Monday, March 24, 2003

March 24, 2003
Back from our Renegade trip. Tons of fun and loads of history to boot. It was our 11th annual trip. This year Bob McCubbin and I were joined by Paul Northrop, John Boessenecker, Drew Gomber, Richard Ignarski, John Jeffers and a judge from El Paso who doesn’t want his name listed for obvious reasons.

The first day out (Wed.) it snowed all the way to Cimarron, New Mexico. We were late getting out of Santa Fe because of a San Francisco lawyer and a gunfighter artist. Both took a side trip that may or may not have been comparable to Hunter Thompson’s Fear And Loathing style road trips. This put one of the Bobs in a bad mood and he drove 90 all the way, in the blowing snow. Fortunately, my pucker factor kept the carseats heading in a safe direction and we made it without major destruction

Visited a cold museum in the dark (we were late and they didn’t have any heat), then checked into the Saint James hotel, built in 1880.

The St,. James Hotel bar was packed with cowboys watching the war launch (This was Wed. night). Almost everywhere we went, the TV was on and you could read the creepy crawls, each one threatening to be worse than the last, until I got tired of the repeat but it was hard to stay away.

We visited a solid half-dozen museums, as many antique shops, buying books like crazy and screeching to a halt at every hysterical marker (it’s in the Renegade by-laws).

Touched upon historic landscape that saw the likes of Black Jack Ketchum, Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill, Kit Carson, Doc Holliday, Lucien Maxwell, Clay Allison, Kid Curry and Quanah Parker.

Saw one lone war demonstrator in Clayton, New Mexico standing out in the rain south of the tracks. He was a hispanic dude with a homemade sign: Support Our Troops. We asked him where Black Jack swung off into eternity and he pointed down the street. Several in our crowd cheered him. In fact, the support for the troops was unanimous all across northern New Mexico and West Texas. It was only after we got back to Santa Fe that we encountered the opposing signs (Bush Is A Nazi), and that was counterbalanced by a flag-waving bunch of patriots on the median, facing them.

Finally got the Parker photo montaged correctly. Here it is (from my speech in Parker two weekends ago).

Many, many stories to tell. Got stuck up on a snow-impacted mountain in a slush-box canyon road and as far as I know the truck is still there. That story tomorrow.

It is often said that one has but one life to live, but that is nonsense. For one who reads, there is no limit to the number of lives that may be lived, for fiction, biography and history offer an inexhaustible number of lives in all periods of time.”
—Louis L'Amour

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