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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Friday, March 22, 2013

Catching Up From New Mexico to Oklahoma!

 Friday,March 22, 2013 5:56 pm Room 127 Quality Inn Ponca City, Oklahoma

Well, we are in colder climes now, folks and areas in which the wi fi once more gives me headaches. I was totally unable to get the computer to follow my mouse directions on link bars on Snapfish the night before last and last night in Guymon, Ok the computer wouldn't recognize the hotel's network at all so I could not connect to the Internet, though I was connected to the network. Gee, I wish I could figure out how to get these things to work--I can fix my car more easily, I swear.

Anyway, on March 20, whenever that was, Wednesday, I guess, We left Grants, New Mexico and headed Northeast to Las Vegas, New Mexico for the night. Having traveled I 40 between Gallup and Los something or other more times than I could count I refrained from taking pictures until we were approaching Albuquerque. Usually, we leave the Interstate and head down to Belen to see Gloria and Bud but this time we did not return. It is always hard to pass that turn-off since we have such a wonderful time there and eat like kings, since Gloria is a superb cook. But, reluctantly, we moved on--not that they aren't always glad to have us.

As we were driving through the worst possible traffic around the city--watching a semi move from the left lane to ours while a car was simultaneously moving from the right lane into ours--car swerved back first but the truck driver saw the car at the same time so he swerved into his own lane again, with a little snaking around for good measure. Just a joy to watch!  Anyway, Betsy called and I described the scene, not making her very happy at all. She may have a full time position at TA for the remainder of the year and is very excited.

Just past the city we picked up the Turquoise Trail. Gloria and Bud had recommended it and we looked forward to it though were a bit worried that it might be one boutique filled town after another. We were pleasantly surprised to find that it is truly a scenic route through about three very old mining towns, each with its own very distinct character.

Tierjas is basically the first town and we don't really go through it, though if we had wanted to scale Scandia Peak by gondola we would have seen more of it. Interestingly, there was a Statie at both entrance and exit of I 40 with lights flashing. Have no idea what that was all about!

The first town to which we came was Golden. Originally called San Francisco when NM became a State it was found that there were lots of San Francisco's and since this place was also founded because of the Gold discovered there, it was decided to rename it Golden. Not much left there, though there is the old Catholic Church, well gated and locked up, a few broken down places and a neat bohemian looking domicile surrounded by a bottle fence. I took lots of pix and close-ups since I've saved lots of colored wine bottles to make something that will catch the sunlight and this fence looks like the trick. Obviously, this artist tried a couple of approaches and didn't restrict him/herself to wine bottles--LOL  Like the strung bottles between top and bottom rails. Hope we can get it started this summer.

Continued along the top of our ridge and were thrilled by vistas as far as the eye could see--just beautiful. Eventually, we reached Madrid--this is the artist colony--boutiques, studios, galleries, an amusement park and an ancient ball field, the first in the State to have night-time lights!  I real place to explore but I needed my sister or Gloria or both--Bill just isn't the art colony prowler type. I could have made a day of it. Very bohemian--probably filled with old hippies --that's fun sometimes. Reminded me alot of Oatman, Az on Rt 66

So one we went to Cerrillos, a whole different kind of mining town--almost a Ghost Town -though quite a lovely Church. This town reminded me of Chloride, Az. Both Oatman and Chloride are outside Kingman. And like Santa Fe, Kingman is doing just fine, thank you.

Continued on to Santa Fe and resumed travel on I 25 until we reached the Glorieta exit and a turn down to the Pecos National Historical Park. As we were coming down the Turquoise Trail, Bill mentioned that the area had been full of Pueblos--he learned this from the Pueblo Revolt book he read. Sure enough, the NHP had the ruins of one such Pueblo and a fantastic museum about the evolution of the Anasazis and the Spanish influx, the Revolt, the Pioneers etc. One of my Mother's favorite actresses, Greer Garson, and her husband have been very influential in developing the museum and she narrates the film shown in the visitors' center.  A beautiful day for a walk around the ruins and since we were alone, also quite peaceful.

Then, we were back on I 25 once more to Las Vegas, where we ate at the Hilltop and then retired for the night. Nothing on TV so we finished the first season of Kevin Spacey's House of Cards on Netflix--all threads left hanging --waiting for season two to tie them up--or not!  LOL 

Time for a dinner break--will resume with yesterday and today's adventures shortly. KandB

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