GF site I want to share with you--

    Um,... is there something hanging out of your nose in that photo?

  3. Yes Lyn, I think that is a frozen booger in my nose. It was super cold up there. See my newest post about my super finds at the grocery store today. :) Thanks for the new GF site too! I just got the FiberArts today and will check it out tomorrow evening as I'm sitting in my section 8 housing at my new job in Dulce, NM. That is another story entirely. Can't wait to hear your GF story. I don't envy you the journey (obviously since I've already been on it myself for over 4 years now.) I recommend highly drinking wine when in any social situation... you won't have a choice as you won't be able to eat much of anything except lettuce. ;)


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