Happily stuck

Dear future me,

When I entered New Mexico, the place gave me a gentle kiss on my cheek. Today, when I left the state, I got a big hug instead. I had found my home.

Or at least for two great weeks. The only thing I knew about New Mexico was that the northern parts is heaven for bikers, except in the winter it turns out to be a heaven for ski-people. Me…no ski-person, I…bike-person, so I was afraid I couldn’t see the wonders of the north. But when I was lingering in the west on the Geronomo trail, chasing an old Indian, I kept a close eye on the weather forecasts. And to my surprise, the temperatures were rising. So on a very short notice, like the following day, I asked friends of friends if I could stay at their place in Albuquerque. How were they to know that if you say yes to me, you gonna get the Nennie for a whole week! It wasn’t my plan however, cause as the day of (no) return to Holland comes closer, I feel more hastened. That was probably the reason why some higher powers thought it was a good idea for me to slow down. And by slow down, I mean slower than a turtle moves his big toe.

Mauny and Elaine turned out to be excellent hosts, although the thought of this Nennie coming made the lady of the house sick on the spot. That didn’t stop her to be the initiator of all kinds of activities for me so I could see their town. And what a fantastic place that is! Not only harbors Albuquerque ancient vibes in their petroglyphs (old graffiti), but also in the way they build the houses. Old Town and the rich neighborhoods are showing Mexican style adobe dwellings, which gives the city a warm aura, even if it is snowing! It turns out to be the signature of New Mexico, because I didn’t see this style of houses in other states on this scale. Next, Albuquerque displays a cultural side of great allure. They have all kinds of festivals going on in the summer (yep, wrong time for me to be here), but in the winter you can still go to the theater, movies, tango classes and have frequent dinners with storytellers and magicians. At least, that is what I have done so far. Not really strange If your hosts are very interesting and active people. They even had a piano, so I couldn’t resist to practice a little bit. And to my surprise nobody run out of the house or nothing started barking next door. In between the cultural outings, I got to see a little bit of the northern area of New Mexico. While the sun was still glowing with warmth (inside the car), Maury and Elaine showed me the pristine beauty of the Valles Caldera and Santa Fe. Check, seen that, done that. I was really happy to have the opportunity to see it, because it was already getting to cold for the motorcycle. In fact, the weather reports were giving some bad news and although they kept changing it, I couldn’t deny the hard facts: white stuff on the streets. White stuff on the cacti. This is the first time the weather forced me to stay in one place. Although, secretly, I think that my host Mauny, the magician, actually pulled the snow out of his high hat to make me stay. And it worked: I was very happily stuck in Albuquerque for the rest of the week. It gave me time to unwind and recharge the battery, while having nice coffees and good conversations. I even enjoyed the snow, because it is great fun if you sit inside a car. The time however started pressing on me, as I had to move south to collect my new rear tire. So at the end of the week, we said are goodbyes and I drove off. Into my adventure again, feeling like a Michelin doll, dressed up in eight layers of clothes.

As soon as I left the north, the weather changed from freezing to bloody hot. It did suit the environment of brown rolling hills. I’m still in the desert, so to feel my blood cooking is very normal. It makes you a bit delusional too, because I thought I would find an ocean of white sand in the middle of nowhere. Instead I found a sign saying that nobody could enter this national monument, not even on foot. The reason: a drone accidently fell in the white sand. Yeah, right! I don’t believe there is white sand in the first place. Everywhere I look, there is only brown and yellow colors and an occasional green from plants that are in denial that it is winter. The place is a bit weird though, because it is a missile air force base too and sometimes they shut the whole highway to practice their shoot-a-missile-in-the-air-technique. I guess they need to practice some more…..In another area of skills they proved to be excellent however, because they gained a lot of experience in the field of How-to-hide-strange-things-that-fall-out-off-the-sky technique. I learned about this later on my trip, when I entered the endearing town of Roswell. In 1947 some aliens landed a bit clumsy in the area. It seemed they were looking for some family members that took their kids on a fieldtrip to Utah, but I guess they had their coordinates wrong. Only one alien survived, but before he could tell the newspapers about his crazy ride, the army imprisoned him. The story now is that a weather balloon crashed. Yeah, right! You see, you can never trust those army guys.

The police is not much better though, I found out when I bumped into Billy. The kid was running for the new sheriff, after a judge sentenced him to death. The crime he committed was shooting a police man who was owned by the local (rich) businessman.  Billy just escaped from the county courthouse in Lincoln and was on his way to his girlfriend. Later, in town, I saw the bullet hole in the wall down the staircase, where he shot the deputy, while a reggae song enters my mind. I felt sorry for the poor kid when I heard that he was found by the sheriff and shot dead at the age of 21. Overwhelmed by this story I tried to visit him downstairs. So I went to the Carlsbad Caverns where the caves take you very far into mothers earth. And what an amazing place I found! The Big Room is the center of the caverns, but in order to get there you have to walk through numerous other big rooms (or you take the elevator). Into the deep, deep, deep, until you think you start to hear Chinese. Then you know you arrived in the majestic world of the dripping stalactites, hanging draperies, sleeping stalagmites and not tasteful popcorn. But no Billy. Time to leave the place!

After I got my big hug from New Mexico, I entered the mighty state of Texas. The place, most people describe, where you have to close your eyes, hit the gas and hope that it will soon be over. Texas’s answer: wham!

SYL,

Annemieke, 13 february 2014

Reacties 3

Ric Berretty 14-02-2014 07:47

New Mexico- de staat waar ik het kortste bezoek ooit had: binnen 7 uur was ik weer weg bij het gastgezin. Een korte stop op weg van Tuscon Arizona naar Omaha Nebraska. Voor mij is NM a cinnamon burrito for breakfast. I guess I would have prefered that magician for diner. I've been enjoying your adventures tremendously- it was time to tell you so. I didn't read each episode of The Nenny, but the ones I read were always full of life and spirit- a short ride on the back of your bike. Thank you.

charles 15-02-2014 14:20

Hoi Annemiek,

Klinkt goed, dat NM avontuur! (Ik ben niet verbaast ;-)

vermaak ze tussen de Texas cowboys.

Groet,
Charles

Harrie 16-02-2014 15:14

Mooi verhaal weer heb weer genoten . je maakt wat mee zo ja en de song i shot the sheriff . Hoeveelste band is het die je versleten hebt .

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