Andrew Liang

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Friday, December 19, 2014

New Mexico pt.1

Wheatie, Stev, Michael, Sean, Jeffery, John and I embarked from Dulles International Airport to El Paso for an Epic Adventure of New Mexico.  Our final destination is a little town called Truth or Consequences, where Eamon and Lisa would get together and rock the love boat, forever.

We were informed of the extreme desert weather flux down there.  El Paso welcomed us with a whopping 80 degree dry heat.

After picking up our rental car, we shot straight to the nearest big city, Las Cruces.  Sean found an awesome restaurant in the historic district, and we went in for some real deal south west Mexican food.  During our wait for the seats, the lobby area was decked with exotic birds and fishes, i imagine they are probably captives from the South American tropics.  The Macaws would mimic people’s words.  At first fresh to the ears, however, soon this became annoying.

After the dinner, we left Las Cruces.  We have decided to hit up the Gila Forest sometimes soon, but after a day of flying, and a full meal, we were exhausted.  There is a small town en-route to Gila called Denming.  It seemed like an okay place to lodge for the night.  On our way there, we stopped to pee at a truck stop.  It was pitch black, but the entire landscape was lit up by millions of stars.  The Milky Way was really visible, a band of intense stars across the sky.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the skill to capture such amazing sight.  Although the temperature has dropped down the the 30s, we were so pumped by the salsa music blasting from the car stereo that we jet to Demning and booked a hotel in no time.  After checking in, Jeff, Stev, Sean, John, Mike and I wanted to go look for some booze.  We went into another hotel 2 miles down the road, and the man told us that we would find no joy on a Sunday night in Denming, because there are only 3 bars in the entire town, and they are all located within hotels, and they are not open for drinkage on the lords day.  He then suggested that we might find better luck at Wally’s World down the street.  Wal-Mart.

Next morning, we had an amazing Continental Breakfast at the hotel, and we stocked up on the cereal bars.

The temperature started to rise.  The view just outside of our hotel was a desolate desert landscape.  We are in the midst of barren rocks and mountains backed by an intense turquoise sky.  Stev, Wheatie and I went into a gas station to buy some water, the guys who hung out there dressed like the kind you would want to run away from in an post apocalypse movie.  They were very weathered, flannel jackets, hoodie, jeans, trucker hats, and combat boots.  They were Very Nice, and wished us a good trip.

As soon as we got on the Inter State, we see these barren rock mountains.  We were so excited, that we just picked one and drove towards it full force.  We all wanted to hug the rock mountain hills butt naked.

I parked our van by the dirt road, and immediately everyone took off running towards the hill.  We were in someone’s back yard….  all the critters were disturbed.  There were these purple-ish over weight crickets, they were just there chillin.

I started to ascend.  Jeff, Sean, John and Mike were already on the summit.  The climb is Very Dangerous.  Not only I have to watch out for scorpions and rattlesnakes, the toxic spits, and piss of Jeff from the summit rains down mercilessly.  Good thing is that I have watched Cliff Hanger starting Sylvester Stallone 56 times, and I was Well Prepared.

At the summit, there were exfoliating breezes, weird plant life, Sean Honey, and an view that made me pee a little bit in my pants.  I really really really like it.

On my way down, i saw a dead cactus, and …. that purple-ish over weight cricket doing inappropriate things to his friend.  so i took a couple more photos.

We then found a little shack by the dirt road, sign said, Geo Rock Museum.

inside the museum is a giant BlingBling size yellow cat.  He has another friend, who was about his size, but his friend was on a leash.  I guess that is to prevent him from going outdoors and get beat up by coyotes.

Usually someone who is not from Baltimore, after they learned that you are from Baltimore, they will tell you something about Baltimore that they know…The Wire, Ace of Cakes, crime rate…etc.  This Geo Museum owner told us that he knows Baltimore because of the Trains and train station.  He was originally from LA, his mother was from LA, and his father from England.  He ended up in Denming because he won the Lottery.  The Lottery to Vietnam.  He appeared to be very lonely, he was excited to see us, and was able to talk to young people.  He also told us that back in the day, a bottle of beer cost 85 cents, he had 3 dollars and he went into town, he got Drunk, High and Laid.  Now, he felt like that he is no longer horny, because to him, one can not be Wise and Horny.  However, he told us that he has two walkers, one for normal walking, and the other ….Cruising for Women.

We continued on our travel towards the Gila Forest.  Our plan was to be able to set up camp somewhere near the Forest before the sun set.  Silver City, the stop before the forest.  This place is Colorful, has a good restroom facility in their local grocery store.  There was also a health food store like the Ok Natural here in Bmore.  but much more fancier.  We saw many healthy people on the street, biking, walking, and just looking good.  There were not many young people, i guess they are all up in big city perhaps.  These healthy people are older, but yet they are happy, so they look young.

We looked for a restaurant to eat some food, we saw a gorgeous mural.  Wheatie asked me to take some photos of her favorite details.  They were Amazing! Seems like every restaurant we went to so far, we always have to wait.  I think because we are traveling in a large group.  The food was good tho!  And again, Green Chilli, green chilli, green chilli, on EVERYTHING!

The salsa was SOOOOO Spicy!

After the food, we went to a nearby coffee shop.  There was a 7 ft tall cacti plant life in a pot.  The weather was Really nice, in the 70s.  We head to a grocery store and bought bunch of grilling supplies, vegetables, meat..etc.  and set if off to the Gila Forest.  Not too far into the ascend, the temperature dropped dramatically, and the air outside felt like the frozen food section in Super Fresh.  We set up our camp before sun set, and gathered fire wood.  We hung out by the fire, all night, drinking beer, Farting, laughing, and FREEEEZING!  The fire, however, felt extra comfortable.

When we got to our camp site, there was a pile of neatly placed, available, and dry fire wood.  We burned it, and the fire felt good.  Later into the evening, a truck pulled up.  A lone camper.  He didn’t have a fire and didn’t care to join us.  From a distance, we could see the faint glow of a battery powered LED light in his tent.  He coughed a couple of times, and then the LED light went off.  I guess he went to bed.  We thought maybe, he had gathered all the fire wood, and left the camp site.  When he came back, we were burning the wood he gathered.  And he cursed us in his sleep.  Wheatie had a dream that night that this lone camper text everyone of us individually about revenge.

We heard critters in the bushes talking about us ALL NIGHT.  I had imaginations of giant grizzly bears charging down the mountain and I pull a burning hot tree branch from the fire pit, swung across its face, and finally a heroic scorching javelin into the bear’s cold evil heart.  We ran out of wood to burn.  And to fulfill this imagination, I volunteered myself to go on a wood gather expedition with Sean.  It was pitch black, cold, and I was Very scared.  Frustrated, I pee into the bush.

I fantasize being a cowboy, ever since the Taiwan days.  Dallas, Texas, didn’t satisfy that dream, AT ALL.  Surrounding the fire pit with companions in a cold ass night under a sea of twinkling stars and fear the bears did fulfill that cowboy void that Dallas could not give.  We weren’t eating store bought beef jerkies packed in a plastic bag, there were real beef on the grill being cooked with peppers, onions, and cheese.  There were no whiskeys however, but thats okay, Budweiser did just fine.  Besides…more trips to pee in the bush.

That night was no sleep for everyone except Sean and Mike.  It was so cold that even with long johns on, scarf, sweater And a coat, inside the sleeping bag, I am still feeling the chills all over.  At some point, i reach over to Sean for some warmth, but i couldn’t find him.  Next morning, he said that he be dodging and rolling away to avoid me.

Hardly any sleep, we roll out of our tents the next morning, and everyone tells each other their sleeping behaviors.  The morning in Gila forest is misty, rainy, emo, and cold.  We restarted the fire, warmed up a bit, ate breakfast, brushed our teeth, packed up and hit the road.  Our destination is Gila Cliff Dwellings, we heard that the Apache Chief used to live there.

There were park rangers and government vehicles, they burnt acres and acres of fallen trees.  I guess that is call controlled fire, to prevent wild fire get out of control.  As we climb up the elevation, its harder to breath, and the view gets crazier and crazier!  Every mile or two we will have to stop to enjoy the view.

The idea of a natural mineral hot ass spring, really sounds good.  We all pictured ourselves soaking in this giant natural pool with bubbly water, hot as hell, there are fruits around us, and beautiful native people dancing with animals, big celebration naw wah i mean?  Especially the previous night was not so hot, and plus we were all pretty ripe.   Then, we found this lodge, cabin, made of wood, Really pretty.  And their sign said, OPEN.  so we head on in.  Not only they had the best sausage egg and cheese sandwich i have ever had, those guys who ran the joint were very nice as well.  Most importantly, their restroom was clean, comfortable, just really professional.  After the meal, we head on out again, to find the Cliff Dwelling.

Then we stopped at this place, where Sean, John and Jeff found red cactus.  But i was too busy looking at the clouds, and the distant mountain range.  The clouds were so close to us, they taste sweet…like cotton candy.  No, they really do!  My mom was not a liar!

About 10 miles of winding mountain road later, we saw a Hot Spring site to our right hand side.  Over joyed, Stev took off his pants before the scouts came back to report if there was any crocodiles in the water.  I was hoping there were mermaids.  Nothing but a couple sink big pools of lukewarm water…. DAMN!  The place tho, however, is gorgeous.  There was a stream with flowing healthy looking water.  As if its a scene from an ad for bottle water business.

Luke warm hot spring just wasn’t quiet attractive enough for us to linger anymore longer.  We pressed on our journey, and finally we saw the visitor center of the Gila Cliff Dwelling.

The visitor center was actually a giant gift shop, and a little museum of some sort.  There were taxidermy animals of the area displayed in glass cases.  And paintings of prehistoric native Americans who once lived here, then for some strange reason, they left without a note.  Later, some other native Americans came and claim these caves home, including the Apaches.  There was a media room in the museum, two benches and a 24 inch old school tv, the plastic shell of the tv was covered up well by the dry wall, so it seemed like the screen and the wall was one unit.  On the dry wall, there were vinyl texts introduction of the Cliff Dwelling.  We attempted to finish watching the entire video, but some of us fell asleep, and started to snort.  It was a sign to get out of there.

At the parking lot, there was a skinny white dog.  It was scared to approach us, I guessed that something bad must have happened in the past, so the dog fear people.  No shit, we were looking at glass cases of taxidermy animals, national geographic; other way around, glass cases of taxidermy human beings, what then?  SAW 12?  must be terrifying.  We threw beef jerky, bread, and cereal bar at the dog, hopefully he will eat some.  At the mean time, we huddled up and tried to figure out just where the hell is this Cliff Dwelling.

And Yes! there it is, Looked just like how it is on the postcard!

posted by Andrew Liang at 5:38 pm  

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