Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 13 through 19 – On the Road Again -or- Phoenix Rises From the Ashes of Food and Sleep

New Mexico, for us, is always an easy time. It’s a parade of good food and strange sights. No New Mexico trip is complete for us without the following:

New Mexican food – usually a pile of slow cooked meats smothered in chile (red or green) all wrapped in a fresh tortilla. Vegetables? Maybe.

Trips with the family to Wal-Mart – Blythe’s family is incredibly generous, and every time they see us, they remember that they saw something the other day that they just have to get for us. So, we pile in a car and hit the big store. We usually end up with mounds of food and a bunch of gadgets.

The Casino – New Mexico is full of Indian reservations, and nearly every one of them has a casino. We’re no high rollers. You won’t find us at the table games, dropping chips on roulette or black jack. No, you’ll find us at the buffet or penny slots. This week we ate mountains of fresh salad and listened to some traditional Mariachis. They were so good. Though the experience did remind me of “The Meaning of Life” when the tourist couple have an expensive Polynesian dinner in an authentic medieval dungeon.

A hike in a really weird place – This time we hit El Morro, a rock bluff that explodes skyward from a flat desert floor. Under a natural stone canopy sits a quiet green-blue pool, 12 feet deep. This is the only water for miles, so everyone has been though here. Many of them carved intricate signatures into the soft sandstone. There are native petroglyphs, Spanish conquistadors (dating back to 1605), American Calvary men, and surveyors from nearly 200 years ago.

A visit to Coco – Blythe’s schoolyard chum has provided hours of entertainment for us. This time we watched a marathon of Walking Dead, then the live action Super Mario Brothers movie. Pure gold.

Petting Emmitt – Blythe’s Aunt Connie has a piece of land where she raises donkeys and mules, and cuts alfalfa. We often stop by to drink light beer, eat some New Mexican dishes, and chat with Rick (who knows everything there is to know about New Mexico). Rick and Connie have three rambunctious dogs. By far my favorite is Emmitt, a giant Redbone hound, complete with huge paws, flappy ears, and a big dumb head. Besides being friendly and energetic, he knows a trick. If you mime shooting him with a shotgun, he’ll fall over and play dead.

Cards, Dice, and Soda – Blythe’s grandparents pass time like pros. We’ll usually spend an evening or two playing card games and dice and drinking too much soda and eating too many snacks. These sessions are usually followed by strange stories of rural Virginia, and years traveling in RV’s.

Seeing a movie with Eve – We always make a visit to Blythe’s cousin, Eve. Most of the time we catch a movie. This time, Paul. I know it looks dumb, but if like Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, you’ll like this.

Notice that nowhere in these activities is there any mention of working on the computer or rehearsing (though we did do a little). This time is used solely for family visiting and relaxing. Now we’re on I-25, smoothly sliding through breezy desert landscapes, sailing toward Phoenix, ready for work again.

Thanks to all in the Crawford Clan for your continued support, Coco for hanging out after work, and the Albuquerque metro area for being so damn weird.
Tomorrow… Salt River Canyon, Phoenix (the desert metropolis), The Lost Leaf, and indie sensations “Said The Whale”.

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