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The original item was published from 1/20/2021 4:48:48 PM to 1/28/2021 12:00:00 AM.

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Posted on: January 20, 2021

[ARCHIVED] A Place for Everyone and Everyone In Their Place

A close-up photo of a rocky mountain columbine

A Place for Everyone and Everyone In Their Place

 

I got my digital shovel

out of the virtual shed

and I started digging.

Digging into the puzzle that is San Miguel County.

 

Ready? Here we go …

 

9 Airports

25 Basins

2 Bridges

23 Canals

 

3 Cemeteries

6 Cliffs

14 Dams

3 Falls

 

14 Flats

5 Gaps

19 Lakes

26 Locales

 

1 Military something

607 Mines

 

7 Parks

2 Pillars

23 Populated Places

4 Post Offices

 

1 Range

1 Reserve

49 Reservoirs

 

3 Ridges

33 Springs

73 Streams

70 Summits

88 Valleys

 

There you have it.

All the USGS-certified Places

—with a capital P—

of San Miguel County, unearthed.

The manmade and the natural,

the maintained and the free range.

All Tetris’d into this wide-from-side-to-side enigma of sand and snow.

 

Not sure why not listed are the number of mesas …

where the snow drifts into windspits and the sky is as big as life itself.

Or canyons, which we blind-drive in blizzards

or shimmy into for shade and rock art.

No matter, less advertising less visitors, right?

 

If you ski, climb, or kayak here, you are a Placeholder.

When you hunt or gather or fill your canteen at a high desert seep,

you tend the garden,

and when you pick up your mail, or mourn at a gravestone,

you relish connection and feel the loss.

 

What’s yourPlace

—with the capital P—

between Bridal Veil Falls and the Utah border?

The Place that you vote for,

the Place you call home.

 

By Daiva Chesonis • San Miguel Poet Laureate 2019-2022

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