Friday, April 5th – Sunday, April 7th, 2013
We dodged the tire-biting dogs on the way out to get them replaced at a Walmart in Belen (not because they chewed through them, it was just time for new tires). One of the wheels was rusted, and since Walmart employees aren’t allowed to do certain tasks (because that’s just how corporate works), we drove down the street to Craig’s Tire Inc. where they helped hammer it off before returning to Walmart to get the tire put on.
Next stop, Albuquerque!
After taking a stroll along historic Route 66 downtown, we were handed a flyer for a free art exhibit mainly because there was free “hors d’oeuvres” there. I was wearing a yellow t-shirt that said, “Snap, Grackle, Pop” with a grackle on it (it’s a bird that never shuts up), that I bought in Austin, TX. As I was barbarically eating everything in sight, a skinny, older bougie women approached me, complimented my shirt, then asked me, “Are YOU an ar-TEEST?” I told her no, and continued mooching off the free food.
After feeling quite out of place, we left to find tacos which ended up being salty and gross. Note: drunk food sucks when you are not drunk. We checked out a super market on the nicer side of town to stock up on snacks for later. As a Marylander, I had to laugh at the sad version of Maryland Crab Cake on display there made out of “fish protein”.
Albuquerque is a shady city to be staying overnight in a van, so to avoid shady people and behavior, we pursued light, and lots of it in a well lit Walmart parking lot out of town.
We made our way out of Albuquerque, NM via I-25 North and passed by many casinos. The Hollywood Casino advertised a show called, “Pink Pelvis” which I was half tempted to check out since the pink Elvis impersonator gyrating his hips on the LED billboard looked hysterical! One of my largest regrets in life, right there.
We took NM-22 as we searched for Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, but ended up taking a wrong turn and briefly got lost in the Cochiti Pueblo. We eventually found our way and hiked through the towering white cliffs.
As we were leaving, we got pulled over for speeding, which was absolutely ludicrous since our van travels at the speed of smell. We received a warning, then arrived in the artsy, hippy town of Madrid. We would have to wait to explore it in the morning since most of the shops were closed for the day. We decided to crash out at a very crowded Walmart nearby Sante Fe.
Others who had spent the night in the Walmart parking lot were flying kites as we headed back to Madrid. It’s a retail paradise there, especially if you’re interested in art. There were so many cute shops and galleries, and a place called Maggie’s Diner where part of the film set from the movie, “Wild Hogs” was located.
Madrid was fun and quirky, but I was really excited to get my first taste of Sante Fe! It’s spicy, and I loved it! We took a short stroll by the shops near the plaza, then left santa Fe to stop at a coffee shop near Walmart. We met a man named Lenny, his son and his girlfriend who was mush-mouth drunk, and he shared some conspiracy theories with us. We looked up the prices of apartments in the newspaper before returning to the van. We would consume more of spicy Santa Fe in the morning.
Jump Back to Part 12: Petroglyphs, Missiles & A Blacksmith
Jump Ahead to Part 14: Santa Fe Stucco & Tumbleweeds