Getting Some Mountain Air

I'm off this week and in a few days, we're both off to Denver via the scenic San Luis Valley to staff the 7000 BC table at the first Cowtown Comix Fest. But I had a few on my own and just wanted to get out of town. At James' suggestion, headed to the town of Mountainair, south of Albuquerque (and actually at a lower elevation than Santa Fe).

Been staying at the historic Shaffer Hotel where (while sitting outside writing this) I just had a bit of a scare about being locked out. But otherwise, it's been good.

Hardly anyone else around, a nice covered patio out back that's within WiFi range. And plenty of barn swallows. Their dining room has been/will be closed for my time here, but there's Ancient Cities Cafe.

Arrived into town last night, spent most of it outside here. A leisurely start to the morning (including, again, some time sitting outside), and then to the Quarai ruins of Salinas Pueblo Mission.

The remains of a church from the Spanish missionaries; the history is the usual tragedy of "civilizing" the natives, compounded by the Church's conflict with the government, with a bit of the Inquisition thrown in, all done in by war and famine. There's the trail through the ruins, then one that runs a mile or so off up into the hills.

It was getting hot. The real onset of summer was pushed back by some rain, but today's my first experience with the summer sun. Hiking book had a route up Manzano Mountain that sounded doable (especially, since it's just out and back, offering the option of just turning around), but I wasn't feeling it. Luckily, my (mis?)reading of the directions dropped me at the campgrounds at Manzano State Park. Trails back around there had me going through the woods for a few miles, pretty much all I was looking for.

Turns out Orioles migrate there.

Afternoon, some lazing about and then strolling around town, "the longest Main Street in America." But — watch out, giant eagles may make off with your car.

And it all left me with the thought that, y'know, Hobo just isn't used enough in municipal signage.

Some takeout chocolate pie now, heading to Abq to hike with Jeff tomorrow.

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