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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Two Weeks on the Road

Husker and I have 2 big road trips on our bucket list, one to the Pacific Northwest and another to New England during leaf peeping time.  We elected to do the Pacific Northwest this fall and save New England for another fall.  Good thing we made that decision the way we did because of the storms that fell on New England -- indeed, the entire eastern seaboard -- and washed out roads, flooded communities, etc.

So on September 3, 2011 (Saturday before Labor Day), we departed Texas early of a morning and headed first to Albuquerque.  It was a long hard day of traveling, but we also knew that day and our anticipated last day would be the least interesting of the entire 2 weeks that we intended to be gone.  (For those who have not been there, west Texas and southeastern New Mexico are the least interesting places in the country for a long drive.  There is nothing scenic about it unless you like it hot, dry, and ugly.)

Neither of us like stopping at fast food places or greasy spoons that typically line the highways in small towns or along the interstates, so we take a cooler and picnic along the way.  This photo is of a picnic stop just over the border into New Mexico.  The only trees were planted, not native.  Almost no vegetation.  Windy.  Hot.  Dry.  Flat.

Driving northwest from Roswell, New Mexico, the scenery began to pick up as the foothills appeared.  Lincoln County, NM is definitely a good spot to drive through with some unexpected jewels along the road.  One of my favorites from about 20 years ago is an old stagecoach stop -- now delightful restaurant -- the Silver Dollar in Tinnie, NM. Very tiny community, but the restaurant thrives due to its ambiance and good food.  Haute Victorian atmosphere.

The altitude, cool breezes, laid back pace -- all reasons that this part of NM is also known as Texas' playground.  World's richest horse race in Ruidoso, Smoky-the-bear museum (he was a real bear) in Capitan, home of the Lincoln County Wars (think Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett) in Lincoln, and a short drive to the Space Museum and the White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo.  For your kiddos, White Sands is where the first atomic bomb was tested.

New Mexico is also home to a lot of black basalt lava beds.  So much so that I am glad I was not around NM a few hundred million years ago.  We saw a lot of this during our drive north to Albuquerque.  Hawaii is not the only state with scenes like this.  New Mexico has plenty of places like this should you want to check out the lava beds without threat of a volcanic explosion!

Yes, I took my knitting, but more about that later.  Actually, what I was working on was not making me happy, so I frogged it and started again.   I mostly knitted my way across west Texas, but not so much when we reached eye candy country. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

An awful summer nears its end

This has been one of our worst summers, weather-wise.  Over 60 100+ days and it isn't over yet.  Today is expected to be 107 degrees.  I plan to spend my afternoon at our local Y's indoor lap pool.  It is pretty bad when you get up at 6 a.m. and it is too hot to walk in the neighborhood.

However, we have had some fun things to do.  We went to Husker's high school reunion in Omaha (of course!)  This is the 4th reunion of his class that I have attended, and I am starting to know a few people.  Part of the weekend included a tour of their high school.  This is one item that I did not attend because I went to an Omaha Y to attend a kettlebell class.  This was my first experience with it and I think I want to find a class locally.  I am still practicing what I learned.  

In addition, I have worked quite a bit this summer.  That has cut into my workouts and my yoga classes.  I have also had two jury summons -- different court systems -- but did not have to serve.  Whew!

Knitting?  Of course.  I picked up Vogue Knitting's fall issue and I am making a cropped pullover that I hope to include herein in about a month.  It took me a while to get the yarn -- had to order it -- then had to pick it up when I could get into Big D.  I will be working all of next week, then be off for at least two weeks.  After that time, I should have something to show for it.  Currently, I am not scheduled to work again until October 10th, and frankly, glad of it.  Need a little break.