Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Mexico Road Trip Day 1 Part 1

Hello and welcome to a brand new series of midweek escape!! Last week there was the final post on our China travels, preparing the weekly episodes was a great joy but after 2 years of blogging about China it certainly is nice to change the subject!

What is this new destination?... It all started when David asked me to come up with a new territory to explore and I proudly said New Mexico. "You couldn't pick somewhere closer?!" was his response, he thought I was crazy to pick a location that far South. Well, why would you visit the places nearby, we saw North of Vancouver and drove as far as Quesnel, camping down the coast of Oregon sure was beautiful. It was nice to be surrounded by such wonderful regions but I grew curious as to what we would see some distance away, somewhere reachable by car so New Mexico it was after much deliberation.

There was little time for research and only a small amount of information was gathered. We also decided to stop at local visitor centres as we got closer to each destination, their friendly staff gave us good suggestions in the past. With last minute preparations and only 3 hours of sleep the night before, we loaded the little car up and headed for the U.S. border at 6 AM. Waiting time was only half an hour, it was a surprisingly short wait even though it was September long weekend. Yes we decided to go to New Mexico in the Fall of 2011, we were beaming with excitement and looking forward to the unknown.

Below the view outside the window after a couple hours of driving, barren mountains loomed in the distant.
More umber hills continued along the highway, this went on for quite some time. Our first destination was several hours away, we planned to stay at a campground in Oregon but could not decide between 2 choices. That day the plan was to keep driving until we could drive no more.
The highway kept on, hills after mountains the scenery began to look the same. We knew the outlook would not be too interesting for much of the distance so lots of music was brought along to entertain. It was not long before the songs began to repeat, a reminder to self that plenty more tunes were required next time. Upbeat tracks like the ones by Chemical Brothers from the movie Hanna kept us from falling asleep but we were on the lookout for anything that was interesting.
I could not remember if there were lots of cars but there were sure many trucks. Most of them had covered cargo but we found one whose load was visible, a closer look revealed the contents was corn, no doubt freshly harvested that morning.
The landscape changed from hills to grass covered fields, a tint of yellow was noticed on the horizon, could there be wildflowers growing in the open land? On the right a white colored peak, it was hard to believe there would be snow on such a warm day.
Next to the road a neat pile of boxes, there were numerous of all different tints of wood. They were either empty and lined up to be filled, or they were ready to be shipped, a few attempts were made to name the mystery goods. 
Shades of brown turned to hues of green, such brilliant emeralds, a far cry from all that hazel, this appeared to be irrigated land. 
A familiar sight on all our road trips, a patch of robust looking crops, the closer one was definitely corn but what about those in the distance? 
Just as quickly as the farmlands appeared they soon faded away, the path returned to ochre stained slopes. I quite like this sort of desert like landscapes, it was very different from what I was used to at home. The camera began to snap away...
... this one pictured below had a nice angle, the result was decent but many others fell into the category of out takes. It was not easy taking photos from a moving car, tasteful compositions were a challenge, there were many visual distractions but I learned to remain focused on the subject matter at hand. It gave me something to do which kept me alert, this meant David who was the designated driver was kept attentive too.
We were not the only travelers on the road, everyone was going somewhere like this couple on the motorbike, I've always thought it would be cool to take a trip on a motorbike. Looking at the small compartments they packed much lighter than us, I don't know how I would do with so little, hence the idea that came briefly went away swiftly.
Wind turbines atop the faraway plain, we noticed others along the way, there must be quite a few sections of land that must be very windy. This is a new discovery to us, I wonder how much wind energy would be required to power a home? 
Our little car motored on, a tall grey structure was the only artificial form we came across...
... after that there were miles and miles of straw colored grass. I think the structure must be a granary but...
... as to what kind of grain specifically I couldn't tell. The neutral tone and simple formation of the cultivated land made pleasant visual arrangements. It was very inspiring, I think the picture below could be an abstract painting.
There were even small dark spots on the outlook that added some interest.
I began to notice the windswept grass, a soft patch of surface between ruffled textures, lots more were observed but the one below was my favorite. Mother Nature had created some enjoyable patterns that sunny day, there was not a single cloud in the clear blue sky, it was a good start to our journey.
We went around the corner of a grass covered bend, there would be more curves to come as the road carried on, what will we find next? Stay tuned next week as the midweek escapade continues!

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