#257: Roughing It

In Colorado’s San Luis Valley, five-acre lots of land go for less than $5,000, but protection against marauding cattle, blistering winds, and distrustful neighbors isn’t included. In 2017, Ted Conover began spending part of the year on the high prairie, volunteering with a local organization called La Puente, which tries to keep valley residents from falling into homelessness during the cold Colorado winters. Soon enough, Conover—who has previously explored the lives of prison guards, railroad tramps, and Mexican migrants—bought a parcel of land and immersed himself in life on this margin of society, where contradiction and conspiracy theories thrive. His new book, Cheap Land Colorado, is a window into a world that is too often overlooked.

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