Jun 8, 2006

TAOS, New Mexico – Lightening whips the air. Hard nuggets of ice slice the haze under Wheeler Peak. The group skittles downhill, shrieking. The Kix-sized pellets smart and ten of us gallump into one vehicle: a game of sardines for sardonic professionals.

The windshield wipers smear slush. "Let's go shopping," someone suggests.

Aw, no. C'mon...

Except we noodle about boutiques in Arroyo Secco, an S-curve colonized by hippies. They hawk handmade jewelry, vintage salt and pepper shakers, pottery thrown on-site. I purchase a cobalt mug and organic-fiber potholder silk-screened with a crow – neither of which I need.

But they'll hang in the kitchen, reminders of this day, this grumpy mountain shrouded in afternoon clouds, this accident – be-jeaned amateurs in the fickle-weathered Rockies – that dwindled to anecdote.

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