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OK so I didn’t make it to Pismo Beach but I did make it to Albuquerque…and Santa Fe and Las Cruces and even a pit stop in Truth or Consequences. Yes that’s a real place! Welcome to New Mexico! It has been a minute since I’ve visited the state. I don’t count driving across it on my way to Austin from Flagstaff, Arizona as “visiting” but my body was physically in New Mexico last year. Instead, I go back further to the early 2000’s when Mario and I visited his family.

I was really excited to take the trip since New Mexico loomed large in my mind with visions of cacti, dessert and adobe buildings. There is much lore that come out of the native tribal people of New Mexico as well as art, spirituality and of course food! Mind you on this particular trip I admit to have not taken full advantage of the local food especially in Albuquerque which I aptly nicknamed the “city of fast food restaurants” but we did eat delicious flautas made by the dozens at his dad’s house.

We took a few days to rent a car and drive around the state. New Mexico is BEAUTIFUL. We traversed rock spiked mountain ranges, climbed luminescent dunes in the White Sand Desert and watched thunderstorms roll across the grassy fields. We also happily avoided unexploded missiles, safely passed through nuclear bomb testing areas, took a pit stop to get gas and a snack in Truth or Consequences, rode the Sandia Peak Tramway up to the top of the Sandia Mountains, crossed the Rio Grande, meandered through the historic adobe neighborhoods of Santa Fe and enjoyed some yummy breakfast empanadas and barbacoa.

While driving through the expansive low brush hills and deserts of the state with nothing but Rush Limbaugh available on the radio (this was pre-streaming days mind you) we opted to travel in silence and enjoy the glow of the red soil and the stunning landscapes. Along the way, quite in the middle of nowhere, we stopped in Truth or Consequences. I absolutely love how this town came to own this name. From the pages of Wikipedia…

“In March 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the popular NBC Radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program on its 10th anniversary from the first town that renamed itself after the show; Hot Springs officially changed its name on March 31, 1950, and the program was broadcast from there the following evening. Edwards visited the town during the first weekend of May for the next 50 years. This event became known as Fiesta and eventually included a beauty contest, a parade, and a stage show. The city still celebrates Fiesta each year during the first weekend of May. The parade generally features local dignitaries, last year’s Miss Fiesta pageant queen, and the winner of Hatch Chile Queen pageant. Fiesta also features a dance in Ralph Edwards Park.”

We even managed to spend an afternoon in Mexico by paying 25 cents in a turn style and walking across the border but that’s more a story for another time! On that note, I leave you to enjoy some of the photos from my trip.

Thunderstorms rolling in over the mountain range. Sunny and warm on one side, cool and wet on the other.

Sun and rain dancing together

The White Sand Desert

Mario climbing a sand dune… yes sand, not snow.

Got pretty close to a military base which had live missile testing.

We made sure to STAY on the road!

Climate difference from the bottom to the top was like going from Mexico to Canada.

Stunning aerial view of New Mexico atop the Sandia Mountains.

A humble church in Santa Fe

A little history

Downtown Santa Fe proudly retaining it’s cultural heritage

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