Oh how to describe today?
We left Dulce this morning, taking in a few historical markers and scenic overlooks we didn't have a chance to hit on the way north last Tuesday. Such fascinating geography. Not quite desert, not quite alpine. Red rock and soil. Probably as close as I will ever get to being on Mars...but with a much more comfortable temperature. And sumptuous sage and wild flowers. Just so quiet. Still didn't see a UFO but the existential isolation has its benefits. Revived, we returned to the road.
Then everything went to fucking hell.
We were supposed to see the Pueblo ruins and petroglyphs of Bandolier National Monument. Bernard played navigator as I drove.
A sign greeted us. UNFINISHED MOUNTAIN ROAD AHEAD. Given that it was a rental car, I started to turn back.
"Oh come on!" Bernard protested. "I'm sure it's fine. That's just something they post to scare away truck drivers."
We went forward. The result?
A narrow, twisty, dirt road in the middle of a dense pine forest. While in a Ford Focus. Getting all manner of looks of shock, pity, and derision from the drivers of campers and 4x4 trucks passing us by. Awesome.
But we're still alive. More importantly, the rental car was not damaged. Never made it to the ruins though. That's okay. As the trek wore on, seeing finger painting on a rock done by some guy thousands of years ago really didn't interest me.
I suppose it will make a funny story one day. Oh who am I kidding? It already is.
Back in Albuquerque tonight. Dinner at the Route 66 diner and in a comfy bed. Tomorrow morning I will interview Dr. Veronica Tiller, historian and Jicarilla Apache. Then maybe go to the Museum of Nuclear Science and History.
Then at long last back in the air...and home.
See? UFO wreckage. I knew it.