Tuesday September 23…. Day 43
New Mexico is warm at 7am. Lazily I went into the convenience store for coffee, juice and fruit. We ate breakfast and shuffled into the trading post just after they opened their doors.
The two-story gift shop was littered with wooden beams and indian artifacts mostly pottery and jewelry but the girls found these handmade dolls that are just darling and I fell in love with a turquoise ring with onyx inlay! As we wait for our purchases to be wrapped up, the sound of pounding metal is in the background. Oak and I follow the noise to see a lady pounding silver strips with a mallet. She’s preparing them for the craftsman to fashion them into earrings, necklaces or whatever their destiny.
It makes us feel good to support the locals and make it a constant decision not to purchase anything that isn’t home(USA) made.
The girls even know why we don’t, or hardly ever step foot in a Wal-Mart “China-crap”
We kept heading East on I-40 and into Albuquerque for a visit to the balloon museum.
This trip is filling up with fulfilling dreams. The trip in itself is my long time dream come true only my original version (quite askew) involved only me and a Volkswagen. Years later, more dreams piled up; like seeing the Redwoods and driving through a tree or walking along the Grand Canyon; riding a “duck” down the Wisconsin River or visiting Mount Rushmore.
If you’ve known me personally or been to my house you’ll see balloons- paintings, calendars, puzzles, sun catchers, garden wind spinny thingy. Hot Air Balloons Everywhere!
When Darryl and I officially got engaged, his proposal was accompanied by a gift certificate for a Hot Air Balloon Ride. In fact he expressed we would have been in a Hot Air Balloon for the proposal if life hadn’t gotten in the way, as it too often does.
See, at the time, Darryl was about to receive a corneal transplant and the altitude and pressure would put him in danger. So, we waited- then a year later we were married and a few short weeks after expecting Ash’s arrival.
needless to say we’ve been busy working, having babies, and just living our life.
Well, this day I didn’t ride in one but I learned a lot and we got to play with simulators, try ballooning experiments and see a ton of memorabilia. It was a very special place and the very next best thing to an actual Balloon ride. It’s the kind of day and place I will never forget!
After lunch, we worked our way almost clear across the state and into Santa Rosa.
I feel bad coming into towns like this-more empty lots, dim lights and boarded windows. A motel, gas station, bank and grocery store.
A grocery store with not more than five aisles. A grocery store with dusty cans and brown meat-meat that’s been frozen -thawed and relabeled because they just can’t throw out another piece of it. They’re about to go under holding onto a thread of beer sales and the ever popular rice and beans meal of the locals.
This town sits on historic Rt. 66. A town that’s flailing in this terrible economy and corporatacracy of Wal-Marts and interstates. I’m again reminded of Radiator Springs.
Towns once filled with life and lights are now dead and dim. Crippled.
So, what brought us here, you ask?
While looking for a place to spend the night, we found a campground here in Santa Rosa Lake State Park. The fee is minimal and we managed full hookup with a great lake view.
It was quiet and peaceful with a playground where Darryl took the girls for a while so I blogged before we all showered and hit the hay.