OK, we realize, of course, that there are plenty more than 50 reasons to get off your sofa and into the great New Mexican outdoors. Our intention here is to offer a broad spectrum of things to do in places that are in some instances right in your own back yard, in others a few (or few hundred) miles down the highway. We also wanted to provide brief profiles of the places we've been to that have most inspired us. In some cases, the locales are sacred to us, so the fact that we're willing to share even those should let you know just how much we love you.
Let me begin by addressing my mostly naked friend Don Schrader who is bound to write a letter in refute of this column: Don, a tan is not healthy. In medical terms, a tan is the result of the body's largest organ—the skin—attempting to protect itself from the sun's ultraviolet rays by producing more pigment. A tan—no matter how light or dark—therefore, indicates skin damage. Period.