Sunday, March 12, 2006

Road Trip: Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Alamos

Monday March 6, 2006 and Tuesday March 7, 2006

Headed for Albuquerque, NM and actually landed about 30 miles west of there at a funky little RV park in Moriarty. Revisited Santa Fe on Monday afternoon but seeing it with different eyes. In 1990 it was the fascination with history, adobe, hanging chile peppers, turquoise and Santa Fe blue. Now it seems a bit tired: like how much Indian jewelry, pottery, cowboy boots and saddle blankets can the world need? Like other “most desirable places to live” more and more people move there, demand all the hassles and amenities they thought they wanted to get away from, and end up re-creating strip malls, traffic and crime, only with a view. Desirable real estate ranges from almost affordable to out of sight.

Funky Campground

Los Alamos held our interest on Tuesday: a science lesson at the Bradbury Science Museum and a history lesson at the historical society. Los Alamos is the home of Pandora’s Bomb, the weapon that was to put an end to war. But War, in one form or another, wages on, while our mis-guided head of state searches in vain for weapons of mass destruction. He fails to recognize the real weapons of mass destruction: poverty, injustice, intolerance, greed and power: as effective as a nuclear bomb but quieter but less of an event.

The private school and camp that was taken over by the government to house the Manhattan Project scientists had been for “frail and delicate boys” who were taught outdoorsy activities, went on long camping trips on horseback, and often swam in the nude. “Selected boys”, would accompany the headmaster to Santa Fe for overnight trips. This sounds suspicious to me. Or is it just that I’ve become cynical?

The drive back to Albuquerque through the Jemez Mountains via Jemez Springs was so enchantically typical of New Mexico: the unique scenery changing around the bend or just beyond the next rise; spectacular colors, awesome mountains, an adobe village or pueblo, a expanse of flat earth with a single geological monument making a statement to mere mortals passing by; thirsty vegetation, from prickly pear to ponderosa pine, juniper and pinon, dotting the landscape depending on altitude and region.

Pandora's Bomb
Santa Fe


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