Before I catch you up on the last few days activities, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about the wind…
- I hate the wind.
- The wind turns an otherwise pleasant drive into a harrowing experience where I fear that my MoHo might a) blow into oncoming traffic or b) tip over
- No matter what my direction of travel is, I always manage to get a ridiculous cross wind.
- I hate the wind but I refuse to let it ruin my trip.
Okay, I feel better now that I have vented to all of you. Seriously though, I thought I would have pleasant spring/summer weather this time around but that hasn’t happened yet. Crazy hot temps in AZ, cold temps, rain and hail in NM, and non-stop wind. It kinda sucks – and I’m just getting started. Sigh.
Alright, last I left off I was in Los Alamos. The previous post took an insanely long time to write – and not just because I had a lot to report. No, it was due to a man named Dan who sat down next to me at Starbucks to say hi to Juno but then proceeded to go on and on about anything and everything. I got a full travel and professional history, information on his crazy wife (his words) and detailed medical information on various broken bones, his exceptional lung capacity and a few other odds and ends. When he invited me to lunch, I begged off explaining that I had a couple of things I wanted to do in town and then would be moving on to Taos. Good grief.
Los Alamos itself has lots of history – most of which is associated with the Manhattan Project and the development of the atomic bomb. I visited both the Fuller Lodge/Ranch School and the Bradbury Science Museum and learned a lot. There was the framed letter in the former from the government telling the Fuller Lodge that they would be taking over the school for a secret WWII lab project. There are statues of Oppenheimer and Graves out in front. The BSM had correspondence between Einstein and the White House about the development of a bomb. The film The Town That Never Was was fascinating – I learned that all incoming mail went to a PO Box in Santa Fe (NOT Los Alamos), that all outgoing mail was censored, there were no police, the average age of those living there was 25 and that most had very little idea of what they were actually doing. At Fuller Lodge, they had an area where you could make a paper crane that would be sent to Japan. I’ve been to Hiroshima and happy to know that the next time I go back, the paper crane I made will be there.
Note: when I got back to the MoHo, Dan was lurking in the parking lot, talking the ear off some other poor shnook. I waved goodbye and beat a hasty retreat.
From Los Alamos, I meandered up to Taos. The lightning in the distance was spectacular and my route took me right alongside the Rio Grande. Juno and I took a walk around the main plaza, we went to the River Gorge bridge and also visited the Taos Pueblo. I got two great pieces of artwork – a painting from a local artist named Anita Rodriguez (very dia de los muertos) and a small piece of pottery from a well-known artist from Santa Clara Pueblo named Corn Maquino. I did find an incredible Sioux doctors bag from the 1880’s but the price was a bit steep!
The pictures from the bridge and pueblo aren’t all that good because the weather was wet and gray and generally unpleasant. The tres colores enchiladas at Orlando’s saved the day though – frigging delicious.
Increasing rain shortened my time in Taos since everything I wanted to do was outside, I didn’t have an umbrella and Juno hates the rain. So we left yesterday afternoon and headed for Santa Fe. I was a little concerned because the light for “low pressure tire” came up on the dash and I discovered that all of my tires were low. When I got out to examine my tires, I noticed a lot of dings, dents and a couple of gashes. So guess what I did when I got to Santa Fe? Yep – got me some new tires! I even overfilled them just a smidge due to a recommendation I got before I left. Here’s the crazy thing – while I was in the waiting area at Discount Tires, I ended up chatting with a guy named Lans who used to live in Lake Merritt! For those of you out of NorCal, Lake Merritt is the neighborhood next to Rockridge (where I used to live). Small small world… Here’s a pic of the MoHo all jacked up!
Santa Fe is awesome, BTW. I spent all morning and some of the afternoon wandering around. I did go by the capital but the building is sort of covered by a tree so I didn’t bother taking a pic. I did however, take a pic of the hot chocolate and truffles I got from Kakawa Chocolate House which is conveniently located just across the street! I had the coconut hibiscus drinking chocolate which was epic. I only bought three truffles but the owner threw in a fourth as an incentive for me to write a 5-star review on Trip Advisor (which I was more than happy to do). I am also going to need to go running tomorrow…
I battled three hours of wind this afternoon en route to Roswell. The good news is that the new tires make a big difference. It’s still a pain but I feel the MoHo is a bit more stable. Even though I was whining earlier, driving in NM isn’t bad at all! There are helpful signs warning you where a guardrail has been damaged, complete with big orange pylons (in other words, someone already crashed into the guardrail so if you get into an accident in the same place, you’re screwed). Underpasses are decorated with paintings of bison and horses and I was on a freeway that had tile decorations of various animals. And you can’t beat seeing signs like this while driving down the road:
No idea what is coming soon but I look forward to going back to Taos and finding out!
Anyway, I need to start making dinner. This might be my last meal given that I’m in Roswell. An abduction could be imminent. And while I thought that it would be better if Juno and I were abducted together, I decided that it’s better that I get abducted solo, just in case aliens want to do weird experiments. Assuming I survive the night, I’ll do a full recap of my time here in my next post.
Live long and prosper!