Tarantulas, Aliens & Scorpions (Day 5 & 6)

Trip Start Apr 04, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
laura's house

Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Friday, April 9, 2010

   On our way from the Grand Canyon to Albuquerque we took a brief and unscheduled side trip to another big hole in the ground, Meteor Crater.  We were intrigued by all the roadside advertisements publicizing the vast grandeur of this scar upon the earth left by a singular rock falling from space.  We drove the six miles from the highway to the craters edge, eagerly awaiting another glimpse into earths past.  What we did not know is that the admission, to this privately owned piece of history was $15 each.  We skipped it and got back on our way to Albuquerque, NM. 
                I've not yet developed the fondness for Albuquerque that some have and my overnight experience there did nothing to inspire any further affection for the little desert city straddling the Rio Grande.  It’s surprising to me what a day of driving through the desert can do for ones thirst.  We pulled in to Albuquerque and met with Kirstin’s friend Mele for drinks.  We were going to move on to a Roswell campsite for the evening but after hearing of the Tarantula mating season being in full swing, and the inevitable daytime stampede of aforementioned arachnids, we decided to stay in Albuquerque and see if we would see them on the daytime drive.  We instead opted for the KOA experience just a couple of exits away.  After some little bit of looking we located the campground, conveniently located next to the highway.  After filling in the compulsory registration form and not finding any reference to charges incurred by our camping we pitched our tent in the romantic glow of a McDonald’s billboard and ventured out to find a restroom in which to relieve ourselves before getting to sleep.  This particular KOA campground had a liberal sprinkling of bathroom facilities within its perimeter; every one of them secured with a numerically coded lock.  We both were relegated to discharging our bladders in the limited privacy provided by two closely parked camping trailers.
                After a broken and uncomfortable sleep we collapsed and packed the tent and made our way to the KOA office to pay our expectedly reasonable charge for said accommodation.  Kirstin went into the office while I stayed in the car organizing things for the days travel.  Upon Kirstin’s exiting of the office I could tell she was furious.  After years of dating and living with the woman, I know that look and that walk.  Before she gets to the car she was barking "that was crap, what a bunch of $#@#."  She sat down in the car and continued her rant at the $33 charge imposed by our friends at KOA.  She said that we received the manager’s discount and that only after some impassioned explanation of the bathroom situation and all the fun that was the night previous.  Still making the campsite charge $28.50… Ok lesson learned:  Do not partake of a service before knowing the costs involved and don’t ever go to a KOA.
                Kirstin and I drove to the surprisingly large city of Roswell, New Mexico, the site of the alleged recovery of ET debris in 1947 and the subsequent (alleged) government cover-up…nudge, nudge, wink, wink.  After visiting the Roswell visitor’s center and getting our picture taken with aliens of the plastic kind, we set off to find some more substantial evidence of alien visitation.  Our exploration took us, first to that local hotspot of great food, and earthbound conversation, Peppers bar and grill.  With nothing substantial gained benefiting our search, we pushed on in our quest for space inhabitants to the, reportedly, world famous UFO museum where we found the irrefutable evidence which we have, for those few hours, been pursuing.  There it was… Martian street lamps, crashed UFO sticking out of the building, and a strange looking machine that flattened and stretched pennies into, I believe, alien artifacts.  Our suspicions were further bolstered by all the exhibits within the museum.  There were written accounts of witness’ experiences, radio broadcasts, and reproduced newspaper articles, reporting the 1947 Roswell incident.  And the most telling of all proof found through our quest, was a real life reproduction of an actual alien autopsy.  Attended by the manikin doctor and CIA agent and the obligatory alien wax figure complete with injuries that I’m sure caused his…her…it's demise.
                After confirmation that we had adequate and undeniable photographic evidence of otherworldly visitation, we continued our exploration to Carlsbad, NM with its world famous caverns and lesser known but no less noteworthy, friend and teacher to countless school aged artists, Laura.  We drove the additional little bit to the caverns and took the 750 foot elevator plunge into the earth for our self guided tour and the awe-inspiring limestone statues left by leaching water from the surface and the phantasm of drapery like remnants of solidified earth hanging from the ceiling.  The lights within were, intentionally, not colored to highlight all the colors and depth present in those hidden chambers.  Words simply fail in any attempt to explain the intricacies within the subterranean area.  Three football fields could sit end to end within its largest room and the pathway taken wrapped around its circumference was winding and steep in its climbs and descents.
                Following the imperative stop at the gift shop, and subsequent purchases in hand, we drove back into Carlsbad and with some broken conglomeration of direction from Google maps and almost out of battery cell phone calls, made our way to our friend Laura’s house.  Laura was kind enough to treat us to dinner at Carlsbad’s finest dining establishment Trinity (http://www.thetrinityhotel.com/page1.php) then take us around town during which she warned us that the hide-a-bed that was to serve as our sleeping platform for the night was terribly uncomfortable and we could, if we chose, move the mattress to the floor and with the additional casual comment that “the house was just fumigated so there shouldn’t be any scorpions” our minds were set at ease...
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Kevin on

Ah Carlsbad, that sounds cool. And you know perfectly well what I thought of the UFO museum. I wish I'd known you were going, I would have loved to ask you to see if the Disclosure Project (.org) was even mentioned.
Scorpions, tarantulas, sorry I'm not there with you.........

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