On Top of the World!

I’m coming to you live from Starbucks in Los Alamos, NM.  I had some time to kill this morning so figured this would be good time to do an update on the last few days’ activities.

I wrapped up my (brief) time in Arizona a couple of days ago.  I had a short hike around Watson Lake sans Juno. Gorgeous morning and the perfect way to start my day.  You will be happy to know that I took a long hot shower at the RV park after my hike so the greasy hair is clean again.

After departing Prescott, I moseyed on over to Jerome, AZ.  I had been told about Jerome by a woman I met in Prescott and I am so glad that I went!  The drive was a bit harrowing/steep/winding and then all of a sudden, you’re in this charming town stuck on the side of a mountain.  Juno and I enjoyed the town for a couple of hours – lots of boutiques, art galleries, etc – but my favorite thing was the old truck parked out on the main drag.  The license plate interior was impressive!

I spent the night in Heber, AZ but can’t tell you anything about the place since it was only a place to stop and not a place to visit. For those of you who play mah jongg, you will be happy to know that the Heber RV Resort has a weekly game on Thursday at 1pm.  So there you go.

Right!  It was a four-hour drive from Heber to Albuquerque so I opted to stop in Gallup since it was the mid-way point.  I had read good things about the Gallup Flea Market so figured that would be a first good stop.  Unfortunately, it was hot, dusty and I ended up carrying Juno a good part of the way.  The Indian fry bread was the high point.  But hey, I’m finally in New Mexico – yay!!!

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Things got a bit rough between Gallup and Albuquerque… the wind was crazy and I had to take things a bit slow at times.  Speed limit was 75 and I was doing 50-55 at most. Remember that I am in essence driving a 9 1/2 foot tall sail.  But I finally made it and all was well.

My time in Albuquerque was dedicated to all things Breaking Bad.  First stop was the Historic District which is a great place to walk around but also the home of The Candy Lady.  The Candy Lady provided the “blue sky” crystal meth prop that was used in the show.  You have two options – a dollar (dime) bag or a ten dollar bag (which comes with three dime bags for dividing/redistribution).  I opted for the latter and also got the PERFECT keychain for my MoHo!  They really do it up and you can go in the back, put on an apron (Pinkman’s face and the words Let’s Cook Bitches!), Heisenberg hat, glasses and pose with a tray of blue sky rock candy.  So awesome!!

Kevin at The Candy Lady told me there was live bluegrass music that night in the town square so Juno and I sat on a towel and enjoyed the show.  From there, we rolled down to the Sawmill District where I spent the night.  I knocked on the door of my neighbors to ask if they’d be okay with me parking alongside their property for the evening.  Kip and Kathy were wonderful and even invited me to church yesterday morning.  The one scary thing was when someone knocked on the side of the MoHo in the middle of the night – scaring the living daylights out of Juno and me.  It was a policeman – he was checking to make sure I wasn’t some kind of real Walter White.  I assured him I was a law-abiding citizen, that the neighbors were okay with my being there and that I would be departing in the morning.  Took me awhile to fall back asleep after that but better safe than sorry.

I meandered up to Walter and Skyler’s house after we packed up and it was an interesting experience.  I spoke to several of the neighbors and to put it bluntly, they are NOT happy about all the traffic that has ensued since the show became such a sensation. My favorite quote was the woman who lived next door – “This isn’t a national monument – this is someone’s home.” Well said.  She even has traffic cones in front of her house to prohibit people from parking. (Note: she was very nice to me and even gave Juno a biscuit.) I asked another neighbor whether people show up with pizzas and he said yes and it INFURIATES the owner of the house (I can only imagine).  Anyway, I did take a pic of the house but decided not to include it here.

My Breaking Bad tour ended and it was time to head to Tent Rocks, which was another recommendation by Kevin.  Tent Rocks isn’t even on the official NM state map.  But I put it in Google Maps it came up so off I drove, up a mountain and down a couple of dirt roads.  There were some intermittent signs of happy faces so I figured I was on the right track.  All of a sudden, Google Maps told me I had arrived.  Huh?  Nothing visible from where I was.  But there was a little parking area so I figured I was close.  I got out of the car, walked across the road to the guardrail and looked down.  Boom!  Tent Rocks!  I was literally standing on the edge of a cliff so these pix are the best I could do…

Definitely worth the drive.  As we drove back down the hill, I came to a screeching halt as there was a snake in the road.  I brake for snakes – here he is crossing the road and safe and sound on the other side!

Last stop of the day was Bandelier National Monument which was fantastic.  Petroglyphs and cliff dwellings – evidence of humans dating back 11,000 years!!  Even better were there were lots of opportunities to climb ladders!  As always, the pictures do not do it justice.

And when I say climb ladders, I mean climbing serious ladders! The next group of pix is from the Alcove House, which comes with its own warning sign.  The pic on the top right is taken from the bottom – you will see people on the ladders that I was about to climb.  The bottom two pix were taken in the alcove at the top.  And then I climbed back down, which was way more harrowing than climbing up.

Spent the night at the Juniper campground next to Bandelier before departing this morning for Los Alamos, which is just 15-20 minutes away and sits at an elevation of 7,320 feet (hence the top of the world)!  You have to show photo ID when you drive through the area that has the National Laboratory.  And I’ve seen a lot of people carrying sidearms.  I feel very safe here. Time to sign off and hit the Bradbury Science Museum.  Then I’m off to Taos this afternoon.  Leaving you with a pic of Juno enjoying the view outside the back of the MoHo at our campground last night… such a happy Snug.  And I’m a happy Bee.

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State count – 33!!!!!

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