I’ve been unusually blessed by the beautiful pieces of land I’ve owned over the years. I’ve written about some of them here, especially Wolf Pen Mill Farm in Kentucky, my small attempt to mitigate the disasters of climate change that are rushing toward us. Yet it’s still especially sad for me to sell Apache Mesa Ranch, near Las Vegas, New Mexico, fourteen hundred plus wild and nearly arid acres with a big new barn and a small old stone house and the spring where a few years ago Pip and encountered the bear.
I don’t have the means to run a ranch, or the experience, and the partner who for a while seemed interested has disappeared. So the unreality of continuing to own an unproductive piece of land at the end of a terrible road broke through several layers of my dreams—or where they delusions? Coming west 27 years ago brought with it an old dream of horses, open land, and all that—even cattle, before the dreadful effects of cow gas, otherwise known as methane, made the prospect of raising more cattle unjustifiable—even if there was water enough or grass to make such a project marginally sustainable.
Now my able real estate agent is in charge, and has put the ranch online, with several hits in the first week and one meeting planned for next month. The ranch would only appeal to a convinced solitary, almost inevitably a man, with horses, and the ability to ignore the fact that there is no living room. Somehow a garage took its place, and I expect for some men, the garage would be more important.
It won’t sell for a while, and in fact if the bottom drops out of the economic market, as it is promising to do, it may not sell at all. I have no idea what I will do then. Perhaps I will become the eccentric hermit and go and live out there, but I rather doubt it.
I’m especially grateful to the team from Flying X Construction that built the big barn. Last summer, when they were putting the roof on, the panels were so hot the soles of their boots melted. These are the people we try to keep out of the country, perhaps because their work ethic is an embarrassment for the rest of us.
The big red barn at Apache Mesa Ranch will remain as a memorial to their work, and their patience.