30 September 2010

Back in New Mexico

30 Sep 2010--We left Arizona yesterday and headed back to New Mexico again. We wanted to stop because when we were here back in May we didn't get to see the Capitol building, and starting on 2 October the Hot Air Balloon Festival begins. I posted the state flag again, because there will be a test at the end of the travel season and I wanted to remind you what it looked like!

We drove just over 200 miles, about 150 of it in New Mexico, and this is basically what you see for most of the trip. There is an incredible amount of empty space left in our country, no matter how crowded we sometimes feel.

Some parts are prettier than others, but most of it is flat and empty.

Something totally new is a several mile stretch of what they call "Lavaland." It looks like someone dumped tar balls along the side of the road, but it is big chunks of lava on either side of you, very deep away from the road.

You can tell you are on a reservation when you see sights like these. Up close you can see that lots of windows are missing in the houses of pics 2 and 3. Sort of depressing.

Especially when you see these casinos right up the road from the rundown houses/trailers. A case of "the man" taking advantage of the little guy again, as Walter would say! haha

We pulled into Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque and are going to stay at the Famcamp here for a week. We totally lucked out because we weren't supposed to be able to get a spot at all due to the Balloon Festival, but we got the last spot...God blesses us in many ways!!!

Hallie wanted me to take some pics of cactus...she means the conventional 3-pronged cactus, but I haven't seen any yet...so here are a few I saw on base.
When we came to New Mexico back in May we stayed in Santa Fe on a weekend, and didn't know that the Capitol wasn't open at that time. So we drove there today, about 65 miles from Albuquerque, to take a tour of the building. We wished someone had told us it wasn't worth it!!! We have seen some really nice Capitol buildings, but this one was bland, bland, bland! Even from the outside, you can't get a good pic of the circular building because of the trees in front of it. And on the inside it is just boring. This is the entrance to the Governor's office along with the state seal.

Note: I forgot to mention it when I posted this last night, so this is added in after the fact. The Legislature here in New Mexico is another one that hardly works at all. By law they only meet for 30 or 60 days, every other year. And we were told that they are 1 of only 2 Legislatures that are truly "citizen legislatures"...by that they mean their politicians are not paid a salary at all. They get per diem of $144.00 a day when they are in session and that is it. The only other state like that is New Hampshire.
They were very proud of the fact that they had a lot of art in the building, so I will show you some.

This buffalo was the best. Made of paintbrushes, film, and nails!

This is the rotunda...it doesn't even go to the top of the 4th floor...only to the 3rd.
This was the old Capitol, which they have renovated and made into state offices. The new and current Capitol was built in 1966 and renovated in 1990...it forms the Zia sun symbol. They had no mention of the state's history, the building's history, nothing! I feel like the old building would have been better.
So the trip was a disappointment, but that's alright. Most Capitols have been beautiful, and we anticipate that others will be as well as we continue our journey.


  1. I am not sure, after all the beauty you have seen, if anything will be exciting for you!
    But I do hope the next state capital you go to is more interesting.
    Happy Birthday! Love you!!!!!

  2. I jsut tried this and failed. So before I rewrite my post, let's see if this works.

  3. Have you seen the state house in Boston? It's beautiful. Plus, they give tours that include the Senate & House Chambers (the Senate chamber used to be the House chamber a long time ago, and is considerably smaller than the present House chamber. Both are beautiful in their own way) If/when you go, be sure to let me know, and I will see if I can get you into the Sen. Pres.'s office/suite. It,too, is beautiful. Bulger did it over several years ago, and the cost was quite controvercial, thanks, in part, to one of his chief nemisises, The Boston Globe. lol.

    Any special plans for your bday?

    "Have gun will travel" (couldn't help my self now that your back in the wild west)


  4. Ellen, I hope I don't havew to give up on "exciting", although long-term I am a little concerned myself that this western trip will be hard to top.

    Brian, welcome, FINALLY, to the blog! Glad to see you figured out how to post. I have to hit the "post comment" button twice every time I try to post a comment, so try that and you won't have to keep re-typing your comment. Cathy and I plan on going to the state house in Boston next summer. We are hoping to hit every state house in the country before we are through.

  5. Hi,
    We felt the same way about the homes of the Indians or Native Americans as Jen would point out every time I said Indian...When we drove from the South Rim to the North Rim the homes were really just shacks...it was very depressing because I've always felt like they got screwed. I felt the same way about the "open space". It nice to know that all that open space still exists!
    Happy Birthday!!

  6. Loved the buffalo!!! Recycle, reduce, reuse!!!....and the picture of the horses is nice