#19: Beautiful Downtown Hatch

26 Pickup—The Half Ton

Do Walt and Vic ever get to Hatch, New Mexico like he always wants to do?
-Mary Negus

Hi Mary,

I’m not sure how the whole Hatch, New Mexico thing in The Cold Dish and subsequent books started but it might’ve had something to do with my grandparents living in Hobbs, which is the New Mexico alternative to Ucross, Wyoming. I remember when we were filming Longmire the New Mexico crew would ask me how I felt about my Wyoming show being filmed in New Mexico and id say, “Fine, my grandparents live over in Hobbs…” Then they would give me a blank look in that they had no idea where that was.

When Longmire was in production, we’d go down at the beginning of each schedule and it was a nice break in February. I think Hatch came out of my travels down there when I’d go to visit my grandparents. I just thought it was a nice little town and maybe a little more low-key than places like Santa Fe or Albuquerque, and that would appeal to Walt.

Winters are long here in Wyoming but its my favorite time of the year because I lay up about fifteen cords of firewood and settle in and get to work—easily the most productive time of my writing year. It’s a little harder on Judy, so I try and get her out for a warm-up usually in March or so. That, and those trips to France in April keep me happily married.

Walt will never leave Wyoming, but he is predisposed to a melancholia that tends to strike in those dark months and I can see him smelling roasted peppers and catching the lilt of soft, Spanish voices. I think we saw some evidence of that in Depth Of Winter even though his life was in peril the whole time. The scene behind the rubble of the old chapel with Bianca Martinez is an example.

I really like New Mexico and the folks down there were wonderful to work with and hopefully we’ll have the opportunity to get together again, someday. Longmire is still lingering there in the top-twenty shows on Netflix and the books are always on the New York Times Bestseller’s list for the last twelve years, so there’s always hope. The newest piece of information that lit up the rumor mill is that all the big sets down there had been bought up by a producing element. So, we’ll see what happens.

I did get an interesting piece of mail a few years back and it turned out to be from the mayor of Hatch, inviting me down for a visit. He was very complimentary of the books and promised me a key, if they could find it… Sounds a little like Ucross.

See you on the trail,


2 thoughts on “#19: Beautiful Downtown Hatch

  1. Any brief moment in the world of Walt and Craig lifts a day. Next meander through New Mexico May require a detour to Hatch! Thanks Craig as always.


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