Thursday, 16 October 2014

New Mexico: To, fro, and vehicles not taken

We just got back from 10 days in New Mexico.  It certainly lives up to its licence-plate motto "Land of Enchantment". (Idaho might truly have "Famous Potatoes", but BC's humble "Best Place on Earth" is presumably a matter of personal taste.)  A great thing about time off from work and cabin-building was that I got back to drawing at least once a day.  So, lots of pictures coming soon...

I love to watch the changing environment on the flight from the green mountains of the west coast to the brown mesas and canyons of the Southwestern deserts.  Except for those wings that they inconveniently add to planes...

A main reason for the trip was to go for a hot-air balloon ride at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - the biggest hot-air balloon event in the world.  Unfortunately, the wind gods had other ideas, as the breezes were too strong to go up on the morning we had booked.  This is our second weather-canceled balloon ride, so we'll be third-time-lucky next time.  But they did inflate some of the balloons on the ground, which was an impressive site for us, and the tens of thousands of other people who showed up well before dawn (usually the best time to fly, with cold and still air).

Another thing we didn't do was go on the Cumbres and Toltec railway, a 100+ year-old narrow-gauge steam railway that now runs day-long tourist trips from Chama in northern New Mexico into Colorado.  But we did stop to see the trains, including one that was smoking and steaming away in the rail yard.  It's beautiful countryside in the mountains and canyons, especially at this time of year with fall colours, so it will be on the agenda next time we go.

To finish the transportation theme: the inevitable airport picture.  United Airlines and Air Canada generously provided us with an extra 8 hours of travel time on the way home, so lots of opportunity to study the details out the window of the Albuquerque airport.

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