02 December 2010

...winter arrives

Autumn has turned into winter.

Even though this is a mild winter I hate to see the colors abandon the landscapes before me.

The smell of fresh cut grass: gone.

Somehow, sweet tea doesn't taste as sweet as it does on a warm summer day.

Two days before Thanksgiving I opened the door to get the daily paper [yes, I still read the paper!] -- 75 percent of the leaves had fell from the trees. The mass exodus of Autumn had begun.

Two days later it snowed. Four out of five years that I have been here our first snow has been on Thanksgiving Day.

Thanksgiving was nice. Dad celebrated his 82nd one with us, how cool is that!

Mom was missed -- 20 years since she has passed.

I don't really have a set time when I put up the Christmas Tree...whenever the spirit moves me, usually around 1 December though. Just a small one for me and dad.

I'll be leaving for Okie City soon for New Years, excited about that.

A new year.
A new trip around the sun.
Pack your bags.

I'm out.

18 November 2010


Yes friends, it has been awhile.

September/October always seem to be my busiest months.

Nothing exciting to report, just busy with life as many of you are.

Winter is trying to settle in here; however, looks like fall just doesn't want to budge. The mornings are in the 20s but the days warm up to the upper 50s -- just how I like my winters. Apparently it is a weather pattern known as 'La Nina'.

Although I usually don't travel in winter, this New Years I wanted to go somewhere to celebrate it...and so I am.

Oh, no where 'grand' by any means, I will be seeing The Flaming Lips in Oklahoma City New Years Eve...very cool.

Tulsa and Oklahoma City are becoming favorite destinations of mine. How can you not love the salmon at the White River Fish Market ... sooo good. And of course a banana split at Braums... mmmm.

A couple of observations:

New Mexico being a swing state and all, going Democratic one election and Republican the next, we recently elected both a Republican Mayor and the first Hispanic Latina Governor.

Governor Susanna Martinez is a Republican dream! She's a smart cookie -- former District Attorney and fluent in both English and Spanish! Oh how the Republicans have chased after that elusive Spanish vote...or is it Latino vote....or Chicano vote or...they'll figure it out!

Governor Martinez and Senator Marco Rubio out of Florida will make quite a team in 2012 pitching for the Republicans.

I can see the Republicans salivating now....next thing you know John Boehner will say he loooovvves tacos! Ole' !!

Congratulations are in order for the Navajo Code Talkers of WW2!!

NM Route 264 has been named the Code Talkers Highway in honor of the Navajo marines who created the complex code never broken by the Japanese during WW2.

"Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima." said Major Howard Connor at Iwo Jima during WW2.

The code talkers received NO recognition until August 14, 1982 when President Ronald Regan declared the day National Navajo Code Talkers Day -- well after many of them had passed on.

In July of 2001, President George W Bush personally presented the Congressional Gold Medal to four surviving code talkers.

Check out the official code talkers website:


24 October 2010

The Enchanted Mesa

Welcome to my final travel blog for the season. New Mexico winters can be too harsh to travel in so I stick close to home and pretty much hibernate.

I'm not a big fan of winter unless I am in doors under ten blankets with the heater on.

My last planned excursion of the season took me again to the Acoma Pueblo, almost four hundred feet high on a butte in a remote region of western New Mexico between Grants and Gallup.

The view of the valley ad you enter from the other side is striking and this was a gorgeous day to be here: 70, light breeze, clouds.

Keep in mind you are not allowed to take pictures unless you have received a permit from the visitors center.

The cost at this time to visit Acoma Puelbo [which is also known as Sky City because of its position on the butte almost 400 feet above] was $20 and this includes your camera permit.

The most prominent building, which can be seen from most points on the butte, is the San Esteban del Rey Mission which was started in 1630 [32 years after Juan de Onate took possession of New Mexico for Spain.

Since then the Acoman people are Catholic mixed with traditional beliefs.

Acoma Pueblo is the oldest continuously occupied community in the US.
For further history on the Pueblo see my link at right from my first trip here.

The pueblo is not occupied full time by the families who own their houses. It is occupied during traditional ceremonies and special occasions like the fall feast day on 2 September in which outsiders are invited in to the homes of the people and fed.

During the summer and fall some of the residents do occupy the homes to welcome tourists. Tables are set up with jewelry and crafts, like this jewel box that in Santa Fe would easily cost you $100.

Lucky me...home made blueberry pies were for sale too... man this was soooo good.

...but I digress...

You totally feel like you are on a movie set, which by the way REDSKIN and WAY OUT WEST were filmed here.

There are no amenities here. No running water, electricity or plumbing, thus the port-o-potties everywhere.

The views are AMAZING!

The mesa in the distance is called Enchanted Mesa and is a spiritual place. No one is allowed to scale it to this day.

Mount Taylor can be seen in the distance.

After the tour, you are given the option of taking the tour bus back down or taking the 'rock' walk back.

The rock walk is a trail used by the early residents to go up and down the butte. It is NOT for the weak of heart. A few people found that out as the walk down began.

From the bottom of the trail you can get a good look at the pueblo up on the butte.

[click to enlarge]

Once you are back at the visitors center, I might suggest you stop by the cafe for some good grub, like the chips and roasted green chili avocado dip [yes yes, we put green chili in EVERYTHING here...]

And so ends another great travel season. I hope you have enjoyed the journey with me.

I'm out.