Sunday, May 4, 2014

From El Paso, TX, to Cortez, CO

I had an “here’s what we've done since El Paso” post planned in my head.  But when we saw an an RV on fire near Gallup, New Mexico, that draft was quickly replaced with RV fire photos.

So finally -- here’s some of what we've done since El Paso.  

---Stayed a couple of nights in Albuquerque at the Kirtland Air Force Base Military RV Fam Camp.  We can’t visit Albuquerque without seeing Anne, my (Bev’s) junior high/high school/Girl Scout friend from Wellington, Ohio. Anne moved from Wellington to Foxboro, MA, when we were sophomores, but we've kept in touch. My throat hurt the next day from talking and laughing so much.

---Visited the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History (thanks to Anne, who had extra tickets she won via a radio call-in contest because she knew Maria Callas was from Greece. Seriously.) The museum is near ABQ’s Old Town and Jim was sure we’d been before.  As for me, I had absolutely no recollection of ever going inside that building. No surprise there.  Either way, the museum has changing exhibits, so it worked for both of us.

--- Did our usual pub crawl (if one pub can be called a crawl) and visited ABQ’s Marble Brewery.  We’d stopped there last year but left because it was beyond standing room only.  This time we got a table and the beer was good (Jim had the Marble IPA; I had the Marble Oatmeal Stout). They had no food other than chips and dips, so we bought hot dogs topped with cream cheese from a nearby food truck.  I feel a diet coming on. 

--- Drove 140 miles to the USA Campground in Gallup, NM, (very nice private campground, by the way) where we chatted with fellow Lazy Daze owners Nancy and Terry of California who were parked across from our rig. Then we drove to town, bought wine, beer and chocolate and that was dinner.  As I said, I feel a diet coming on.  Or at least a vegetable. 

--- Drove another 140 miles to a campground in Cortez, Colorado, and are looking forward to visiting Mesa Verde National Park.
Bev and Anne -- friends from 40+ years ago in Wellington, Ohio -- at Monroe's restaurant in Albuquerque.  Anne is a retired grade school teacher who volunteers as a tutor and at a food bank.  She also takes lots of classes; the day after we met she was headed with a group for one of the Albuquerque area's Indian pueblos to see a tribal feast celebration. 
Jim (that's him at the left, not the guy at the right in case anyone is wondering) walks through the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History's exhibit of pieces done by New Mexican artists.  We also saw "Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home 1492-1898" that featured portraits commissioned to demonstrate a homeowners wealth, and African-American art done on paper.
Also at the ABQ Museum was a collection about Vivian Vantz called "Everybody's Neighbor."  Vance -- originally form Kansas but who had a home in Albuquerque and whose parents and siblings moved there -- was best known as Ethel Mertz from "I Love Lucy."  Apparently we just missed Vance's youngest sister Lou Anne, who often comes to the museum to talk with visitors.
Stainless Steel is the New Porcelain:  We don't usually run toilet photos, but Jim says he thinks the new restroom/showers at the Kirtland Air Force Base RV Fam Camp was built by the New Mexico Department of Corrections.  We don't usually talk a lot about toilets either, but this one sparked a couple conversations.

Conversation 1:  
Bev:  I'd hate to sit on that thing when the temperatures are below freezing.
Jim:  Don't stick your tongue on it, either, even if you get triple dog-dared.
Conversation 2:
Bev:  When I took a shower, I looked around and thought "This must be what it's like to be in prison."
Jim:  Were you taking a shower by yourself?
Bev:  Well, yeah.
Jim:  Then that's not what it's like in prison.

One of the "they-seem-to-spring-up-in-the-middle-of-nowhere" rock formations between Gallup, NM and Cortez, CO.


  1. We really like the Marble Red, a hoppy red rather than a malty one.

    1. Is there a brew pub you two have not been to? If so, it's probably not any good and we just want a heads up.

  2. Finally got linked to your travel blog! I enjoyed seeing snaps of Big Bend, etc in Texas as well as our Monroe's shot...great smile, Bev...I'll check in now from time to time to see what you are up to!

    1. Hey Anne! Thanks for checking in. See you in the future, I'm sure!

  3. Great News Bev! Chocolate IS a vegetable! I know what you are thinking, "There is a lot of noise about it being a fruit", and in many respects this is true, but the USDA classified cocoa beans as vegetables for importation and regulatory purposes, so there it is.

    Actually when you think of the root commodities of your beer, wine and chocolate purchases it is as good as if you had gone to an all organic, gluten free, natural, free range, anti-veal grocery store. You know, like any grocery store in Oregon. Of course you are a grown-woman, and I don't recall that you have ever explicitly asked for my advice, but if it were me, I'd eat the Hershey Bars and leave the brussels sprouts in the freezer.

  4. Carl,
    Your advice is always welcome. We are in Colorado now and I'm a little concerned about Bev indulging in the local (recently legalized) produce. Any advice?

  5. Jim, glad to help.

    I am honored, but not surprised, that you are seeking my input on your cannabis conundrum. Not surprised, because you have witnessed my unending proclivity to offer expert opinion on subjects that I know nothing about. And honored, because I now know that you recognize the overall success that I have had in modifying Sandy’s behavior. Lessor observers of life, may have mistook what appears to be my total compliance to anything Sandy wants as an unabridged male capitulation. By the very act of your request for my contribution on the subject of spousal deference, you have demonstrated that you are a man who can see the fine line that exists between “total and complete male capitalization” and “creative total and complete male capitalization”. It is a rare man indeed who sees that line.

    But, now Jim, to your instant concern, “How to keep Bev from becoming just one more marijuana tourist?” I think the first step in this journey is to recognize the integrity of this beautiful person. Bev has always exercised saint-like self-restraint when it comes to sampling the vices of the world. Why, I recall that it was in our living room that she proclaimed to Sandy and me, and to you, that she had never had even the tiniest amount of alcohol in excess of socially acceptable standards. Jim, I knew Bev in college, she was a friend of mine, and Jim, she was no teetotaler. I understand that in the universe of college life, “socially acceptable standards” cuts a fairly wide swath, but still I don’t think you can rely on that integrity thing to keep her out of the pot shops.

    At this point I must say that I am aware that some of Bev’s closest family reads her blog and it saddens me that they may, now at last, know what a hellion she was on the OSU (the real one) campus. But, I feel that as a fellow member in the brotherhood of husbands, my obligation lies you, and as such you need to know what you are dealing with.

    So how do you keep Bev on the straight and narrow? Of course, Colorado makes it bit easier for you, in that being buzzed-out on weed is the new “straight and narrow” in that state. (Oh how God’s country has changed since I lived in Colorado Springs some 58 years ago. - Back then it was the cowboy culture that dominated. – You know, Marlborough cigarettes and a then local Coors beer – basically all the healthy stuff. – Now with the reverse migration from California the state has literally gone to pot) In Bev’s case, I think it is important for you to remember that she is a child of the sixties, and inherently a hippie at heart (Sandy has some old photographs that can confirm this for you.) and, perhaps a little dabbling in the local past-time will not be the worst thing for her. After all, as you are well aware, she has some pretty eccentric habits even when sober, so it is entirely possible that no one will even notice if she is a little Rocky Mountain High.

    Yes, I think that, that is the best advice that I can give you. Do whatever it is that she wants to do: Refer to my statement regarding “creative total and complete capitalization”, it truly is the secret to a happy marriage.

    I know this is the help that you requested. You can thank me later. (I have been trying to keep my comments short, but in this case, with your heartfelt plea for help, I had no choice but address your concerns with comprehensive analysis and meaningful guidance.)

    As an aside, my grandsons and I will also be traveling through parts of Colorado this summer, (following route 50 from Canyon City to about the middle of Utah). So far, we have zeroed in on some horseback riding near Telluride and mountain biking at Crested Butte. While traveling through the state please keep an eye out for divergences (non-hallucinatory) that would occupy the minds of 12 and 15 year-old boys. I too will appreciate your advice.

  6. I usually am content to allow my misspellings, poor punctuations and general grammatical errors to stand. I always figure that it is just an easier way for you to know whether it is me or Sandy who is commenting. But my use of past-time vs. pass-time is even too much for me to bear. Therefore please consider my previous comment so amended. All other errors may stand.

    In my own defense, Debbie Dubranski did all my English homework for me in the 10th grade. Had Debbie been a girl of higher character, she would have refused to do my homework, and I would have developed the skill sets such that the above comment would not have needed correction. …So I guess it is pretty clear where the fault lies.