Above: Two of many curious, free-roaming feral mustangs near Nageezi, in San Juan County. This image was a finalist in our 16th Annual Photo Contest.

March 1957
More and more the beauty, mystery, and immensity of the grasslands got into my blood. The Hardys and others had told me about the San Augustin Plains, and I had explored them myself. But it was while driving to Quay County one day to see a man named Griggs, who told me many wonderful things from his long experience with western horses, that the impulse to put it into a long story came to me. It had been a rainy summer. Beyond Vaughn I found a green paradise of grassland, rolling, pitching, dipping, rising, fresh and fertile, studded with small ponds and flowing with milk and honey. That was where The Sea of Grass first took hold of my mind.