CANYON of SORROW: a Taos Tale

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  2. Canyon of Sorrow : a Taos Tale by Jim Hatfield (, Hardcover) | eBay
  3. Canyon of Sorrow : ... a Taos Tale by Jim Hatfield (2005, Hardcover)
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  5. Taos Tales

After thousands of feet of skinning and skiing the Sangres finest you are going to be ravenous. And this is a very good thing. The only thing that can compare to a face full of enchanted powder is the food. The food around Taos and the southwest in general is nothing short of a culinary orgiastic experience. If the menu has anything with their famous green chilies be sure to order it. That goes double for the green chili cheeseburger. And whatever you do never tell the cook or waiter or friend how good the Mexican food was. I am not totally sure but it has something to do with cumin.

Fast forward to February and I find myself right back in the valley with skier Sven Brunso. After two solid days hammering the lift served and hikable terrain at Taos we were ready to escape the lineup and find some solitude in the Sangres. We drove a couple miles from Taos Ski Valley to the parking lot of the Bavarian and began our ascent following the narrowing valley floor into the basin. As we started skinning I quickly realized that the snowpack was far deeper than my previous excursion into this area.

Taos Canyon, NM.

The lower slopes were holding deep stable snow that was well protected by the massive well spaced old growth pines. We were about 15 minutes behind a group of locals that were putting down an aggressively pitched skin track to the heavens. While the skin track was hard on the legs, each switchback consumed ample vertical and guided us through the forest before we finally exited into an upper basin with a handful of gnarled trees that gave testament to the intensity of this high alpine environment.

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After leaving the relative safety of the trees, we gathered our thoughts and planned our route to determine where we should dig our pit to get a representative sample of the line we wanted to ski. We noticed that the zone we originally were hoping to ski was showing signs of significant wind loading, so we selected a more conservative line from the top that would keep us safe while delivering us to the top of steep trees we had skinned through on the ascent. We gained the ridge and pulled skins from skis and took some time to savor the amazing birds eye view of Taos.

We had enjoyed some epic skiing at Taos, but the fact that we were about to enjoy 2, of turns earned felt special. I was surprised to find out that Sven, a veteran of backcountry skiing throughout the southwest, was also skiing this zone for the first time. Sven was obviously eager to get started as he pulled his shovel from his pack and was quickly chest deep evaluating a snow pit.

Canyon of Sorrow : a Taos Tale by Jim Hatfield (, Hardcover) | eBay

With a wicked smile, Sven declared the snowpack ripe for pillaging. A few thousand vert of premium skiing has us right back to the valley floor. We hit the road and skied to the front deck of the Bavarian. I had good laughs with the sisters; I hope to tell more in the days to come. Well, being the talented guy that he is, Will went off and penned a fresh poem in honor of Mary. Thank you, Will, for this beautiful poem. I chose the Pacific Sunset below as an attempt to complement your words. I was unpacking books after a break-up. The truth is I stole this Buddha book from from my ex in my 20s.

I never read it cover to cover. I loved the title; it seemed to say it all. All I needed to do was look at the spine.

Canyon of Sorrow : ... a Taos Tale by Jim Hatfield (2005, Hardcover)

A kind of koan, perhaps. Reincarnation theory holds that we return, again and again, until we finish all our karma. Each life has its own kind of hell, with the return of human suffering. What I can do, what I have learned from all my spiritual practices, is to find the Christ, the Buddha, the Divine, the Reality — right where you are. Once, about 10 or 11 years ago in Brussels, I attended a discourse by him. It was sweet to see his smile, face-to-face. As I journeyed through life and found myself later in a yoga meditation community, one of the things I found missing there was a lack of emphasis on social justice.

That if one was motivated towards social justice before enlightenment that is was only a kind of ego trip. While I follow some of the logic in that, my heart did not agree. In order to stay in the practice and be a good disciple of this particular yoga meditation master, I kept trying to tell myself I was wrong, unenlightened. But the nagging inner voice did not go away. There is so much one can do to relieve suffering, to work for social justice, before Enlightenment. Ask anyone in Alcoholics Anonymous, where there are no gurus, where someone with a week of sobriety can help the person coming into their first meeting.

I been sober a week now. Just people there for others — step by step. Men and women, both for themselves, and for others. And if I am not for others, then what am I? In the end, I put my trust in people who walk the talk. And I do believe in grace, forgiveness. All three of you who are reading, that is! Hide-out or Find out?

Grief sits with joy. Santa Cruz de la Canada.

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On the road to Santa Cruz. Across from the churchyard. Friday, December the 13th. End of a long week.

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I offer this prayer as a starting point, a reflection. The prayer alone is so powerful; commentary is secondary. Silence is the gateway. I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions. I let go of my desire for power and control.

I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval, and pleasure. I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person or myself. Juan Diego of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

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