Sunday, April 12, 2015



7-12 Apr
We're staying at Kirtland AFB FAMCAMP in Albuquerque NM for 6 days with a lot on our to-do list. More National Parks, Old Town, Capitol Building, baseball game and the list goes on.

7 Apr
Headed out of Mancos, CO on our way to Kirtland AFB and the owner at Ancient Cedars recommended we stop at Aztec Ruins NM. Before we got started on the road we had to fill up and on our way out of the small town we saw a man walking his cow while his dog road the cow. The things we see on the road always seems to happen when were not expecting it.

Flying rocks! I have lost count of all the objects that have hit our rig over the past three years, but today our windshield could no longer take the beating. We believe it was a rock from the semi truck that was coming the other direction. The crack is on the passenger side, but looks like we will have to get it replaced.

Aztec Ruins NM is located off of US 550 so it was not out of our way, so we stopped. Again, added another NP that was not on our schedule... score. The ruin site is located behind the visitor center. Fee is $5 a person, but our NP pass came in handy one more time. This area was populated between 850 and 1250. We were able to walk though some of the ruins and entered a reconstructed Kiva.  What was most amazing was the back wall lined up perfectly with the lunar sun.  

 Picture from the back
 Picture from the front

8 Apr

First things first, I had to stop by the Isotopes ballpark to pick up our tickets for tomorrows game. Also, visit the team shop so I don't have to carry everything around during the game. I got a team mini bat. I asked if they still had the 2014 team set of baseball cards and the worker had to go back into storage to get them. They were stadium give-a-ways so he just gave me the set for free. Just what all collectors love to hear ... FREE CARDS. More on the stadium and team after the game tomorrow.

We spent all day in the Old Town area. Like always Hiromi loves to try eating new things. She had visions of fried bread in her head, so we were on the hunt asking local workers were to find the best place to eat. Several of them told us Little Anitas. I'm not a big lover of Mexican food, but I did order a small plate while Hiromi's plate was big enough for two.. and we were both surprised when she finished it all.  

Now was the time to start sightseeing. We stopped at San Felipe de Neri Church. Built in 1793 by earth rock from a stream a few miles away. The mud was shaped then harden before constructed. There was a section of the original wall surrounded in glass in the Church's gift shop. Sorry, the picture did not come out as there was too much glare.  

In the Old Town Plaza we stopped at the rattle snake museum. Fee was $5, but military was $4 a person. After our experience at Havenweep NM, this time I would see the snakes safer from behind glass.

Last on our list for the day was The Botanical Garden.  Fee $12.50, after military $10.50 per person. The tickets also included the Aquarium and that is were we started. Nothing too surprising, if you seen one aquarium, you seen them all. However, the shark and larger fish tank was impressive. Then, on to the garden. After recording and picture taking all day both our cameras batteries died. We still got some pictures after playing with the battery pack. There was even a large scale model train running along the side of the garden. The weather was windy and it did not take long for my allergies to kick in. We spent two hours walking around seeing all the different style gardens and by the time we left my nose and eyes were killing me. The thinks I do to make my wife happy.    

Our first sighting of a Google Maps Street View car. Not sure how being parked is doing any good.
9 Apr

Quit day of rest, laundry, groceries and watching movies before going to the Albuquerque Isotopes night baseball game.

My love for baseball runs deep. After 31 straight days of spring training baseball games most would be burned out, not I. The Major League season started earlier this week and Minor League season starts today. Today marks the start were team battle it out on a dirt diamond for 144 games over the next five months all for one reason ... to be called "Champions". While the player live out their dreams of one day playing in the Majors.

Tonight was a big night for me. Not only was it my first ever opening day game, it was my first Pacific Coast League game and marked my milestone of attending my 100th baseball game. Located only 10 miles from Kirtland AFB tonight's game was Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies) vs Reno Aces (D Backs). The first 3,000 fan received Isotopes beanie. I was surprised that there was only 8,702 fans (might have been tickets sold, because it did not look that many fans) for opening night when the ball park holds 11,124. The game was a scheduled 6:35pm start, but first pitch was not until after 7:00pm. I knew only one player on both teams, Matt McBride for the Isotopes a former Cleveland Indian minor leaguer who was part of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade in 2011. 

Thanks to my Super Model wife wearing the Beanie give-a-way

This is the first year the Isotopes are the Rockies affiliate, last year they were the Dodgers. 400 feet in dead center filed there is a 10 foot hill, Just like at Minute Maid Park the home filed of the Houston Astros. As we walled in I took a stroll around the park just to checked everything out and it's different views to the filed. As I looked in the right field grass berm deep in the corner, guess what I found... another ball. It was only a practice ball, wish it was a Pacific Coast League ball. There is also a kids corner above the right-center berm long the back edge of the stadium that look down to the playing field. Tickets are $1 each and actives range from 1-4 tickets.

I went into the "Lab" (ball parks nickname) rooting for the road team Aces to win and they did 8 -2. Every time the Aces scored I was the only one cheering... go figure. I survived to live another day. 

10 Apr

Woke up early am with violent winds on 36 mph. I had to tie down the TV antenna, the wind bent & lost a screw and was bouncing on the roof. Good thing the antenna was down, I could not even use the inside crank to raise the antenna.

I hope it holds!

Tempting to stay indoors today, but popped a Claritin, packed a box of tissues and off we went. Nothing can stop us. We're off to Santa Fe for a day full of sightseeing. First we made our required stop at New Mexico Capitol Building, seven down 43 to go. New Mexico has a flat roof, where all the others we have seen have had some kind of dome shape. Disappointment that all the speakers houses were closed for re-carpeting. The doors did have glass window, so I tried to get a picture of the floor. Along the walls of the gallery floors are art works hanging. The one I like the most was the buffalo head made from all recycled items. Lastly, the Governor's office. Doors wide open no secretary or armed security. Santa Fe MUST be a safe town.  

For lunch, we stopped in downtown Santa Fe at Mangiamo Pronto and ate Italian.


If you have never been to Santa Fe there will be two things missing that you find in other large State Capitol cities skyscrapers and chain name stores. Both are band in the downtown area. For some reason Hiromi is on a church bind. We saw three more churches in  Santa Fe.  Of the three, I would say I like the Loretto with the Miraculous Staircase. The 1998 movie "The Staircase" staring William Petersen (CSI) was based on the structure of the Miraculous Staircase. The church is small in the inside, but came with a $3 per person to enter.

Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi        


 Miraculous Staircase 
 San Miguel Mission

Left Santa Fe and headed West for 30 minute, until we reached the town of Pecos. We arrived at Pecos  NHP at 3:15pm. We had 45 minutes to look at the NHP before the gates closed at 4:00pm.The next 45 minutes were a blur,  We did not have to time to watch the video, so we took a map and off we went. We toured the gallery and then hopped in the car to drive to the mission. There is a 2 mile trail to see more, but with our time restrictions we only had time to drive to the mission site. There was a Kiva we could climb down into and this one was pretty big too. One last thing and that was to checkout the last of the standing mission.  Wearing my Kent State Sweater I caught the attention of other visitors who happened to be from Canton, OH and was a professor at Malone College. "It's a small world..." We were safe and out of the NHP with 5 minutes to spare. Less than 75 miles from Las Vegas I would like to stop by again someday to finish the rest of the trail.

A member of the welcoming community when we reached the bottom of the Kiva

11 Apr

Local day trip to Petroglyph NM and Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

About 20 minutes away in the heart of the urban community we found the Petroglyph NM. The number of Petroglyph in once central area is said to be one of the largest roughly 5,500. We hiked one of the the two locations, a 2 mile trail. Fee is $1 weekdays, $2 weekend. National Park Pass $0. The rocks that were used came from the six volcanoes that landed on soft sand. After several hundred (thousands) years the sand loosened and eroded away leaving the large rocks to fall and land were they lay today. Not all the Petroglyph's are from the Pueblo people as Spaniards arrived in the 1600 and they drew on these rock too.

New Mexico Balloon Fiesta is held in October, since we will not be here to see this annual event we did the next best thing, we visited the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. More less its a museum of hot air balloons, with it own Hall of Fame. Bad news for us is that there was a truck food and beer festival in the back yard of the museum and the traffic was terrible. But, we finally found a parking spot and got in to the museum. Neither one of us have ever been in a hot air balloon.. until today when we were the pilots of a simulated video game.  

Food and beer trucks

12 Apr

Decided to extend our stay one more day through the weekend and depart on Monday morning. We are a bit tired waking up early and running around all day. So, like in the military we are on one day of R & R.

I only wished we could have stopped by some of the locations from Breaking Bad. Maybe next time!

Up Next?
Can you guess where we are going next with these hints? ... Cadillac's and 72oz steaks.


  1. wow, you two have covered some interesting sites. Love the the dog riding the cow!

    1. I thought that might be once in a blue moon chance of seeing the dog ride a cow so I had to take a pic. Albuquerque, is one of the big cities on our road trip so there is a lot to see and do. I just hope we don't burn out to fast. Almost two week of none stop. Had to take today off.

      Have fun a be safe on your solo trip in"The Creeper".