i love the southwest. i’m also holding down the fort here at migames while migue is in new mexico doing god knows what. i think he is visiting a town with a drugged out hippie name or something, i dont really remember. unlike its neighbor, arizona, there isn’t much baseball coming out of new mexico as far as i know. arizona (or specifically hohokam park is mesa) is where the cubs play their home spring training games in the cactus league.
i’ve only spent time in new mexico once in my life from what i remember. i was by myself taking vacation from my job in early 2003. i went to white sands. here is an excerpt from my journal at the time:
(Feb. 8, 2003) The real fun of the day was the Heart of the Sands and the sky completely cleared up and the sun beamed down as I hiked the 4.5 Alkali Flat trail into the desert. There were markers that marked the trail so you couldn’t get lost but it was white dune after white dune in every direction for a long time.
By this time it was warm enough to go barefoot and I carried my shoes the whole way. I stopped once in the middle to sit and listen to the silence of the desert. Every now & then a plane would fly overhead and make a loud boom. I even heard a couple missiles I thought because it sounded like thunder striking twice. I think I dozed off a little while I was lying there but I dont think it was for very long.
I could see in the distance as I was walking, a missile base or something out on the Alkali Flat past the dunes. I thought maybe it was a rest oasis or a something or a bar out in the desert where people are hanging out and lost desert wanderers stumble in for some special desert drink that revives you and sends you off able to make the trek back. Nothing that cool though. Just a missile base.
When I reached the halfway point of the trail, it was the Alkali Flat. This huge flat part after all the dunes that it said used to be a large lake in the last Ice Age. I looked out at the Missile base and I imagined the flat being filled with water again and ice all around and I thought it was cool that nature has the power to destroy missile bases. Kind of like the water and the trees coming down on Isengard in the Two Towers.
Speaking of Saruman, the clouds as I was walking through the sands totally formed a white hand that was stretched out over me (and anyone else walking around out there, but I was basically the only one there). It had seven fingers (six and one thumb) and it seemed to be coming from the North East. I figured all the way from Indiana.
I took a bunch of pictures but my camera wasn’t digital back then. I’ll scan some of my white sands pics and put them here. Here is a placekeeper for now.