Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Aliens, Margaritas, and a One Horse Town

It's hard to believe that the ruins at Casa Grande, Arizona are now over a week ago.  Blogging became a little difficult as we packed and headed back on the road and toward home.  But here's what I missed mentioning.  Big miss - it is one of the largest prehistoric structures built in North America.  What it was used for is still not known, the people who know the secret to this imposing stone structure that stands in the middle of the Arizona desert and that is surrounded by a complex irrigation system, are long gone.

The road we took this year wound through beautiful and slightly terrifying mountain cliffs and valleys in Arizona before hitting New Mexico.

Along the road there were many oddities from the "One Horse Town" that consisted of one house and a fake horse attached to a hitching post, to the sign saying public library with no houses in sight except one house with a library sign tucked into a opening in the hills near the town of Notes, New Mexico.  I wanted to stop in the worst way but we needed to hit Albuquerque before dark.  And it was a good thing was didn't for then we had the "Contact" experience.

Gleaming on the plains of New Mexico some miles out of Socorro there is a Very Large Array or VLA for short.  The VLA consists of 27 dish antennas that have been monitoring the universe and discovering some pretty amazing things.  In fact some of the movie, Contact, was filmed there.  Unfortunately, we didn't have time for the tour, only time to drive up and find out what the heck was going on.  I'll read up on all of it later, when life settles down.

We hit Albuquerque in time for supper at El Pinto.  It's a cavernous yet oddly cosy Mexican restaurant on a dark street that on a first visit, makes one think to keep the doors locked.  It might be a very nice neighbourhood, I don't know, I've only seen it at night, and unlike home - there's not a lot of street lights.  Either way, El Pinto is worth visiting.  Great Mexican food although this time around I was craving vegetables and had a Taco salad.  Of course, there were the margaritas with fresh lime juice that vie with the food for which is best.  When morning arrived, Albuquerque delivered another surprise - hot air balloons, a lot of them.  In fact by the time we left there were over sixty launched and more coming.  While Albuquerque is known for it's fall balloon festival, December is not the month for it.  But apparently the cold weather has hot air balloon enthusiasts gathering.

From there it was on to Wyoming where the land rolls in mountains, hills and plains that for miles seem as untouched as they might have hundreds of years ago.  Wyoming is where we see the most wildlife.  Birds of prey, herds upon herds of antelope, and land that sprawls out in dips and valleys and mountains, in this part at least, seem little bothered by the intrusion of man.

It's strange how a State line seems to change the terrain as if somehow the line was drawn where the topography changed but that's impossible, or is it?  But that what seems to happen as we cross into Montana, I can't tell you what it is exactly but there's a distinct difference between the two States, both beautiful in their own way.

There's nothing like a road trip to give me lots of ideas and locales for stories.  Meantime Christmas is almost here and today, well it's Festivus for the Rest of Us.  How can you forget that hilarious episode of Seinfeld.  I loved George's parents.  They played off each other so well.

Happy Festivus.  Merry Christmas.



Kevin Read said...

We've never been ballooning, although it was in Albuquerque that we tried. Apparently they get 300 days per year of good ballooning weather, but we had two days there in a row that our ride was cancelled. We still haven't made it up in a balloon!

Happy Festivus!

Kevin and Ruth

Ryshia Kennie said...

Happy festivus to you too. I laughed at the odds of not getting a balloon ride not at you but because that would be our luck as well.