Travel Guide to New Mexico

This guide tells you what you need to know about customs, culture, and weather when you travel to New Mexico.

| July/August 1970

We don't have magic wands in New Mexico.

If we could make it all beautiful, we would start with what we have. We would give the land peace and give the land water.

The snow pack in the mountains here this year is bad news. It is from 35 percent to 38 percent below average. Even in a normal year, this is one of the driest states in the country.

Water will be short this summer. There will be only enough for the people here and for the towns and farms we already have. The Navy says it takes a minimum of seven gallons of water per day to sustain a man. In New Mexico, labor camps by law must allow 35 gallons per man, per day for survival. It takes more water here to survive. This year, there will be barely enough.

With a dry summer, the government — which owns about 75 percent of the land here — closes the forest because of fire hazard. Even in wet years, there is a fourteen-day camping limit for everyone. During the dry years when the fire hazard is high, no camping is allowed. Some years all but the paved roads on government lands are closed. That happened in '67.

This means camping will be limited, which is a hangup because it's hard to find a place to live, and there's nothing available for rent. Most places are full, and the ones that aren't rented are 125 dollars and up a month. There's no place to crash. The communes have mostly closed their doors, and the rest of the heads won't take anyone but friends.

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