What's Bigfoot got to do with it? It's all a bit of a mystery, just like cryptids themselves, but this Saturday, the 6th Avenue khadi wali (that's a female seller of cloth - the more common wala/wallah is linguistically masculine) will be exhibiting piles of pure cotton hand block printed dishcloths and tablecloths on the patio at Bigfoot Restaurant in Elephant Butte.
This annual art and craft market is a fundraiser for the local cancer care and support association so a good cause. It's a juried market and the first time the handprinted cloth is being offered.
While it might or might not prove to be the best market in terms of economics, I'm looking forward to spending the day amongst jacalope and other cryptids in this somewhat tilted on the axis setting.
Historically the site was a Chinese restaurant around eight years ago, when first I explored the area and along with a pergola roof and huge statue of Sasquatch outside, it has beautiful metal work gates and doors on the enclosed patio. Around about four or five years ago the restaurant changed hands.
The new owners engaged different local artists to do murals while they ditched the Chinese menu, offering instead variations on American food: burgers, fries, salads suitable for lake visitor take outs or lunches for state park rangers since it's a stones throw from the entrance to Elephant Butte Lake State Park
Besides salads, there are few vegetarian offerings on the restaurant's standard menu but they do make a tasty Earth Burger: a black bean patty (not fake meat yay!) served with pickled green chile in place of the standard gherkin. I usually choose the rosemary fries. There's a freshness and mom 'n pop, homecooking authenticity to this formula meal, enhanced as it is by a chef's touch of the pickled green chile and homegrown herb accents. The Bigfoot Earth Burger is excellent fuel for my cryptozological research on the trails that Elephant Butte State Park offers. I'm holding out for a jacalope sighting, but in the meantime will settle for delicious rosemary fries.
Because Saturday's market is in Elephant Butte, today I'm printing parades of elephants onto not-quite-Gandhi's-homespun, but khadi none the less because it's Indian cotton muslin.
And I'm making signs: replacing the handwritten cardboard ones which have served throughout summer markets, with hand painted wooden signs, upcycling old fencing slats from my woodpile stash outback . Hopefully they will not dance about, like the cardboard ones do, in the dastardly winds which so often blow here in the desert.
It is also a way to ignore the annual Feast of the Great Turkey Massacre happening in the culture in which I am apparently currently embedded.