Friday, March 1, 2013

Hachita, New Mexico: A Hunkered-Down Town

Hachita, New Mexico. In need of divine intervention.

This weekend I'm checking out New Mexico's bootheel. Today was a trip to Antelope Wells, the US's smallest border crossing with Mexico, and also the southernmost point of the Continental Divide Trail.

Hachita, New Mexico

To get to Antelope Wells, I had to go through Hachita. I went through Hachita twice, in fact, coming and going. My perceptions: 

  • Two churches in the village, both shut down. If there's a "live" one, I didn't see it. 
  • "Compounds" - you know, those places where the folks put chain link fence around their lots, often with Beware of Dog signs. 
  • A feeling of a town that is hunkered down - that maybe after dark, bad things happen. 
  • I remembered 'Salems Lot, one of Stephen King's finest and scariest books.

The cemetery is poignant. A brightly-colored cross out of plastic pipe. A guitar. A sweet home-made red valentine.

Hachita, New Mexico

Surprisingly, there's an active post office here.

I am curious about who lives in Hachita. I'm guessing that for some, there's a sense of freedom. For others .... I don't know. Although there are a few houses that show care and and a loving spirit, mostly the vibe is grim.


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