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Travels with the Blonde Coyote

In an effort to raise awareness about water conservation among visitors to the Land of Enchantment, the Santa Fe Watershed Association and HospitalityGreen have asked me to pen a series of essays about my experiences living off rainwater in the New Mexican desert. Here is my first of four essays, the Weight of Water:

Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon. If that doesn’t sound heavy, you’ve never been hiking in the desert with a day’s worth of drink on your back. I grew up in the Appalachian Mountains, but I didn’t learn the weight of water until I moved to New Mexico, where water is rare and precious and worth its considerable weight in blue gold.

In New Mexico, I lived off the map, caretaking a place in the wide open deserts just south of Santa Fe. This place was more than a house. It was an Earthship: an…

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