Daylight in Abilene Texas. I survived the insect chemicals in the room and took a quick shower. It was onward to Albuquerque , this time I wanted to get their before night fall. I knew where I was staying its was all just a matter of time.
There wasn’t much to see along the roadway. This is desertville, as I crossed the border, I noticed gas prices where higher than Texas . I was entertained by Spanish hip hop on the radio. Donald Trump needn’t stop in New Mexico, there is no love for him here. With every break his named was mentioned. New Mexico has the highest percentage Hispanics of any state and the vast majority of Hispanics are native-born.
What I didn’t realize as I was driving was the altitude. When one (at least this one) think of dessert think of Death Valley, but here in New Mexico I’m cruising at an altitude of 4000 feet .
As I was approaching Albuquerque there was a very long convoy of Motorcycles, and Tricycles, the convoy was several miles long of Baby Boomers, these were not cheap bikes these were custom Harley’s and other high rent bikes. This was some convoy and after about 10 or 15 minutes I reached the front of the convoy which we being lead by the Sheriff’s Department. We are at a transition, with the convoy going to the right, however, my hotel is straight ahead. My childlike curious nature wanted to follow, I’m sure there are stories there, but my room awaits.
Within seconds, the sun disappeared and dark clouds surrounded me and the gods poured a giant bucket of water over the Volkswagen. Sixty became twenty five in the fast lane, my hands are now squeezing the steering wheel, and I cant see forward ,left or right and worried about who is behind me and if they can see me. FUCK!
Two minutes later there was sun. My heart returned to its normal place in my chest.
I needed a break, and a slurpee. A Shell service station is three quarters of a mile away.
One big sip and a throat freeze, I was ready. My GPS said the hotel was 22 minutes away.
Wanting to know what was happening in the city I turned on talk radio. The topic was about black lives matter and the question was, are black people targeted by police?
Every caller was white, not one person of color. They went after blacks big time,blaming Obama for fanning the flames of racism. Where are my brown (Hispanic) brothers? I’m slow (click link below for the rest of the story)
For only the second time on this road trip have I checked into a hotel while the sun was still up. This hotel was going to be home for a couple of days.
I am exhausted. but excited to see Albuquerque, so sleep would have to wait. I have driven through the city but never really seen the city and I wanted to get out and meet the locals.
Dinner was more fried food, Chick fil A, not a wise choice for this road traveler.
I wanted to see if the lights were bright downtown?
As I drove underneath an underpass on Central Avenue my initial impressions was a dim downtown with colorful lights. Now mind you this was the beginning of the week . Looking at the buildings it clear to see at one point Central Avenue was THE STREET. The area where everyone came to shop and socialize. There are many old Theaters intact. Central Avenue is also the Famous Route 66 .
There weren’t many people out, a couple in their early twenties with multiple piercings. A security guard looking out of a bar, this was not Austin.
One bright spot was Garcia’s Cafe on Central , according to the sign its been there since 1973. Why oh why did I have fried chicken. I seem to make bad choices when I’m super hungry.
I visited “The Library” an old bar with a bit of character. Inside there were about eight or nine people.some playing pool other chatting. most of the people were playing pool. After a few minutes I downed my Diet Pespi and walked in another Bar on Central. I was greeted with the smell of fried food. The bar had a lively crowd, I ordered a 7Up and a patron paid for my strong drink and a conversation began
The thirty-something couple moved to Albuquerque nearly two years ago. They are originally from Oklahoma. They met at a pizza restaurant and both of them were in relationships at the time. They married seven month after they met.
He comes from a big family and lived in a rural community where everybody knew everybody. She is only child and lived outside Tulsa. He likes the land and any street with more than four cars in a row is too much for him. She likes cities and the suburbs and loves crafts stores like Michael’s and the Hobby Lobby.
They both wanted to leave Oklahoma, she wanted to move to California, but the “people are crazy there and it was too expensive.
In the last few years they have lived in four states including Texas, Colorado, Arizona and now New Mexico. They originally settled in Santa Fe she liked the area, but he found the people “stuck up” and it was expensive. After a couple of visits to Albuquerque they settled here and last year they bought land and a manufactured home. We love the winters here and we don’t live in a tract home, living on top of each other. The people are nice here, but the traffic is bad, we come downtown once a month. They were extremely friendly and interesting but this was date night and they were going to the movies ‘The Boss’
When I stepped out of the bar, the sun was gone. Exhausted, I wanted to see more, so I head up Central and drove by The University of New Mexico, and pass through an area called Nob Hill. I ended up at what I thought was a large Country bar called Sidewinders.
Oops, not a country bar, a gay bar. The bar looked larger from the outside, inside there was a karaoke area and a good size room with a raised state. Looking at the banners its the home of Drag shows and balls. On the other side of the room was a rectangle bars and beyond there was a few pool tables. I ordered a pepsi and the bartender refused my money.
At one of the pool tables was an intense couple playing pool. He told me, he was teaching her, but they way she broke, I wasn’t so sure. He was a jovial guy and she was intense on the game. She offered to buy me a real drink, but I declined.
So far the night is good, but my azz is dragging. Tomorrow an early start.