Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Land Of Enchantment

Lives up to it's name.  New Mexico, was unexpectedly awesome.  In most places with good scenery, you are staring at the same scenery for miles while New Mexico had the unique ability to change it's scenery every 10 minutes.  First you'd be look out at vast flat desert with snowy mountains in the background then you'd surrounded by hills littered with shrubs along the landscape.  Incredible.  The farther north you go, the better it gets as if it's leading up to Colorado, the epicenter for natural beauty.

Ever see the movie Independence Day? Always wanted to see Roswell and Area 51 after that movie.  Roswell is a humorous disappointment.  They have a museum which is cool, but the entire town is way over the top(actually it's a city now but they still call themselves a town) is completely Alien themed, full of Alien memorabilia everywhere.  You can go to the local bar and get your "Alien Beer" and the local Arby's had a sign that says "Aliens are Welcomed".  It gets better, and I took plenty of pictures of some of this ridiculousness. The local Days Inn has an alien directing your entry and exit, downtown buildings have statued aliens peaking over the corners and ufo's crashed into their brick walls.  The people there however, were quite normal.

In a days time, I left Amarillo, passed through Roswell and Albuquerque (a pretty cool city as well).  So far, New Mexico has tied Alabama for most hospitable state...everyone I met in New Mexico were very friendly, talkative, and proud of their culture (keeping the travelers mindset).  I stayed in Santa Fe that night.

I Must Say Santa Fe, You Intrigue Me

The whole state of New Mexico was interesting but Santa Fe was completely different than anything I'd ever seen before.  I joked with a receptionist about there being a city ordinance that required that all houses be either Adobe or Traditional style...but he told me sure enough...the city DOES require your house to be one or the other if you live in downtown Santa Fe.  They don't allow any new buildings to be taller than 4 stories.  Incredible.  Near the Governor's Plaza, everyday Native American descendants gather and sell jewelry, pottery, and other items along the sidewalks.  It was just a cool place, you don't have any visual points to locate where you are in the city since everything is so small in size.

Easter in Sante Fe

I decided to fast all day on Easter Sunday and it was surprisingly easy.  Santa Fe was the perfect place to end up on Easter.  I was able to visit some historic and famous churches including San Miguel which is considered to be the oldest Church in the US and I went to see the Miracle Stairs at the Lorreto Church.  Now, legend has it, a mysterious carpenter came to the church sometime in the 19th century and helped build a staircase.  The finished project was a helix-like spiral staircase (oddly resembles DNA) which defies engineering logic.  The man left without even being paid for the project and nobody ever found out who he was or where the wood came from.  Some say, it was Jesus himself.  You know, magicians are good at tricks too.  PS...It is a terrible idea to fast for a day  and night and then splurge on Sante Fe food but onward and upward  I went and passing through another awesome spot in New Mexico which I highly recommend seeing sometime called the Eagles Nest.

Buddhists Believe in Personal Property?

After passing Taos on the way to Colorado I stopped and saw a sign for a Buddhist Monastery..The Fa Yun.(there was also a sign for Shadow Mountain Academy, however, I avoided this).  Heck, I've never been to one, lets see what this is all about.  I made a 3 miles trek up this little mountain only to come to a fence and a sign that said "Warning: No Trespassing...Private Property".  This dumbfounded me, what if I was seeking enlightenment?  I would have been heartbroken and confused because I thought Buddhist Monks didn't believe in possession, let alone private property. I was enlightened, however I will not quit, I am now determined to meet a Buddhist Monk and have some good convo with one...I hear California may have a bunch.

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