Fort Collins, Colorado (Oct 10/14) – ‘Goodnight N’, ‘Goodnight J’, ‘Sweet Dreams Little Jesse’… the first night together there was peace and happiness in everyone’s hearts… thankful to all being together and knowing that it was ‘right’, the three fell asleep, content. Waking up the next morning to a wonderful Albuquerque, NM sunrise & huge colourful balloons adorning the skyline, the Annual Balloon Festival (one of the best small town festivals in North America) welcoming the day. Apparently ‘ballooners’ from around the globe touch down in Albuquerque every year to participate. The spectacle is to be seen, so quiet, so graceful how the balloonist manoeuvre the giant masterpieces in the sky.
click on pic to enlarge – right/left arrow to scroll thru the gallery
Moving along the open desert, the red rocks as a beacon, coming to the town Los Alamos, NM (the site where the first atomic bomb was developed) was radiantingly (is this a word?) eerie. A town mixed with old and new, and seemingly meticulously organized, offered the most incredible grocery store that exists. A small town servicing the well heeled, with top engineers and world renowned scientists working side by side, demanding only the best. The grocery store even offered a full sit down bar with at least 20 beers on tap and a full selection of spirits by the deli and full service food section, the finest food available in every aisle.
Onwards to Santa Fe, NM a mostly artistic town, showcasing painted landscape scenes, artisan pottery, and locally made silver jewelry. It is also the state capital of New Mexico and has the oldest church in North America (1610) still standing & in use. Right next door the oldest adobe house also there in its glory. The Loretto Chapel merely a block away showcases the ‘Miraculous Stair’. A freestanding staircase within the church, that is not supported by any structure. Each stair so tiny and winding, hard to believe that the nuns actually used the stairs.
The following day was ‘spa day’ in Ojo Caliente, NM, where mineralized springs rich in lithia, iron, soda and arsenic, bubbled up into 5 separate pools with their own streaming water detail. Each mineral purporting to have an effect on ailments such as arthritis, blood disorders, skin conditions, and to aid in digestion, energy and mood. A magical special blend of brown clay was applied to the skin, baking and drying in the sun releasing toxins. Excited to have all of this healing, N&J soaked up the elements for as long as they could to maximize their health. Staying in the parking lot overnight they felt the healing continue in the quiet sanctuary.
Enroute to Taos, NM was to be found an ‘Earthship’ development of ‘green’ homes. They were built with an assortment of everyday debris that would usually end up at the landfill (glass bottles, tires, cans, etc). Normally the homes were set back into a hillside to take advantage of the thermal qualities (warm in winter, cool in summer), used tires were filled (packed) with clay & stacked to form walls. These walls had amazing insulation effect. Between the electricity & hot water supplied by sunshine, the storage of rainwater, use of the stored water for drinking, washing, plant watering & toilet use… the entire house was completely ‘off the grid’, no connection whatsoever to any utility. Plants were grown year round in attriums to provide clean air & vegetables. Building design made use of solar energy to move air throughout the home to keep the temperatures balanced regardless of the season.
While traversing the Colorado Rockies, it was discovered that Hobbes had developed some coolant leakage. N&J checked over the engine, found nothing outwardly major; seems an ‘O’ ring in the thermostat housing was releasing water after stopping at higher elevations. Added some more anti-freeze & a conditioner/sealant to ‘fatten’ up the rubber seals… fingers crossed. Later discovering that Hobbes is also leaking oil (main seal, we think) in between spewing green fluid… All fingers now crossed.
The long drive through Colorado ended at Fort Collins, CO in the same rest stop used during last year’s trip. Incredibly, homeless people were living in their cars (most barely driveable). Saw the same situation last year, AND a few people recognizable from before. N&J reflecting on how so much had changed in their lives in the last year yet here these people were still here. What a sad state of affairs in Colorado… seriously something must be done to help the plight of these forgotten people.