28 June 2011


Albuquerque and state officials have announced a stage three fire alert for the city. NO OPEN FLAMES ALLOWED!

Governor Martinez and Mayor Berry are urging everyone to NOT purchase personal fireworks and to go to public fireworks events instead. The governor and mayor do not have the power to ban fireworks regardless of the danger.

The city announced today that a 140 mile stretch of the Rio Grancde including the Bosque; the largest cottonwood forest in the world, which runs near downtown Albuquerque, is OFF LIMITS and CLOSED. Anyone caught near the river could be fined $500

The Bosque is a match head just waiting for a spark.

The Las Conchas fire near Los Alamos has grown to 60,000 acres in just two days and has Santa Fe residents on edge as the two cities are only about 20 miles apart.

The fire is said to be one half mile from the newly restored Bandelier National Monument visitor center. National monument employees have started to remove important artifacts.

A new fire called the Donaldson fire [near former ABC newman Sam Donaldsons ranch] has started near Hondo, NM





Las Conchas fire updates: www.inciweb.org/incident/2385

27 June 2011


Bandalier National Monument, the city of Los Alamos, New Mexico and the Los Alamos National Laboratories, have been ordered to evacuate as the Los Conchas fire moves toward the nations premiere nuclear laboratory.

Los Alamos is about 80 miles north of Albuquerque.

Los Alamos under mandatory evacuation: krqe.com

21 June 2011

The City

With the southwest on fire, taking New Mexico based trips can be very daunting. Arizona's largest fire ever has now moved into New Mexico and charred over 10,000 acres; the town of Luna, NM dodging a bullet. Fires shut down Carlsbad Caverns this past week, Interstate 25 was closed between Raton, NM and Trinidad, Co due to fire and a fire north of Santa Fe has doubled in size. To top it off, trails in the Sandia Mountains over Albuquerque, including La Luz, the most popular, are now CLOSED until October unless we get some rain.

Since January the jet stream seems to have parked itself over New Mexico and all we seem to get almost everyday are howling winds fanning these fires, it really sucks.

Cold fronts seem to fear dropping below the Colorado State line; however, there is a glimmer of hope as monsoon season officially started this weekend and get this, the peaks above Taos got SNOW yesterday.

So it is no wonder I decided leave the Land of Enchantment to begin my annual adventure I call WANDERLUST.

My buddy T-Rob, out of Oklahoma, joined me once again for our fourth annual adventure. This year we headed to San Francisco and Yosemite NP in northern California.

We were in search of the Hetch Hetchy Valley, a valley that was flooded in the early 1920s after the San Francisco earthquake to provide water to the city and surrounding communities. The effort to stop the building of the O'Shaughnessy Dam was led by Sierra Club founder and environmentalist John Muir...

But first, the adventure would start in the city by the bay, San Francisco!!

This would be my second trip the 'the city' and this time T-Rob and I had a different approach to staying here. Last time we were here we booked a room at the Hotel Bijou downtown near Union Square. This time we used an online service called AirBnB [airbnb.com]. Man, what a great first time experience we had with this site.

Basically you can rent anything from a bedroom in someones private home to an apartment to a house! Why rent a hotel room when for the same price you can have a private flat, as we did, for about the same price as a cramped hotel room?

Our flat was in the Mission district, a quiet, safe neighborhood near restaurants and commuter lines.

We had a two bedroom, two bath private flat with private entrance for $200 a night.

Our hosts recommended we NOT rent a car while in the city and it turned out great. Public transportation in San Francisco proper worked very well for us. The F-Line [$11 for a three day pass] took us to the wharf and around town and the double decker tourist line [$35 for a two day pass] took us to all the main attractions, from Golden Gate Park to Union Square. Hop on hop off wherever you wanted.

One of the places we wanted to visit was the Haight/Ashbury district; home to 'the hippies' back in the 60s. Needless to say the remnants of that era are long gone. All we found there were tee shirt stores selling 60s prints, used clothing stores and homeless kids smoking pot in the park. The area just felt 'old'. There were a few buskers on street corners but outside of that not much to see. We did swing by Amoeba records, a place I love to visit in Los Angeles as well. I could spend hours there looking for CDs and old movies.

San Francisco is a gorgeous city and I plan on returning.

My reason for being here; however, was to search for the Hetch Hetchy Valley, and man what an adventure that was as you will see in my next post.

I'm out.

09 June 2011

Noah and the Whale

Whilst the southwest burns, I decided to head to Santa Fe with my brother and a friend of his to catch a show at the Santa Fe Brewing Company by the UK band Noah and the Whale.

We went early so we could eat dinner at the Blue Corn Cafe in the Plaza... excellent!!

After dinner, we headed over to the Santa Fe Brew Co to catch the show...that ominous sun floating in the sky, blurred by the smoke and ash from the Wallow Fire along the Arizona/New Mexico border... it was actually A LOT more red then seen here [not sure why the true color didn't photograph].

The following pictures are the actual color around us. No filters. Everything had a sepia tone feel to it. A sort of dreamy, hazy, eerie feel.

The opening act, Bahamas, was from Canada. Apparently there is no CNN on the tour bus as the lead singer, Afie Jurvanen, asked 'is this normal' ?

UK band Noah and the Whale took the stage later and played a great set even if they were a bit out of their element and parched by the desert heat, ash and smoke that was in the air.

Here is a great song of theirs for the ad ahead of the video]. Their latest CD is called Last Night on Earth.

Still a great night overall.

Santa Fe Brew Co ROCKS!!

I'm out.