Friday, 05 October 2018 00:04

Basque Sheep Herders in New Mexico

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New Mexico Sheep Camp.  Tyler Dingee  1920s - 1950s New Mexico Sheep Camp. Tyler Dingee 1920s - 1950s

Many of the northern New Mexico sheepherders were Basque. They seemed to have no problem with the months of isolation and always had a dog or two for sheep control and company. Near the top of the trail from Cuba to San Pedro Parks there are a large number of aspen trees with Basque carvings (some pornographic) which was one way these guys occupied their time.

About 25 years ago, Kathy, a close female friend, and I backpacked into a high mountain lake near Platoro, Colorado. Shortly after establishing our camp, a Basque sheepherder, his flock, and his dogs set up camp on the other side of the lake. He came over that evening to visit. He spoke only Basque and Spanish, so our friend, who spoke Spanish, became the interpreter. He was young (early 30s?) and could not understand why our friend wasn't with a man. We kept expecting him to make a move on her, but he was very polite. That night, we slept surrounded by sheep, and, by the time the sun rose the next morning, they were gone.  We stayed another night, but he didn't return.

Read 5410 times Last modified on Friday, 05 October 2018 00:23
Mike Lord

4th generation Santa Fe Gringo.

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