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Wilderness in Four Parts, or Why We Cannot Mention My Great-Grandfather’s Name

Wilderness in Four Parts, or Why We Cannot Mention My Great-Grandfather’s Name

Chapter:
(p.123) 13 Wilderness in Four Parts, or Why We Cannot Mention My Great-Grandfather’s Name
Source:
Wildness
Author(s):
Aaron Abeyta
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226444970.003.0014

This chapter is a family and sheep ranching history set in the Cruces Basin and Toltec Wilderness Areas of northern New Mexico. Against the backdrop of a blizzard, a young boy and his father set out to save their family flock from what would be certain death. The chapter explores the bonds of family and the father/son relationship across four generations. Included in the chapter are four sections focused on working and ranching in the wilderness as well as a backstory of abandonment. The chapter also explores the search for redemption and the heredity of loss and survival therein. The chapter serves as a coming of age narrative while examining the ways that wilderness and ranching are integral parts of a larger southwestern story of perseverance, land use, and the intersection of cultures.

Keywords:   wilderness, ranching, northern New Mexico, coming of age, Cruces Basin, sheep, Toltec Gorge

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