This latest leg of our trip surprised a few people, I think, because we pointed the truck east for a change. After visiting the Grand Canyon most folks continue on to Las Vegas or San Francisco. But I couldn’t miss parts of Colorado and Utah so we mapped out a rough route that would catch SW Colorado and some of Utah. Coming from the Grand Canyon the most natural route would be east on I40 until Gallop, NM then swinging north into Durango, Colorado.
What that route made sense and would get us into the natural beauty of the San Juan Mountains it also put us just a short ways out of Albuquerque. Albuquerque is home to a few folks we know including Emily Lewis and Jason Nakai, fellow ExpressionEngine folks and also the coordinators of Webuquerque, a New Mexico User Group for Web Practitioners. A quick email to Emily found that the group was meeting the week we’d be rolling through the region. Visiting the area would also line us up for a visit with an old Jeeping friend just north of Santa Fe - so into Albuquerque we went tucking into a private RV park just on the western edge of town. The park is on Historic Route 66 and features a number of vintage RV’s, cars, and other antiques.
Our first couple of days were chilly ones - we actually saw snow for the first time in a long time. We spent those on laundry, work, and schoolwork. On the night of the Webuquerque event MsBoyink and I setup the kids with a meal and movie in the trailer and headed downtown. We enjoyed an excellent presentation on web typography (timely as well, I used the knowledge in a client phone call the very next day), had a beer, and had several excellent conversations with local webbies. The following day we lunched with Emily and Jason in Old Town Albuquerque (great to see you guys again - good luck on the house/travel/lifestyle decisions!).
The other visit of note was to the excellent Tinkertown Museum a few miles outside Albuquerque. Storybird had picked up a flyer for it in the New Mexico visitors center coming into the state and really wanted to go. A little research found that admission was only $3 for adults and $1 for kids so we took a gamble and drove up. Tinkertown is just the right combination of “small-town kitschy”, cool, and interesting. It doesn’t promote itself so highly that your expectations are dashed upon arrival, and we just couldn’t help but be charmed by the whimsical spirit of the late Ross Ward, the artist responsible for it’s content and displays. Mr. Ward passed away of Alzheimer’s in 2002, but the museum is kept going by his family. We met his wife and had a wonderful chat - she had a effervescent personality and was highly interested in and curious about our big family adventure.
Before heading home from Tinkertown we took a deep breath, braced ourselves, and prepared for battle with….a shopping mall. Shoes have been an ongoing issue on this trip - I’ve been having trouble finding hikers that are comfortable long term and both kids have been in need of replacements as well. I’ve been getting along on an old pair of sandals but noticed they were on the verge of breaking so it was time to bite the bullet and buy new shoes. The Keen brand has worked well for the kids so we paid the long dollar again for a pair of their sandals for myself and Storybird since her feet appear to have stopped growing. Data’s feet are still growing so he got some Keen knockoffs at roughly 1/3 the price.
We got home late and tired - signs of a good day all around!