Joan Randall, a Woodstock resident, set out on a journey to “Discover America” she has agreed to share her stories with the readers of the Vermont Standard.
These are her stories.
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Blog #18 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Outside of Albuquerque is the Petroglyph National Monument. Within a 2-mile hike you can see over 400 of rock paintings left behind for our interpretation. This is desert country and I packed plenty of water, sunscreen and a hat. It will only be an hour or two hike, but the desert is hot and dry. As we set off from our hike, not even 500 feet down the trail, Bode sits down. What is this? Bode loves to hike, why is he sitting down? I check his paws no burrs in them. I call him along. He goes a mere 5 feet sits down again. I ask out loud, “Bode, what’s wrong?” He immediately stands up, turns around, tail down and starts heading back to the Jeep. This is not a good sign when his tail is down. I decided to touch the sand. It was blazing hot, too hot for his paws. Much to my disappointment we will not be seeing 400 petroglyphs. I did see three in that short distance we covered. Bode’s well-being is too important and we are on this journey together.
We had been driving on the Historic Route 66, although you can’t find it on the map, there are only sections that now appear with different route numbers as we cross New Mexico. It essentially has been paralleling route 40 when we left 117. I decided to take Route 66 and see where it would lead us. Within 10 miles we were in the heart of the historic section of Albuquerque with shops, restaurants and bumper to bumper traffic. After being in rural settings, I decided this was not for us. Mavis and Ad Shaw, who know this area quite well, suggested route 14 was the road to take to get from Albuquerque to Santa Fe. We turned off of Route 66 and picked up route 40 to head out of the city. Within 5 miles I saw the signs for Route 66 again. Those semi’s and cars passing in and out got the best of me, so Route 66 it was. It led us right to route 14, fifty miles of back country roads to Santa Fe. I was getting excited. Santa Fe was one of my top ten places I wanted to travel to on this journey. Route 14 had incredible scenery as the Shaw’s reported. Originally I was going to take route 4 up into the Jemez Mountains. From the map this pass had to be worse than the one I took to get through the Mimbres Mountains and that journey was too fresh in my memory. Route 14 sounded perfect and it did not disappoint me.
About 25 miles south of Santa Fe we came into a mining town called Madrid. It was a very funky town complete with an old steam engine and turquoise mine to explore along with a few galleries and second hand stores with plenty of used cowboy boots for sale. A television pilot show was being shot in the mine so it was closed to the public. We settled into a café called Holler which had a great outside dining area, definitely the local haunt. Everyone knew everyone of this town of less than 1,000. There were hound dogs lying in the dirt under the patron’s feet. If they were off leash, then Bode can be off leash. He was grateful and after visiting a few tables curled up in the shade at the end of the bar. I took one of the only 3 seats at that bar. A young couple sat next to me. It was his birthday and they were getting an early start on the celebration. After her third drink, she was telling me her life story and the days on her granddaddy’s farm in Minnesota. Seven months ago, she came to Madrid to visit her aunt, fell in love with the man sitting next to me and has never returned home. I was getting the feeling that she was starting to get homesick.
Many of the patrons came up to me wanting to know more about what type of dog Bode was. A few took his picture before they left the restaurant. So many characters were dining in that restaurant including an elderly gentleman whose attire included well-worn cowboy boots as well as his yellowing cowboy hat. His mustache was long and twisted up, yellowing in color that matched his long straight white hair. He had to be in his 70’s, teeth in bad need of repair. Large pieces of turquoise jewelry adorned his wrists and hands. He pulled into the parking lot in an old 1977 V.W. van which he had outfitted for camping. He was proud of his purchase. He bought it for $600 twelve years ago and the van had only 26,000 miles on it. It was his pride and joy. Finishing up that conversation I decided it was time to discover Santa Fe. I roused Bode from his nap and we headed down the road.
All Bode’s Well