The College of the Cosmic Drama
In 1969, Paul Zolbrod, an English professor at Pennsylvania’s Allegheny College, drove up the Río Grande looking for Native American oral traditions. A Pueblo governor suggested he speak to some Navajos, which led to a post-doctoral fellowship and publication of Diné Bahane’: The Navajo Creation Story (UNM Press, 1987). In 1994, he moved to New Mexico, where he continues to teach, research, and write. “That early drive through Pueblo country filled me with enough enchantment to secure my eventual relocation here. I’ve explored this state’s every corner, worked with all its folks, and I’m home.”

Freelance writer and editor Tamara Shope never could bring herself to leave New Mexico for long. The Albuquerque native and her husband seek out corners, caves, and trails to explore, returning most often to the Jemez Mountains’ Las Conchas Trail, Red River’s Motherlode Saloon, and the quiet tables of Albuquerque’s Restaurant Antiquity. “I rolled out my first tortillas at my grandmother’s kitchen table while listening to her legends about UNM Lobos basketball. She gave me a love of storytelling that has always been a great excuse to explore the state—especially its restaurants.”

Faded Glory and Hatch. The Next Generation
Contributing photographer Jay Hemphill began his love affair with New Mexico’s mountains, architecture, and aromas as a child on family trips to the Taos area for skiing. In 1999 he moved from DeSoto, Kansas, to Silver City to finish a degree in photography at Western New Mexico University. He started backpacking in the Gila in 2000 with a Toyo 4x5 large format camera. Switching to digital in 2008 reduced its weight from 70 to 40 pounds. While working on the Fort Bayard story, he was surprised to learn of its 1920s-era golf course. “I would have never guessed it. It has some pretty rough fairways.”