Re: Scorched Earth

1

NAPALM IN THE MORNING


Posted by: OPINIONATED WAR CRIMINAL | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:29 PM
horizontal rule
2

More seriously, consider laying plastic over the affected areas, rather than yummy, nurturing mulch.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:29 PM
horizontal rule
3

Black plastic sheeting, weighted down with stones, for two weeks.

Then plant clover.

Clover is pretty, and it chokes out other plants.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
4

And attracts yummy rabbits.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
5

4: Gosh, I have a French friend and I almost fell over dead when he busted out a gun in his Columbia Co., NY house and shot a damn backyard rabbit to eat. (He thought my falling over dead was a vegetarian thing, but it really was a zomg backyard thing.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:37 PM
horizontal rule
6

Goat.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
7

i've heard pouring boiling water over weeds will work, but not sure if for such a large area it'd really be effective.


Posted by: catherine | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:45 PM
horizontal rule
8

Your neighbors seem to think the verb "to harbor" is actually "to harbing".

HARBORER OF VERMIN
LANGUAGE OF THE MAD


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
9

Sheet mulch.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
10

Yeah! Fuck gardening! When I was a lad and my parents made me go out and pull weeds and plant impatiens and shit, I'd always tell my dad that I'd never have a yard when I grow up. And I've kept my vow so far by carefully remaining too poor to afford a yard in the cities in which I have chosen to live, even when I've had the opportunity to become stinking rich.

And fuck meddlesome neighbors. We had some of those where I grew up—retired garden nuts with too much time on their hands—and presumably it is because of their complaints that we'd always get letters from the city about how such-and-such branches needed to be at least so-and-so feet above the alley, and how that pile of sticks in the side yard violates blah ordinance.

But I regret that I have nothing more practical to offer you than my sympathy.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
11

Let someone else do the gardening for you, paid by the food they grow: http://dcist.com/2009/06/sharecroppers.php

No work for you, plus free food!


Posted by: Roadrunner | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
12

Plastic and clover, over and over. (repeat)


Posted by: jim | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
13

Oh you motherfucker.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
14
I want Everything. Dead.

Since you can't pave the Earth, despite your desire to do so, cover it over with a sterile film of plastic. That way it will never interfere with you again.

Or, what 3 said.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
15

Right now LADWP is offering rebates to people for removing their lawns. I think there's even a special subsidy for fake lawns.

My mom killed our lawn and allowed a moss lawn to come in. It was very patchy for a long time. I think wood chips were used.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
16

dude. If you are within 100 miles of Boston I'll gladly garden for you. Or kill it all. I know plant poisons.

How do you feel about the neighborhood pets?


Posted by: Johno | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
17

That sharing backyards thing is kind of cool.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:25 PM
horizontal rule
18

No one has suggested salting the earth?

Or would that cause too much environmental harm?

I mean, this is a rare opportunity.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
19

without (1) too much work


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:34 PM
horizontal rule
20

Female dog urine kills everything, as long as you don't dilute it with watering or rain.

Big thirsty trees?


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:34 PM
horizontal rule
21

A middle road would be a heavy layer of cardboard (say, 4 or 5 layers of stout corrugated, overlapped at the seams) under the mulch; you will still get weeds, but they will be shallow-rooted and can be dealt with mostly by scuffling.

Gravel instead of mulch would support even feebler weeds. Pricier, though.

If plastic sheeting isn't covered, and you go out for a cig/barbecue/neighbor taunting, it will rip and you will get weeds and the plastic will tangle your hoe or weedwhacker. If it is covered, weeds will root in it just as they will above the cardboard.

The cardboard will last a year or two, and be harmless when it's gone, which is more than can be said for plastic and 'landscaping fabric', which often don't last more than a year anyway.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
22

My thistle garden* (not in bloom yet). So far no complaints , but then the guy behind me has had his backyard full of debris from remodeling his house for the last six years (visible on Google Earth).

*It had been a big part of vegetable garden before I abandoned it to the critters (got a bit shady as well). I did just reclaim enough for two rows of corn after this picture was taken.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:42 PM
horizontal rule
23

Male dog urine, OTOH, has been scientifically proven to greatly enhance human male sexual characteristics, especially stamina and size. "They" are trying to keep this secret from the people.

It's a hormone thing, and is most effective embibed immediately after excretion, with the larger more aggressive breeds provide faster results.

Caged or confined animals will not work!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:45 PM
horizontal rule
24

Just ride around the yard on motocross bikes until all the plants are dead. Repeat as necessary.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:53 PM
horizontal rule
25

The plastic suggestions are pretty good. Get some cheap pavers now and then when you're near a home improvement store with a car (you drive to work in NoVa - this should be nearly every day), and start to line the yard from the outside in. Pick up some Roundup - it's a good herbicide, and while the whole Roundup Ready crop business is plenty creepy, it's a relatively low-impact chemical for just killing random plants.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:57 PM
horizontal rule
26

24: It can be hot work, you'll want a colorful wicking jersey.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
27

26 to 20.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
28

One way to avoid work would be to get your no-good lazy bum housemates to do it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
29

Yah, mulch. Lots of cardboard - and soak it or hold it down with rocks while you're laying it, or you'll be chasing it all over the yard. Then a thick layer of something on top. Cedar mulch is relatively cheap around here, although the previously mentioned pavers would work well too. If pinestraw can be had cheap 'round there, I like that a lot for this kind of purpose. Highly acid so it keeps pretty much everything from growing (except blueberries if you're so inclined), attractive reddish color, you can walk on it, and it smells nice.


Posted by: adamhenne | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
30

Um, can't you just mow the weeds like you would a lawn? It doesn't take that long, compared to what I'm imagining actually weeding is like....then again, I come from what practically counts as a desert, so don't listen to me on this. Grass struggled. Weeds were the only green patches in our minuscule front lawn. We had an ice plant backyard. (Come to think of it, ice plant is a weed, an invasive one at that, but no one seemed to complain, and an entire elementary school had a view of our yard. Is ice plant an option on the east coast?)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
31

One problem with the female dog plan is the bitchers like to pee in a particular spot, or if you were to borrow the neighborhood or pound dogs for fast defoliation, they like to pee on each other's spots. Dog parks get defoliated by having large numbers of dogs, some very dumb some overxcited, some submissive, over a reasonable timespan like a few months.

Dogs really like to pee on piles of leaves and grass, which after waiting for complete seepage, could be moved around. That could cut the time to a few weeks.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:00 PM
horizontal rule
32

I bet you could tune this bad boy up and make weeding fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
33

Or make your own!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
34

And fuck meddlesome neighbors.

In this case, we're talking about big ass city rats. Meddling is perfectly acceptable; encouraged, even.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
35

Bob, no one is going to use the dog piss plan.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:05 PM
horizontal rule
36

Right now LADWP is offering rebates to people for removing their lawns.

Austin does that, too. The first I'll do when I buy a house is to rip out the grass. Xeriscaping, baby.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
37

I think there's even a special subsidy for fake lawns.

That part's really stupid, though.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
38

Bob should rebrand his system Siruiscaping. That'd be much more marketable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
39

SIRIUSCAPING ERF


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
40

I know I've linked to my pictures of xeriscapes before, but here they are again.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:18 PM
horizontal rule
41

A lot greener than I expected.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:20 PM
horizontal rule
42

So pretty.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
43

Watch out for the cactus. I've been fighting a battle with what I think is opuntia lingula that I let get out of hand. It had grown to cover about 500 square feet, about 4 feet tall, with litter and grass and weeds. I've been working with a long handled shovel and tongs to cut it back. Every week, the day before trash day, I'd load about 75 pounds or so of cactus into the dumpster. This has been going on for many months. It's not under control yet.

For broadleaf weeds, I've had good success with the traditional 2,4,D (agent orange). It's cheap and widely available under many brand names.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
44

I doubt cactus is much of a problem in Washington, DC.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:54 PM
horizontal rule
45

I think clew is correct but three-four layers of newspaper, plus the mulch you already have should do the trick.

(Pourous plastic sheeting tends to allow weeds anyways and is hard to get rid of. Garbage bags and the like heat up, melt, are hard to get rid of and results in excessive runoff. Cardboard will work if you have enough of it. But newspaper in sufficient thickness combined with mulch blocks the light, the water goes right through it and the ground softens up pretty good. The newspaper eventually breaks down, but newspaper is cheap and once the seeds in the ground have died, you don't get new weeds.)

In any event, a sufficient thickness of mulch (not fertilizer/soil amendments like bat guano, but leaves, dead plants, wood chicks - cellulose) covers a multitude of sins.

max
['Whee.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:55 PM
horizontal rule
46

Although you never know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:55 PM
horizontal rule
47

Alternatively, you could plant a bunch of cactus. That'll keep those meddling neighbors out.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:58 PM
horizontal rule
48

The (flop)house of blogging buying newspapers only to use them for anti-gardening! The future of the industry is here.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 9:59 PM
horizontal rule
49

A lot greener than I expected.

I used to think xeriscaping more or less meant desert and cactus -- which can be quite beautiful -- but it really just means using native (or at least well-adapted) plants and planting them in appropriate conditions.

Central Texas has beautiful native plants, including lots of wildflowers, so xeriscaping can look like this or this, too.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:00 PM
horizontal rule
50

I still think you should salt the earth.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:00 PM
horizontal rule
51

Frankly, I would have preferred it were it less green.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
52

You could plant lots of weeds in the neighbors' yards. Keep those meddling fucks too busy to notice your own weed problems.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
53

50: With Celtic Artisan Sea Salt, of course.

Delicate and exquisite fine moist granules of whitish-grey Fleur de Sel sea salt are traditionally harvested by celtic methods (mostly by women) by skimming the surface of the sea water of the ancient celtic salt marshes


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
54

51: Well, there's plenty of this sort of thing out there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:14 PM
horizontal rule
55

51: Get off my xeriscape, punk.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
56

Central Texas is pretty damn verdant in general.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:18 PM
horizontal rule
57

There's a Flickr pool showing a variety of xeriscaping techniques. The amount of green varies considerably.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:19 PM
horizontal rule
58

Central Texas is pretty damn verdant in general.

Ayup. The only time I've passed through, I was surprised to find myself remarking how much parts of Oklahoma and Texas seemed like Central Virginia but with fewer hills.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:22 PM
horizontal rule
59

with fewer hills

Careful, there. They're very proud of their hills.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:23 PM
horizontal rule
60

Smaller hills? The hills were very nice. (Don't execute me, Texans.)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:25 PM
horizontal rule
61

The hill country's hills are pretty small, fair to say.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:27 PM
horizontal rule
62

Yeah, Becks, haven't you got one of those Texans looking for a chance to clear some brush? (They seem to like it).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:32 PM
horizontal rule
63

I posted some pictures from my New Mexico trip on Facebook. However, the only one that might even vaguely interest you, teo, is the one of the giant wreath, since we didn't go anywhere interesting.

My friend's photos from Washington State show a city (Seattle) which looks like nothing I've ever seen on the east coast, plus photos of forests and hills which look just like what I see around here. I had expected the man-made stuff to be much more familiar looking.

This is the kind of comment I wish would disappear after an hour. Maybe it's time to switch to 4chan.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:33 PM
horizontal rule
64

An enchanted bit of central Texas.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:35 PM
horizontal rule
65

An enchanted bit of Manhattan.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
66

An enchanted bit of Central Florida.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
67

63: What Ned's friend saw.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:41 PM
horizontal rule
68

plus photos of forests and hills which look just like what I see around here.

Really? IME There are some really obvious differences between west coast forest and hills and central/eastern.

The first one is that trees (and in most places hills) in the east are really quite small, comparatively. Like 1/3rd scale. This might not be obvious in photos though.

But the forests around seattle have very few decidious trees, essentially none in many places, which I haven't seen east of there.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:41 PM
horizontal rule
69

An enchanted bit of penis.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
70

65, whoa. I recognized the shots from the parks, but those lot-sized boulders were really startling. Now here's a gardening question: how do you keep those free of rats without killing the neighborhood children?


Posted by: adamhenne | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
71

'course, that might just be sampling bias. There's loads of the east & central I haven't seen much of.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
72

However, the only one that might even vaguely interest you, teo, is the one of the giant wreath, since we didn't go anywhere interesting.

You've got some pictures of Santa Fe and the Rio Grande Gorge that are pretty interesting. Thanks for posting them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:43 PM
horizontal rule
73

68: Yes, I've not seen the photos, but your description seems completely the opposite of how I would characterize it. Unless your friend only took pictures of the Space Needle.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:44 PM
horizontal rule
74

73: "You" addressed to Ned not soup.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:45 PM
horizontal rule
75

The pictures in the woods were not exactly professional-caliber, they just reminded me of what I see around here. True, they were all evergreens, but we do have evergreens here, just not dominant.

Thanks teo. I will now post a few others.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:47 PM
horizontal rule
76

An enchanted bit of New Mexico. With scorched earth and xeriscape.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:49 PM
horizontal rule
77

Having seen a few of the pictures of Seattle Ned was apparently referring to, they don't look likely to be particularly representative of the city as a whole, but I've never been there myself so I don't know for sure.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:50 PM
horizontal rule
78

76: I don't think it counts as xeriscaping if it's just the natural landscape.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:51 PM
horizontal rule
79

Now here's a gardening question: how do you keep those free of rats without killing the neighborhood children?

You see a lot of "KEEP CLEAR, PESTICIDE" signs around in that neighborhood. Also, kids around there are kept on a pretty fucking tight leash.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:54 PM
horizontal rule
80

78: O RLY?


Posted by: OPINIONATED ACTIVELY XERISCAPING GOD | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:56 PM
horizontal rule
81

OT: Soon my family will drive across the country. Should we go the northern teir(ish): through Park City, then up to Yellowstone/Grand Teton, then over to the Black Hills/Badlands, then to Madison, then up to the UP and Mackinac Island, then down to Cleveland? Or the southern(er) tier: Vegas, Grand Canyon/Bryce/Four Corners, Santa Fe, up to Denver, and then who the fuck knows because everything east of Denver is really ugly*?

The upside of the former is that it's probably more consistently interesting and beautiful. But the weather in mid June can be truly awful. The latter option, though a bit more boring (after we leave the Rockies behind), will have reliably good weather.

So? Oh, if it matters, we'll mostly be camping. And there are two adults and two kids, one quite young.

* The first person who makes some outrageous claims about the beauty of the Great Plains can fuck right off. I lived in Oklahoma for two years. That region is ass.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:58 PM
horizontal rule
82

This random flickr photo looks like pretty typical (probably youngish regrowth) PNW forest.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 10:59 PM
horizontal rule
83

re 82: coastal, anyway. it shifts a bit inland and with altitude.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:01 PM
horizontal rule
84

80: I don't see the term "xeriscape" anywhere on that page.

81: The latter.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:01 PM
horizontal rule
85

81: I'm envious of both.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:02 PM
horizontal rule
86

84: When are you leaving your post?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:02 PM
horizontal rule
87

80: I don't see the term "xeriscape" anywhere on that page.

God works in mysterious ways, teo.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:03 PM
horizontal rule
88

For me the question is whether you and your family have already done Utah. If not, hie thee to Zion. If so, my family has totally enjoyed the northern route you've got there, and it would certainly be less crowded.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:04 PM
horizontal rule
89

Vegas is really weird for kids.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:05 PM
horizontal rule
90

89: But I thought prostitution was legal.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:06 PM
horizontal rule
91

Ari: just drive to Saskatoon and make plans from there. "Saskatoon". It just sounds silly and fun. Saskatoon!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:06 PM
horizontal rule
92

I don't think it counts as xeriscaping if it's just the natural landscape.

Isn't it almost the same thing? I mean, xeriscaping assumes some human planning, I guess, but only to the point you could theoretically leave it alone, right? Or am I thnking of something else?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:07 PM
horizontal rule
93

it would certainly be less crowded

For a reason: camping in the snow sucks. Okay, I think I've answered my own question. Sometimes you just need to write things down.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:07 PM
horizontal rule
94

91: August is when you want to visit Saskatchewan, my man. For black fly season (which never really ends there, but the peak, in late summer, is especially remarkable).


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:09 PM
horizontal rule
95

When are you leaving your post?

Around August 1.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:09 PM
horizontal rule
96

Sometimes you just need to write things down.

Right, like "Saskatoon". Write that down ten times in a row. Don't you feel better?

Saskatooooooon!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:09 PM
horizontal rule
97

I thought prostitution was legal.

Not in Vegas itself, I don't think. The only brothels I saw were on the outskirts of Carson City.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:10 PM
horizontal rule
98

95: Oh. Well, maybe we'll come see you. When do you do tours?


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:12 PM
horizontal rule
99

Isn't it almost the same thing? I mean, xeriscaping assumes some human planning, I guess, but only to the point you could theoretically leave it alone, right? Or am I thnking of something else?

It could, but in general xeriscaping requires a lot more work than you might think to come up with something nice-looking. People do usually have to do at least a bit of watering once it's put in.

If you want totally no-maintenance you can just dump a bunch of crushed igneous rock on the yard. Not an uncommon solution in NM at least, but not usually considered xeriscaping in the classic sense.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:12 PM
horizontal rule
100

When do you do tours?

Every day. Let me know as it gets closer and I'll know my schedule more precisely.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
101

94: Oh, they have the black flies in Canada now. Well, that's nice.

(Full disclosure: I've never been to Saskatoon, but it's among my current top five of best-place-names. Saskatoooooon!)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
102

81: FWIW, I'd chance it and go the notherly route.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
103

Ned's pictures continue to be excellent. I haven't been to Taos in ages, but it looks exactly like I remember it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:15 PM
horizontal rule
104

August is when you want to visit Saskatchewan, my man.

And mosquitos. I rode a bicycle across that prairie once in summer, and they viscous.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:17 PM
horizontal rule
105

It could, but in general xeriscaping requires a lot more work than you might think to come up with something nice-looking

Oh, it's clearly a lot of work to set up. I just meant that you're using native/local plants presumably so they don't need a lot of handholding later....


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:18 PM
horizontal rule
106

I just meant that you're using native/local plants presumably so they don't need a lot of handholding later....

Definitely, but the end result generally doesn't actually look a whole lot like a native landscape. It's still very much gardening.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:20 PM
horizontal rule
107

Oh, they have the black flies in Canada now. Well, that's nice.

You're kidding, right?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:20 PM
horizontal rule
108

106: makes sense.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:20 PM
horizontal rule
109

104: and they viscous.

The air was thick with them?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:21 PM
horizontal rule
110

81: Southern, but skip Santa Fe (now that plague has come again) and head east on 40. There's a rather nice park for campting just south of Amarillo (suprisingly - Palo something - didn't Heebie go there?). Eastern Oklahoma isn't too bad, there are Corps of Engineers campgrounds along the navigable rivers. Watch out for ticks and Lyme disease in Arkansas. Then up the Mississippi on the Great River Road. Turn right at Prarie Du Chien.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
111

exactly.

ok, that's a small overstatement.

but I do recall more than one morning where they were so thick on the underside of the tent fly you literally couldn't really tell the color of it anymore. They're sluggish then, so you can get moving before they do. You could probably squish a hundred with one hand clap, then.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
112

111->109


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:29 PM
horizontal rule
113

You're kidding, right?

Yes

[cross-posted to---oh, never mind my crap jokes. Hello, bed!]


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:31 PM
horizontal rule
114

Eastern Oklahoma isn't too bad, there are Corps of Engineers campgrounds along the navigable rivers. Watch out for ticks and Lyme disease in Arkansas. Then up the Mississippi on the Great River Road. Turn right at Prarie Du Chien.

What you say...makes sense.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:38 PM
horizontal rule
115

palo duro: http://www.palodurocanyon.com/
In northern Arkansas the Buffalo River is nice, but I did get Lyme disease there. http://www.nps.gov/buff
Great river road: http://www.experiencemississippiriver.com/

The Corps of Engineer campgrounds are all along the navigable rivers (Misissippi, Illinois, Arkansas, Ohio). They're usually right by the river, somewhat primitive, but very cheap.

Consider Spiro Mound, in eastern Oklahoma: http://www.oldstatehouse.com/samdellinger/arkansas-antiquities/spiro-mound.asp


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:44 PM
horizontal rule
116

110: Palo Duro.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:45 PM
horizontal rule
117

115: Thanks again. I didn't know that the Buffalo ran free. That's quite cool and should be worth a trip; we'll do lots of tick checks (we always do). As for the river road -- and the river itself -- I know it pretty well.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:50 PM
horizontal rule
118

If you do the Mississippi, consider a brief side trip up the Illinois river to Kampsville: http://www.caa-archeology.org/

Pere Marquette State park is pretty darned fancy, but still campable. http://www.greatriverroad.com/Pere/PereIndex.htm
Then the Bussels ferry
http://www.greatriverroad.com/SecondaryPages/ferries.htm

Me, I love the ferries. If you know the river, I'll stop now. I just really really like the big rivers. The bluffs. The old (for the US) towns. The small roads. The locks. The barges. Funky small restaurants.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:53 PM
horizontal rule
119

It turns out that ticks on the back side of the scrotum are pretty tough to find, especially in a small dark tent. That may be more information than you wanted


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:54 PM
horizontal rule
120

Teabagging for disease prevention.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-09 11:57 PM
horizontal rule
121

120: we checked with the ranger at the visitor's center, and strangely, she didn't suggest that.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 12:01 AM
horizontal rule
122

If you know the river, I'll stop now.

No, no, keep 'em coming. I just meant that, yes, driving up the river is an excellent idea and something I've done before.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 12:09 AM
horizontal rule
123

Cahokia.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 12:15 AM
horizontal rule
124

"Harborage"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 12:19 AM
horizontal rule
125

On topic, Roundup is pretty damn effective. Basically it's 2,4,5-T (Agent Orange). Never seen anything plantlike survive it yet. Plus you get the warm fuzzies from giving money to Monsanto.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 12:52 AM
horizontal rule
126

I want to cover our garden in that rubber flooring you get in playgrounds etc. C says I can't. Friends of ours just bought some rubber matting off eBay and have covered their patio in it. Perhaps you could try that - you can take it away at the end, unlike paving, and it sounds easier to me than messing about with cardboard. Not sure how it would cope with dog piss, but it would make poop-scooping easier.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 1:36 AM
horizontal rule
127

"Harbinger" does actually come from the same root as "harbour" and the French "auberge". A harbinger was originally a billeting officer. See, when the army's marching from town to town, the billeting officers go on ahead, with a bit of chalk each, and the first clue you get that the army is coming to YOUR town is when the harbingers turn up and start writing things like "A COY HQ" and "3 PLATOON" and "BN SUPPLY" on people's doors, and next thing you know your house is full of squaddies.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 2:15 AM
horizontal rule
128

On topic, Roundup is pretty damn effective. Basically it's 2,4,5-T (Agent Orange).

Different trade names in different countries? Wikipedia shows the two as being completely different, other than both having an alcohol group hanging off one end. Agent Orange has that chlorinated aromatic ring while Roundup has a Phosphorus with some hydroxyls.


Posted by: water moccasin | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 2:51 AM
horizontal rule
129

That's a cool etymology. Examining closer, it looks like both words come from Old High German herberga (army-accommodation), but "harbor" comes directly from Germanic roots, while "harbinger" detoured through France.

And Herberge in modern German means "hostel" - go figure.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 3:09 AM
horizontal rule
130

Seriously, you can buy clover seeds from turtle suppliers. Or is it tortoise suppliers? Anyway, the things with shells that can live a couple of hundred years if they don't get picked up by an eagle.

You don't need any special expensive garden store sheeting: you just use ordinary black plastic bags, weight them down at the corners with stones, and leave them down for two weeks. Then spread mulch. Then plant clover. Then water for a couple of weeks with a hose.

Then you can just ignore it for a couple of years, except to admire the pretty clover flowers.

Or you could plant mint. Or you could plant mint as well as clover, lots of different sorts, and watch as your back garden becomes a minty paradise!


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 4:38 AM
horizontal rule
131

Mint would be cool (Sorry). But you'd have to restrict yourself to the small varieties. Standard spearmint would look like weeds to the 3rd Amendment purists living next door to Becks.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 4:43 AM
horizontal rule
132

81 -- Turn north earlier, in Wells. Cross the Snake (like Evel) north of Twin, and go up through Stanley, and up Lost Trail Pass. Turn right at the top, though, and drop down to the Big Hole Battlefield. Follow the Nez Perce from there through Yellowstone, and up to their stand at the mouth of that canyon near Laurel. Don't forget to bring the Robert Penn Warren.

Drop by Little Bighorn on the way to Devil's Tower and the Black Hills.

After that, it barely matters.

I might be tempted to go north earlier, at Winnemucca, and then turn east until you get to US 12. That corner of Oregon has a stark beauty. And you've started off the NP with that old woman rescuing Lewis & Clark. Big Hole and Yellowstone as above.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 4:44 AM
horizontal rule
133

turn est when you get to US 12. Are your kids strong enough to walk to Jerry Johnson?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 4:48 AM
horizontal rule
134

Or east, if you'd prefer.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 4:48 AM
horizontal rule
135

http://www.uiargonaut.com/archives/100600/outstory3.html


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 4:53 AM
horizontal rule
136

re: 81

132 is excellent advice. I would add that the Black Hills are very pretty, particularly Custer State Park. And after that there is a lot of open nothingness, but the Badlands are interesting to drive through. Vastly superior to the southern route you propose. I do think you are a bit too harsh on Oklahoma. Eastern Oklahoma is kind of pretty (but nicer in the fall than in the summer) and a nice change after the plains.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 5:03 AM
horizontal rule
137

go up through Stanley

It is just a bit of a detour (by western standards), but if you go this way, I would stop by Craters of the Moon park. What could be better than old lava flows and cinder cones!

re: 135

If you want to hot spring, you might also consider Chico Hot Springs, just north of Yellowstone.


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 5:33 AM
horizontal rule
138

I'm with everyone suggesting a nice thick layer of newspaper, covered by a nice thick layer of wood chips or something for the esthetics. Stuff will eventually sprout through it, but not much and not fast, and you can re-cover spots where there are breakthroughs. (And you'll be doing a favor to the next tenants who want to garden!)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 5:37 AM
horizontal rule
139

137 -- For God's sake don't tell them about the hot pots near Gardiner. Not on the internet, anyway.

Chico is great. Make your dinner reservation asap, though. (Or has the recession made it easier to get in on short notice??) Or for Sunday brunch, if that's how it falls out . . . I'd say that Chico is the last good meal going east until you get to Chicago, but that might be selling Minneapolis short.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 5:43 AM
horizontal rule
140

don't tell them about the hot pots near Gardiner

I would never be so indiscrete!


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 5:52 AM
horizontal rule
141

Seconding Custer State Park (drive the Needles Highway, see Sylvan Lake) and Zion.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:12 AM
horizontal rule
142

It's kind of funny to think I actually pay for the privilege of battling weeds. All the old pros out at my plot use the newspaper/cardboard covered with mulch strategy for keeping down weeds between the rows. Mulch often means grass clippings from mowing the lqawn or leaves saved from the prior fall.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:16 AM
horizontal rule
143

Oh, north or south. Well, see one of them either way. But yes, the northern route has fewer dull stretches. (One of the best family vacations I ever had, when I was 9 or so.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:17 AM
horizontal rule
144

Avoid Texas.

We are moving to 95 this weekend, 97-98 by Tueday and apparently staying there. 77-80 for the daily lows. Once we heat up and dry out, it will be over til October. Looks like a very hot summer.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:40 AM
horizontal rule
145

Astroturf.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:54 AM
horizontal rule
146

119: I feel your balls pain. I've had nutsack ticks. The best part is the little scar that looks like you've had some hideous STD.

Also "Harbinger of Vermin" would be a great name for a band.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
147

12 in Idaho is beautiful. Several campgrounds along a clear river which one can wade in. Clean sandy bottom. Also Cahokia. Also Big Hole. Avoid Jackson Hole. Avoid Texas. Avoid the police in Oklahoma (I've been known to go through Kansas to avoid Oklahoma).

Getting to Palo Duro while avoiding Texas, and to Spiro while avoiding Oklahoma, is part of the challenge.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:50 AM
horizontal rule
148

Or you could plant mint. Or you could plant mint as well as clover, lots of different sorts, and watch as your back garden becomes a minty paradise!

Mint gets pretty tall, certainly tall enough for rats to hide in, if that's the concern.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
149

And it seems that the smaller varieties aren't quite as outrageously vigorous as the larger ones, I should say. I really crave a yard composed entirely of corsican mint, but it's hard to get and apparently not the complete snap to grow that spearmint is.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
150

If you do the Mississippi

IYKWIMAITYD


Posted by: OPINIONATED HUCK | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
151

You could mow once a week.


Posted by: Adam Kotsko | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
152

among my current top five of best-place-names

Walla Walla
Aiea
Moose Jaw
Lolo Pass
Osawatomie


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 2:06 PM
horizontal rule
153

70: Now here's a gardening question: how do you keep those free of rats without killing the neighborhood children?

Tin Cat.

Ari: OT: Soon my family will drive across the country. Should we go the northern teir(ish): through Park City, then up to Yellowstone/Grand Teton, then over to the Black Hills/Badlands, then to Madison, then up to the UP and Mackinac Island, then down to Cleveland? Or the southern(er) tier: Vegas, Grand Canyon/Bryce/Four Corners, Santa Fe, up to Denver, and then who the fuck knows because everything east of Denver is really ugly*?

Well, if the weather along the northern tier in the mountains sucks, but the weather in the north on the plains is ok, why not: Vegas, Zion, Rainbow Bridge, Four Corners/Chaco, then either Taos or Sante Fe/Las Vegas (yeah, there's some zig-zagging there to see all the sights) and then North on 25. Head way north on 25 (with the mountains on your left the whole way) to Wyoming on up to IH 90, and then over to the Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore. (Or alternatively, you could turn east after Denver and the decompressing hotel room and head across Nebraska if you're behind on time) and then put the pedal to the metal across SD and Minn, and to save some time, take a ferry across Lake Michigan. Or hit the UP if you're making good time. In fact, seeing all those mountains ought to turn the plains into a nice change of pace provided you drive real fast through. At any rate, it looks like you've got a long north-south traverse to make at some point, and 25 seems like the nicest route.

The upside of the former is that it's probably more consistently interesting and beautiful. But the weather in mid June can be truly awful. The latter option, though a bit more boring (after we leave the Rockies behind), will have reliably good weather. So? Oh, if it matters, we'll mostly be camping. And there are two adults and two kids, one quite young.

I think the route I listed should miss most the bad weather spots while managing most of the scenic places to camp, considering that you're going to Cleveland from CA.

* The first person who makes some outrageous claims about the beauty of the Great Plains can fuck right off. I lived in Oklahoma for two years. That region is ass.

Bah. People like what they like; if you don't like it some kind of terrain, it's fine. And fair enough, lots of Oklahoma is ugly, which is why they gave it to the Indians. However, as mighty Molly (RIP) sayeth:

I like flat land. Land you can fall off the side of makes me nervous. In Lubbock the world is about 88.3 percent sky, which I believe is the correct proportion: It takes awhile to get used to, but after you do, Lubbock feels like freedom and everywhere else feels like jail.

max
['Teh quotage is exact.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 5:51 PM
horizontal rule
154

Sante Fe

God damn it.

Otherwise, though, max's suggestions sound reasonable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
155

God damn it.

That's always been my reaction to the place. I haven't actually lived there since 1976, and visited seldom since, but for sheer plastic pretentiousness it's hard to beat. On the other hand, if you like watching tourists, you can't beat the plaza.

But if you're there, and then see Taos, go north on 285. You can stay at Great Sand Dunes , then cross the La Veta Pass to, um, I think it's Walsenburg. Or head north to Rocky Mountain national park

If you don't mind a bit of backtrack from Chaco, I'd go back towards Farmington and pick up the road that goes through Cuba towards Bernalillo. At San Ysidro turn north on 4, go up the Jemez River canyon (camping and hot springs available along the way,) through the Valle Grande then down into Los Alamos. I like the Bradbury Science Musem. Check out Bandelier and then to Espanola. Turn Right for Santa Fe, left for Taos (both on highway 285) or straight for the high road through Chimayo, Truchas (Wilderness camping available) and on into Taos.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:38 PM
horizontal rule
156

That's always been my reaction to the place.

My reaction is not to the place.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
157

and don't buy any jewelry, pottery, rugs, or other allegedly native stuff in Santa Fe. You'll pay way too much, and a frightening amount of it is plastic from China or pottery from Mexico. Gallup, also, has a lot of "Native American" stuff that's made by people who are native to, and still live in, Mexico.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
158

156: right. You were reacting to the spelling. I was attempting to make a funny.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
159

Okay, sounds like we're on the same page. Good to know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
160

Anyway, Santa Fe's not so bad. Definitely worth a visit.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 6:54 PM
horizontal rule
161

and don't buy any jewelry, pottery, rugs, or other allegedly native stuff in Santa Fe. You'll pay way too much, and a frightening amount of it is plastic from China or pottery from Mexico

But they all have some sort of card from the state certifying them as officially licensed artisans!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
162

Anyway, Santa Fe's not so bad. Definitely worth a visit.

What's worth seeing? The museums up on Camino Lejo? Yes, although it depends on one's interests. If you are interested in folk art, and native art, sure. Me, I like science museums with things that go whirrr and buttons and dials. Palace of the Governors, Museum of Fine Art on the Plaza? Perhaps. What else?

The albuquerque museums - atomic, city, natural history, etc aren't too bad. Some interesting stuff. The Albuquerque Museum has a display of old Alvarado hotel stuff now that I'd like to see.

But they all have some sort of card from the state certifying them as officially licensed artisans!

The ones under the portal at the Palace of the Governors on the Plaza have something like that, but I don't know what the requirements are. I think that a lot is assembled from parts, but I could be wrong. Shops and elsewhere, um, boy, I'd say caveat emptor I've even heard bad things about the flea market in Tesuque, although I've not been there.

On the third hand, the indian owned casinos are all, indeed, indian owned. Navajo, Isleta, Sandia, San Juan, Acoma, Laguna, etc. all have casinos.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
163

Georgia O'Keefe museum. But then, I don't see much appeal in science museums, so ymmv. (More people should be commenting to entertain me as I wait for a super-delayed flight.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 8:53 PM
horizontal rule
164

Though it does have a very high admission fee : amount of art on display ratio.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
165

Santa Fe has lovely architecture, the arroyo near St. John's (where one can walk with an off-leash dog), and yummy food. It's not my idea of the greatest place in the world, but it's good fun. And max, if you're around, I think we're likely to travel a route very much like the one you suggest. It's going to be a bit more circuitous than we planned, but lots of fun.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 9:02 PM
horizontal rule
166

Palace of the Governors, Museum of Fine Art on the Plaza? Perhaps. What else?

Well, there's that new state history museum. It just opened, so I don't know much about. I'm not sure what the relationship is to the old history museum in the Palace.

the indian owned casinos are all, indeed, indian owned.

Now that the racetracks have managed to get permission to become casinos, though, not even all the casinos are Indian-owned. All the ones that claim to be are, of course.

Santa Fe has lovely architecture

This is the key. If you like architecture and charming, walkable cities, downtown Santa Fe is great. Don't buy anything, of course, but I think that kind of goes without saying. There are some good restaurants, too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 9:29 PM
horizontal rule
167

On a side note, it's nice to have Schneider around here as a counterweight to me. It ensures that people get a wide spectrum of views on New Mexico.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 9:30 PM
horizontal rule
168

Georgia O'Keefe museum

I'd forgotten that one. I've never been there.

Santa Fe has lovely architecture

I don't know what to think about that.

The traditional pueblo style (flat roof, vigas, adobe, mud plaster) doesn't make any sense these days. The flat roofs leak, the vigas rot at the ends, the mud plaster has to be replaced every few years, and while adobe is a better insulator than cinder block you need a lot of it (hand made, hand installed, very expensive) to be as good as fiberglass. You can replace the mud plaster with cementitious stucco, but then you have the problem of a soft porous substrate with a hard waterproof skin, which tends to fail.

That's why most pueblo style buildings these days are block or wood frame, with aisphalt impregnated sheathing covered with tar paper, metal lath or chicken wire, and stucco. In other words, made to look like something it's not. I find that less that lovely. I find it pretentious, in the sense that it's pretending to be something.

The territorial is a bit better, but I'm not that impressed with it. Kinda like the discount store brand of federal style, or something.

But, of course, day gusty bus, as someone said. Non disputandem. Or whatever. Some people apparently like art museums. Who'da thunk?

For dogs, stop anywhere in the national forest, of which there are millions of acres.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 9:44 PM
horizontal rule
169

Yes, it's important to note that NM has a diversity of peoples, including old curmudgeons (holds hand up, waves).

I never found Santa Fe particularly walkable. Once you've gone from the Scottish Rite Cathedral to Canyon Road, about a 20 minute walk, you've pretty much seen it. Much west of the plaza you run into the mall, the big hotel, and the condos. North, it's residential, first old, then newer. East is canyon road, and Palace avenue, that's okay but it ends shortly. South gets you to the Capitol Building, and then blah. To get to the Camino Lejo museums, it's back to the car and drive a ways.

It's not like NYC, where you can walk and walk and walk and every twenty minutes it's like a whole new ethnicity, a whole new collection of small retailers, etc.

I seem to have missed the new history museum, too. I think I should get out more.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 9:51 PM
horizontal rule
170

And I'm trying hard to resist the urge to tell Teo "you should have seen it in the old days, it was better then, before that DeVargas fellow came and the furriners ruined it."

Of course, the only proper response would be "well, it's really been going downhill since the Athabaskan speakers arrived."

I recently learned that the rocks on my bit of land in the hills are about 1.7 Billion years old. They can well and truly complain about changes, and how the world just isn't what it was when they were young.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 9:59 PM
horizontal rule
171

It's not like NYC, where you can walk and walk and walk and every twenty minutes it's like a whole new ethnicity, a whole new collection of small retailers, etc.

Pretty high bar there, particularly given Santa Fe's location and size.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:05 PM
horizontal rule
172

Yeah, I mean, compared to NYC nothing else in the US comes anywhere close to being walkable. Several orders of magnitude.

I never found Santa Fe particularly walkable. Once you've gone from the Scottish Rite Cathedral to Canyon Road, about a 20 minute walk, you've pretty much seen it.

Well, yeah. Where else in NM can you walk across the core area of town in 20 minutes?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:09 PM
horizontal rule
173

The traditional pueblo style (flat roof, vigas, adobe, mud plaster) doesn't make any sense these days. The flat roofs leak, the vigas rot at the ends, the mud plaster has to be replaced every few years, and while adobe is a better insulator than cinder block you need a lot of it (hand made, hand installed, very expensive) to be as good as fiberglass.

"These days"? This has always been the case. Pueblos are traditionally replastered every year.

And anyway, none of this matters to a casual observer walking around town. When people say a place has nice architecture, they're usually not referring to its functional properties.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
174

Maybe they SHOULD take into account more than the appearance of the facing walls!

Didja ever think about that, smartey mans?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:15 PM
horizontal rule
175

I have to admit that, until this conversation, I did not.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:16 PM
horizontal rule
176

I don't believe that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:17 PM
horizontal rule
177

You can believe whatever you like.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:18 PM
horizontal rule
178

I'm not sure I like your tone, young man.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:20 PM
horizontal rule
179

You can like whatever you want.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:24 PM
horizontal rule
180

154: God damn it.

My apologies, Teo. It took me five minutes of re-reading that to see that that was e. WTF did that come from?

Anyway, Santa Fe's not so bad. Definitely worth a visit.

Or at least a drive-thru. I like all the little towns in New Mexico, as opposed to Texas where the little towns (some of them, especially in East Texas) are not so cool. I really really liked Tucumcari even though there isn't actually anything there last I checked.

Oh, and I hearily endorse the sentiments about Arkansas in the summer: I swear, that's when the World Tick Union has its yearly Jamboree. Plus, it's enclosed feeling in the valleys, but really really stiflingly hot.

max
['Plus, highly unfriendly people.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:25 PM
horizontal rule
181

Ari: And max, if you're around, I think we're likely to travel a route very much like the one you suggest. It's going to be a bit more circuitous than we planned, but lots of fun.

Cool! Happy to help, sir!

168: The traditional pueblo style (flat roof, vigas, adobe, mud plaster) doesn't make any sense these days.

Have they not switched to those quasi-california style stone shingle roofs? If you insulated it properly it seems like it'd last forever.

max
['There really ought to be a way to combine Roman Med style and cross it with adobe and the aforementioned stone shingle style and get something nice.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
182

Have they not switched to those quasi-california style stone shingle roofs? If you insulated it properly it seems like it'd last forever.

The Hispanic villages mostly added steeply pitched corrugated tin roofs in the nineteenth century. The Pueblos themselves, not so much.

My apologies, Teo. It took me five minutes of re-reading that to see that that was e. WTF did that come from?

No big deal. It's a pretty common error, which I presume usually comes from the assumption that the final vowels have to agree.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:41 PM
horizontal rule
183

You all are making me homesick for New Mexico. (Is it possible to be homesick for a place you just lived in a couple of months in the summers your dad felt like remembering he had a kid?) My dad had an adobe along the canyon of the Pecos River, in a one street town west of Santa Fe.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:46 PM
horizontal rule
184

My dad had an adobe along the canyon of the Pecos River, in a one street town west of Santa Fe.

You've mentioned this before. It's a pretty clever way to hide the identity of the town.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 10:57 PM
horizontal rule
185

But if you really want to hide the identity you should say "west of Sante Fe".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:11 PM
horizontal rule
186

Hah, I had forgotten that I had talked about it. I don't mind naming the town - South San Ysidro. I suppose there are many one street towns in that region - and I haven't been there in at least a decade - I wonder if they've added more streets.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:14 PM
horizontal rule
187

Most towns in northern NM have only one street, and South San Ysidro looks like no exception. My (probably overly subtle) point, however, was that the Pecos River is east of Santa Fe.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:24 PM
horizontal rule
188

Looks like it remains a one-street town.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:25 PM
horizontal rule
189

Added value and all that.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:25 PM
horizontal rule
190

Looks like it's right next to Pecos, which is another place ari might consider visiting. I hear they're planning to open up a trail at the Glorieta battlefield soon. Not that he would care about that, of course. Not bloody enough.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
191

187: Oooooh. I get it.

And indeed, it does remain as small as I remembered it. Does it count as a town if it only has a church open on major holidays and a post office open one day a week?

I think the town was somewhat excited when Val Kilmer bought a large ranch near it (the boundary line came up against my dad's property), but I'm guessing they didn't profit from the sudden influx of paparazzi.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:29 PM
horizontal rule
192

Glorieta is the only Civil War battlefield I've ever been to.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:31 PM
horizontal rule
193

Does it count as a town if it only has a church open on major holidays and a post office open one day a week?

In New Mexico, yes.

Kilmer was making noises recently about getting involved in local politics. I don't think anything ever came of it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:31 PM
horizontal rule
194

I've been to Pecos, but I don't think I've actually been to the battlefield.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:32 PM
horizontal rule
195

You all are making me homesick for New Mexico.

Man, no kidding.

Also, anyone who goes through Santa Fe in the summer would do well to spend an evening at the opera. It's not the Met, obviously, but it is remarkably good for what is after all a pretty small southwestern town. And the hall! The hall is great. Only semi-enclosed, so there are stars visible out the back of the stage and there's the smell and the chill of desert night air, and things like stage thunder in the going-to-hell bit of Don Giovanni carry more than the usual verisimilitude.

And while it's undoubtedly true that a large fraction of the wares for sale in Santa Fe are crap, I would note for the record that pottery from Mexico needn't be. The potters of Mata Ortiz, for instance, produce some amazing work.

So much for delurking with a fanfare of wit.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:41 PM
horizontal rule
196

Yeah, the Santa Fe Opera is great. I'm not much of an opera fan (although, to be fair, I've only been to one), but it's a fantastic building and the experience is very memorable. It's pretty cheap too.

Also agreed on Mata Ortiz pottery. Great stuff. Zapotec rugs are okay too, although they tend a bit more to the cheap-imitation end of the spectrum.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:44 PM
horizontal rule
197

And welcome, GB. Have a fruit basket.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:50 PM
horizontal rule
198

So much for delurking with a fanfare of wit.

Well at least you delurked with a memorable pseudonym, so we don't have to go through that ritual.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-09 11:58 PM
horizontal rule
199


Thanks, teo. And I'm glad I don't need re-naming; two new names in one night might be a bit much.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:05 AM
horizontal rule
200

198: I'm taking that personally.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:16 AM
horizontal rule
201

You should be taking it parenthetically.

(Like this.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:17 AM
horizontal rule
202

You should be taking it parenthetically.

I think that belongs on the sex thread.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:20 AM
horizontal rule
203

Yeah, I thought it might.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:22 AM
horizontal rule
204

...laydee.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:24 AM
horizontal rule
205

I'm taking that personally.

If it makes you feel any better, I was once here under an initialism of uncreative significance myself.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:28 AM
horizontal rule
206

That brings much comfort to me, Otto.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:30 AM
horizontal rule
207

What is Ouzel going on about?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 12:31 AM
horizontal rule
208

"These days"? This has always been the case. Pueblos are traditionally replastered every year.

It made sense when that was all that was available for a building material. Now, when it's a matter of style to do something somewhat impractical, not so much.

I guess that for me "walkable" didn't mean "somewhere you can drive to and park and then spend an hour or so walking around." That standard seems a bit low. Or maybe I'm easily amused. I've stopped at innumerable town squares in county seats in the midwest, parked, and spent an hour or two walking around, having lunch in the one restaurant, gawking at the wares in the antique stores. But I didn't think of them as walkable towns.

By that standard Gallup is walkable. Albuquerque old town is walkable, as is the University area. Maybe Grants isn't walkable, or maybe I don't know it well enough.

Mata Ortiz pottery is nice. I have some. But it's not native american, by my standards. It is, however, sold as native american, or indian (also true) which I think is misleading.


Posted by: Michael H Schneider | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 5:55 AM
horizontal rule
209

I'm kind of interested in the line between "Mexican" and "Native American." Are we using "American" to mean 'of the United States of America' and not 'of North (or South) America'? (Thus, not 'of the United Mexican States')


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
210

Now, when it's a matter of style to do something somewhat impractical, not so much.

The mind boggles.

I guess that for me "walkable" didn't mean "somewhere you can drive to and park and then spend an hour or so walking around." That standard seems a bit low. Or maybe I'm easily amused. I've stopped at innumerable town squares in county seats in the midwest, parked, and spent an hour or two walking around, having lunch in the one restaurant, gawking at the wares in the antique stores. But I didn't think of them as walkable towns.

See, for me that's the very definition of a walkable town. New Mexico has very few of them. Gallup is one, Grants is not. There are a few parts of Albuquerque that qualify. Otherwise the whole state is basically drive, drive, drive, drive, drive.

Mata Ortiz pottery is nice. I have some. But it's not native american, by my standards. It is, however, sold as native american, or indian (also true) which I think is misleading.

Misleading in the sense that the potters are not from groups that we traditionally define as "Native American," true. But they are explicitly imitating the pottery styles of the prehistoric inhabitants of the Casas Grandes region, which is something. The stuff's not mold-made in China.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-09 11:10 AM
horizontal rule