November 30, 1999

Jack had already moved to his property not too far from Pie Town, NM in preparation for Y2K when he wrote this:

11:15 pm November 30, 1999

The Great Divide

Hi Jeanne.

I said I’d be there for Y2k and I will. You might find it comforting to know Roy, the mechanic in Grants will also probably pull an RV out here if things go sour.

Dean, they guy from Belen might also show. Dean is unmarried, but Roy has a wife. Of course, Mel will probably be here, and Vic also. That’s before the stragglers from Acoma, Laguna, Albuquerque and who knows where else begin arriving in whatever numbers they manage to get here.

It’s a dry winter thus far, so there might be a lot of refugees down this way if they shut down I-40 at 117 to keep them out of Grants.

So, there should be a number of good men around to assist you and your family even if anything happens to me, and if Ken doesn’t come with you.

Vic tried to pick up medications for me on his way back to Houston and ran into a lot of trouble at the border. He only got a 60 day supply across. So there’s no telling what size horde of medications I’ll be able to stock.

Guess the Y2K rush to stock up on meds probably got the U.S. pharmaceuticals worrying enough about loss of profits to put pressure on the US Border Patrol. Pretty disgusting. I used to think I loved the United States.

5:40 pm December 1, 1999

The Great Divide

Hi there.

Sinfully satisfying day here despite cold 40 mph gusts.

Started a bit slow, but then cranked up, repaired the chainsaw, put a bed on the little flatbed trailer to pull behind the 4 wheeler, dragged the trailer out to the corner and cut up the dead tree in the right of way, hauled the wood back and stacked it, cut more wood to clear out near the chicken house for better access, stacked the wood, gathered the brush and took it down to the arroyo on the old road through my place, filled about 30 yards of arroyo with brush, went down to the main arroyo and built two rock and brush dams… started them, anyway, one about 4 feet high, the other 5’ or so spanning the arroyo. Eventually I’ll go all the way to the top with them.

Took a shot at the damned red-tail hawk that’s been snagging chickens.. he dropped a wing feather but he’ll be back.

Somewhere in all this I realized I hadn’t eaten. Gathered 5 eggs and cooked them in green Chile.

Built a nice fire in the stove and am relaxing with a cup of hot chocolate and a warm red glow of a day of hard physical labor.

Hmmm. I also raked out a wheel barrow full of rocks to take down to the arroyo from my back yard and prized out 3 really big ones about 250-300 pounds. I’ll fill in the holes with ash from the stove.

Got water heating for a shower. The 2 gallon insecticide sprayer is turning out to be the best method for that. Put in hot water, pump it up and hang it from the rail I strung from the ceiling, stand in the galvanized tub, and it’s as good as the best hotel money can buy.

I’m feeling damned good. Every muscle in my body is discharged.

I have wood for a few more days, some green, some seasoned but fresh, some dry. And if the moisture comes the arroyos are ready and waiting.

Trailer on the 4 wheeler is awfully handy, too.

Cozy in here. Howling wind outside. Life is good.

Best to you,
Jack

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