Traveling expands your horizons

Well, you travel to expand your horizons and I guess we are doing just that. The last time we were in Albuquerque, we had a grand time and couldn’t wait to come back. That’s why we planned a week here. But it is not what we expected.

The whole southwest is a bit of a surprise, actually. The colors, for example. The ground is a red ocher color and that influences everything. We are used to clear colors. Yellow is sunshine and daffodils, for example. Here yellow is the color of a yellow pepper or a sunset. It’s almost like you see everything through a red filter.

The food is another bit of culture shock. Very, very few Chinese restaurants or pizza places. Lots of Mexican. We are trying lots of unpronounceable foods and liking them all. Hubby John is buying foodstuffs to practice with in the trailer. He’s having a good time.

I know we are high in the mountains – and have to keep going UP to get to Williams, but it’s odd to look out the window and see nothing. Short trees, bramble bushes, no grass to speak of. Water is so precious here, pretty much everything is gravel. Rocky the dog is having a real hard time finding a place to go. He just can’t get used to the rocks.

Porch Cat is doing great, but I think Buddy Bob Kitty is suffering from altitude sickness. He cries easily and hides a lot. We have to trick water into him – broth, tuna juice, wet cat food and so on. If he doesn’t settle pretty soon, we are going to take him to a vet. Fortunately, Las Vegas is 4000 feet lower than we are, so if it really is altitude sickness, that will help.

I didn’t realize the crime rate in this community. Apparently Albuquerque is the car theft capital of the United States, so that makes us really paranoid about leaving the truck and going places. We decided against going to Roswell as they are having a festival this weekend and I am sure it will be a zoo. Not that I am opposed to that, but the heat is something to consider. The people around here take their sweatshirts off at 92 degrees and can’t understand why we are looking for an air conditioner. I guess we need toughen up a it as it is supposed to be 110+ all next week in Vegas.

We did take the trolley tour of ABQ, leaving the truck in a guarded lot. (Even the grocery stores have guarded lots – AND they have security that checks your bags when you leave.). A lot of the houses here are behind fences and/or walls and many had both bars on the windows and signs indicating video surveillance.

New Mexico BearOther than that, the trolley ride was fun. We learned a lot about the history of NM. Did you know it was once known as The Sunshine State? They didn’t trademark the name so Florida was able to steal it (and trademark it) in 1925. The Zia sign that appears on their flag – and everywhere else – represents a) the four directions, b) the four seasons, c) the four stages of life and d) four times of the day. There is a lot of Native American symbolism here and, unlike the rest of America, they never considered the swastika to be a bad symbol. Here it retains its original Native American meaning of good luck.

I think we are going to the Botanical Gardens today, and possibly the rattlesnake museum. It should be interesting!