Monday, July 4, 2011

Hazey Day

Today has been spent in a bit of a haze. Last night, Brian and I went out on the town with a pair of scientists who had been evacuated from Los Alamos because of the fires. It was one of their birthdays, and being the good Samaritans that we are, we decided to go out and help them celebrate. So, today has been foggy. After rolling out of bed and doing our daily chores (one of the requirements here at Pension Santa Fe) we decided that it would be a good idea to get on our bikes and check out a couple of museums in downtown Santa Fe. First on the list was the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, and then the New Mexico Museum of Art. At the "Hide" exhibit one artist, Michael Belmore, stood out in particular. His hammer and chisel carvings in pounded bronze were pretty awesome. At the Museum of Art, we saw Tamas Dezso's photography, which was incredible. During our visit to the second museum, a thunderstorm exploded over the city stranding us under the awning to the museum. When the rain finally stopped, we got back onto our bikes and pedaled madly back to the hostel. And, now I have a rooster tail of mud running up the back of one of my shirts... I've only got three shirts with me on this trip. Maybe it's time to do some laundry.

image by Tamas Dezso

Celebrity Sighting

While hanging out in the Lamy train station, waiting for the heat to break, we met an old man who pulled into the station parking lot in a beat up RV. As it turns out, he just happens to be Chuck Norris's cousin. Apparently, his grandfather was Chuck's grandfather's brother. He told us that he had been evacuated from Los Alamos because of the fires that had been raging in that area. It's always exciting being close to an uncontrolled fire in a nuclear facility.

Fire Stats:
11,000 people evacuated
123,500 acres burned so far (a state record)
19% contained

Bound for Lamy

Sleeping on a train is tough. I got up this morning after a long night of being routinely woken up by the sharp jumping and jostling of the train car, frightened that we would derail. One thing that i did not realize about Amtrak is that they still pair travelers together for meals. So, last night, we had dinner with a very old and somewhat ornery man named Stanley who had been a professor of theater at a city college in Laredo, Texas. When I told him that I was studying playwiting, all he wanted to know was if I had a role for him. Stage time is a bit thin for octogenarians. This morning, Brian and I had breakfast with an older couple from the east coast, and they continually reminded us that there are actually people out there who believe in Sarah Palin. They also commented on each and every industrial complex we passed. Right now, we are in New Mexico a few miles outside of Albuquerque. Our mid afternoon ride from Lamy to Santa Fe looms, and I'm a little worried about the desert heat. Looking out the train window, all I can see are red, orange mesas, acres of dust, and lines of barbed wire fencing. I guess this is the desert.