Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hot New Mexico Action

I spent a few days last week in New Mexico, bringing the number of states I've visited to 43. (However, 15 of those I haven't spent a night in, and in two of 'em -- Florida and Nebraska -- I didn't even get outside the airport. Still haven't been to Iowa, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Vermont, or either Dakota.)

Anyway, upon touching down last Sunday at the Albuquerque airport Sunport, I visited Isotopes Park (above), home of the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes (so named after a certain Simpsons episode). Then I drove down a nearby stretch of Route 66, though I was disappointed that it didn't look as cool as in this 1969 Ernst Haas photo. Time for a late lunch, so I had a footlong and Frito pie at the Dog House...

After checking into my downtown hotel, I drove up to the Santa Ana Star Center (a small arena on the edge of the desert) for a performance of Batman Live. Despite the Cirque du Soleil-type bullshit, I enjoyed it anyhow -- it was a good story, and besides, I'm a sucker for all stuff Batman. For dinner I ate a burrito at the Frontier Restaurant, then headed over to the Launchpad to see the Melvins on their record-setting tour. Nobody rocks a muumuu like King Buzzo...

Monday morning I rode the Sandia Peak Tramway to its 10,378-foot summit, the highest elevation I've ever been on land...

Back in the city I had a so-so Lotaburger at local chain Blake‚Äôs...

Belly full, I motored four hours to the south and west through desert, mountains, and Truth or Consequences to my sister and her husband's house outside Silver City, where I spent a couple nights in their Airstream...

On Tuesday we drove an hour north to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument (below), and soaked in some nearby hot springs.

Wednesday I headed back to Albuquerque and flew home, changing planes at the Phoenix airport Sky Harbor. Next time I visit, I'll fly into either Tucson or El Paso, both of which are closer to Silver City than Albuquerque, and neither of which has a stupid airport name.

New Mexico's license plates refer to the state as a "Land of Enchantment," though I also found it a land of hot-air balloons, Kokopellis, dreamcatchers, green chile, blue crystal meth, and bloody, crusty boogers, which I woke up to every morning (I'm not used to the dry climate). However, thanks to melatonin and proper hydration, I slept much better at these relatively high altitudes than I had in the past. Still, I was glad to get home, down at sea level during a rainy stretch of weather.

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At 7:36 AM, November 19, 2012 , Anonymous George Buford said...

What is with the sun in November thing? Have those Southern states no dignity?

Awesome pics!


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