The back road to Taos

 

We don’t often get away from here these days for a variety of reasons. Recently over spring break we took a three-day break and drove to Taos.

For at least 27 years I have had a picture of this old schoolhouse in my mind, and have driven past it countless times without trying to photograph it. Finally made myself stop and try. This isn’t the picture I had in mind but I do find the texture of the grass and the walls interesting.

Taos was still Taos, with a couple of interesting restaurants. A highlight was a run along the Rio Grande Gorge.

Back at home, we learned “Haulin’ Ass,” a film by Trevor Velin, won the Golden Badger Award at the Wisconsin Film Festival. The film features Wisconsin resident and friend Roger Pedretti, Buena Vista resident Curtis Imrie, and yours truly.

Over my years in pack-burro racing I’ve had the occasional good fortune to be the person someone with a video camera wanted to interview after a race. Sometimes it was local TV media, sometimes major national networks like the Outdoor Life Channel, and sometimes it was independent filmmakers. No matter how dead-tired or brain-dead I was I always did my best to make time for the person behind the camera after the race. I did so because I knew that sooner or later someone would see this sport for what it is and capture the true spirit of pack-burro racing in a video that would appeal to a mainstream audience. That person turned out to be Trevor Velin. I am thrilled for Trevor’s achievement with “Haulin’ Ass” at the Wisconsin Film Festival. I really believe this is just the beginning of Trevor’s success with this film. Congratulations to all involved with the film!

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5 Responses to “The back road to Taos”

  1. Monica Backsen Says:

    Gosh, Hal, does that mean you are now an award-winning film star?? Do you have time to give me your autograph?

    I’m glad your trip to Taos was relaxing.

  2. Hal Walter Says:

    Hardly. The “role” was myself!

  3. Steve Pero Says:

    Can’t wait until it’s available on Netflix! 😉

  4. Connie Velin Says:

    Hal,
    I just wanted you to know that I, and many others in the audience at the Wisconsin Film Festival, were softly saying “Go Hal!” I am very proud of my son’s work and was impressed by the sold out audiences and the interest the film piqued in pack burro racing. I hope Trevor’s film becomes widely viewed and brings recognition to your communities.

  5. Carol Says:

    Proudly we hail from Wisconsin as we make the annual trip in July to participate in pack burro racing in Fairplay, Co, in honor our brother and son, Rob Pedretti. Rob introduced me to the sport. HIs brother Roger Pedretti began participating in pack burro racing in honor of Rob in 2005. Congratulations to Trevor Velin for capturing this story in the documentary, “Haulin’ Ass,” and to the awards he has received and to the lives touched through viewing the documentary. –Roger & Rob’s mother -Carol Scoville

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