Friday, September 21, 2007 ;
We woke up and packed up at a leisurely pace. We intended to take the famous Sandia Aerial Tramway that went from base of the mountains all the way up to the peak where there's a terrific view over Albuquerque and the mountains but found it was opened everyday except Tuesday. So we didn't need to rush and checked out Old Town Albuquerque instead.
There were a lot of Navajo things, and Red Indian stuff. The areas in New Mexico were all named Pueblo XX, and there were a lot of ancient artefacts and historical sites too. All very cultural and intriguing.
We also met a group of war veterans who can talk in Navajo code also, at Old Town.
And we strolled through the stalls selling all the craft, which were all very beautiful and intricate.
A lot of buildings and houses were in the color shown in the pic above left. That's the New Mexico color and also has some important historical meaning, of which I read and forgot! Yikes. I think the material also helps to ensure the interior of the house is cool, cos NM can be really scorching hot.
There were a lot of Mexican restaurants too, and many people spoke in Spanish. Understandably, since New Mexico is just above Mexico and there are many Mexicans there.
Next year, we are planning a trip to Mexico too, so intrigued are we by the Mexican history and culture. Dh also learns a spattering of Spanish from his co-workers who are all Hispanics, and ds1 also has Spanish in preschool, so we are going to try and immerse ourselves there. We will use a tour agent though, cos we are not confident of relying on our poor Spanish, and with young kids, we don't want to leave anything to chance (eg lodging and transport arrangements).
Driving out of the capital of New Mexico, we saw more rainbows. The pics below show one rainbow I took in Colorado, and one in New Mexico. Taken from within the car, so you'll see the window lines... :-)
Then we got some misfortune. The police here can really ambush well. Furthermore there are so many mountains here. We just rounded a bend, and saw a police car, which was hiding behind the mountain part of the bend. Rightaway, dh checked his speedometer, alas! It was 75mph. He stepped on the brakes but the police car came to life already, and we were still crossing our fingers that he was just going to cruise. So we travelled at 65mph still going along, when the police car drove right up behind us then started flashing his lights.
Ok, dh pulled up to the side.
Police officer: "You were travelling 75 in a 65 zone."
Dh: "ok..." (no point arguing)
Police: Take this (summons) and pay within 30 days else appear in court.
Ok, dh got this the 2nd time already, so he knows what to do, just write a check. Sigh.
In USA, freeways have different stretches that have 55, 65 or 75 mph as the speed limit. Sometimes, the freeways are so straight and there's so little traffic, you could easily speed without knowing it. Lots of people end up doing that without realising, or on purpose, whatever. Yet dh seems to always get fined and caught whenever he exceeds.
Dh even looked at the fine and said, "wah, New Mexico speeding fine cheaper than SLC ah!" Fortunately it was out of the officer's earshot already. I took the photo below while the officer was writing out the summons.
For this trip, I took over driving many times, cos this Corolla's mine anyway, and I am used to driving it (more confident), and I didn't need to nurse ds2 that much. So while dh was sleeping, I drove to a point where the 4 states met at a corner, known as the Four Corners.
It is the only place in the whole of USA where 4 states meet together. Most other states, at most, have 3 meeting together. It is because New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Utah are drawn with rather straight borders, so they can meet at a corner. It was only a slight detour, so I felt it was fun and worth it.
Above: I went and squatted right at the point where the 4 states met. :-)
Below: lots of souvenir shops there. This pic shows the flags of the 4 states.
Along the way, there were rock and sand dune formations, and so many were just so beautiful and I cannot imagine how they were formed naturally, just by nature's forces. That they can turn out like they were designed perfectly. I only managed to get one pic while dh was driving. The rest of the time while I was driving, dh slept, so when I saw something really breathtaking, no one was available to take pics. Arrrgh.
Since we kept to the speed limit very diligently after the incident, we reached Moab only at 9+pm. Checked in to the motel and awaited the next day of hiking!
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow