Albuquerque

This is an interesting city. Home to the University of New Mexico, a large VA Hospital, and Kirkland Air Force Base. The city sits on a plateau off of the Westside of the Sandia Mountains and on the east side of the Rio Grande. Our room at the airport hotel gives us a lovely view of this plateau and we see the winds that have blown so hard all day producing rare rain clouds. We order room service since we are too exhausted from this day’s ride to go out for dinner. It was fun to watch the distant rain storms march across the desert while we watch the planes landing in this strong cross wind. The next morning James get our Hertz car which we will use for the day. We drive down Central Street which is part of the old Route 66 on our way to the WalMart. We pass old fashioned diners and motor courts that are still open and doing business with a public still eager to remember the good old sixties. Walmart’s neighborhood is a little scary so we select two duffel bags and leave quickly. We need the duffels to carry home our clothing that we have been using on the trip. We will leave our motorcycle gear behind in Nell’s luggage bags. We have learned our lesson about trying to wear motorcycle gear through airport security check points. You will be asked to disrobe! With the luggage repacked we head to Sandia BMW in north Albuquerque. Motorcycle service is more important than ever with these long rides in high terperatures through mountainous terrain. We need to keep Nell in tip top shape. The dealership is clean and tidy and sits next to the BMW car dealership. The dealer has no problem with doing the service, the recall service, and storing our bike for a couple of weeks while we fly back home. While we are there we meet a local biker who is preparing for a three week ride with other locals to Alaska and back. James explains to me that this will be a brutal pace. I am happy he is not interested in tagging along. With the crital chores done, we take a little drive to the old town section. This area is a historic part of the original Albuquerque settlement. The adobe architecture is the norm here. I had thought there would be little shops and artisans. None appeared. Maybe we made a wrong turn. It is hot and James thinks it is no great loss. We head back to the hotel and watch from our hotel window the planes landing. The military planes were practicing touch and go between commercial landings. It does resemble the pictures that I have seen of Afghanistan desert and mountainous terrain. Wonder if they have these delightful winds? We are very happy that we are not riding in them today. Neither James nor I want to go out tonight. We figure since it is a college town, there must be good pizza. Well, there is one pizza shop that has been voted one of the best in the country. They do not deliver however. James says he needs to get gas for the rental car anyway so, away we go to get pizza and beer. The pizza store is a little further than I thought and gas station convienence stores do not sell beer here. We finally get gas and return to our room and order beer from room service. Pizza is cold now. Even though cold, the pizza is remarkably good. Tomorrow is an early day with a 7:30 flight time. 5:30am wake up comes awfully early. We are ready though. It will be good to be home for a few weeks.