Andrew Liang

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Mexico pt.2

At the Gila Cliff Dwelling, cover charge was 3 dollars a person.  There were 3 ~ 4 other people, and us, getting ready to set foot on this hike.  The ranger station situated directly adjacent to the parking lot, two rangers.  Male and Female, both dress like Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter.  Instead of an Australian accent, there was the South Western thing going on, sounds really cool.  The rangers were humorous and heart warming, and they look bad ass.

The hike was mild, we were burning up, it gets hotter and hotter, so we shed our coats and sweaters.

The caves were small…I guess people back in the day were smaller size than human beings now.  There weren’t any pots or bones or clothes or…anything left behind, our tour guide said that some douche from Silver City looted them all, then his family sold it back to the museum.  The view was incredible, the temperature was cool inside the cave, but not too cold.  Through out the day, the sun ray comes in and warm up the caves, so at night, the caves will be kind of warm.  I imagine it must be warmer than our tent.

Looking down the cliff, there were rocks and cactus….One just have to use extreme caution, the walk way was narrow, one mis-hap….I am thinking Super Mario Brothers Game Over melody.

Our tour guide said that archeologist suspect that this is the largest cave dwelling in the area.  Which means that there are other small cave dwelling around.  She said that there is a secret map that the park services keep in their vault.  The U.S. government doesn’t want people to know where the other cave dwellings are, in prevention of further destruction and looting of ancient historical artifacts.  She, however, is out on a hunt by herself, trying to hike as much terrains as possible, in search of these hidden caves.

I wasn’t really listening to what the tour guide has to say about these caves.  I did saw some corn cobs on the floor that they were mini.  And i did hear she said that these mini corn cobs were from way back in the ee-haa days, and they are Much more nutritious than the giant ones we are eating now.  Bigger doesn’t always mean better!  Like the Neanderthals had a much bigger cranium but look at what happened?  Modern humans just took over and showed them the right anatomy.

Then, there were these pictogram that appear on the last cave.  they were small, but the color is still vibrant.  The tour guide told us that these pictogram were about their shaman.  Some of the pictogram were destroyed, mutilated, or erased.  They suspect that the ancient people did this themselves, due to the incompetence of the elected shaman.  For example, they needed rain, then the elected shaman prayed for rain, but the rain didn’t come, instead, a bunch of settlers and railroads…etc.

To get a closer look, I strongly recommend that you click on the image to have a magnified version of the picture, since these pictures were shot poorly in a full frame format.

Living in a cave isn’t really all that bad.  The temperature was controlled, by nature.  It could be really romantic.  Imagine having hot date with your lover under 3D real life Imax theater quality planets and stars, real 3D Bose surround sound coyote and wolf howls, bear grunts and your friends chanting, singing around the camp fire.  However, the tour guide told us that average life span in the cave were 40 years of age.  Due to an insufficient advancement of medical knowledge.  Our tour guide also compared this time of age to that of the plague over-ran Europe.  Yea.  I agree with her.  I rather would have lived in America.

On my way descending down the hike, the sun was also on his way down town.  Our shadows gets longer and longer, and yes, the temperature is also on his way down stairs as well.

When we got back down to the ranger station, there was a strikingly beautiful young woman ranger.  She must be in her late 20’s.  She is about 6 ft 5 inches tall, slander, sporty, fit body physic.  Tight black jeans with combat high top hiking boots, dark green ranger jacket with a sand color scarf and a Russian fur hat.  Unfortunately I noticed a ring on her finger, other wise….  However, Jeff went up to her and begin an awesome conversation.  From Jeff’s interrogation we found out that this woman is from London, and that explains her accent.  And she recommends us to stay at this cabin where her friend is the boss, and that cabin has hot springs.  So off we went.  When we got to the cabin, it was the lukewarm hot spring we were at earlier that day, although the cabin did look really comfortable and the boss promised us her own cooked food in the morning, she is just Too Expensive for us 7 non-401k participants.  We carried on, and set our goal to all the way down the Gila Mountain range.  Sean Honey took over the wheel, and the rest of us passed out after a long day of monkey around in the trees.

I woke up on an urge of bladder over-flow emergency.  We stopped at an intersection in a town unknown.  By this time, we have downed the Gila mountain, and we once again huddled up, figuring out where to next.  We have a quarter tank of gas left, but Sean decided that we could make it a little further to Alamongordo.  Our next big destination would be White Sands.

Some how, the road took us back onto another mountain range.  As much as the view was breath taking, in the back of our heads, the Quarter Tank of gas really start to bother us.

On this particular mountain road, there were giant black bulls chilling on the side of the road, by the cliff.  By the time we were 3/4 of the way down the mountain, the gas light came on, and we were on complete E.  There were no towns, just scattered farm houses half a mile away from one another.  There were no incoming traffic, we were the only car on the road.  Endless amount of space around us, and scattered huge orange rocks, hills and cactus decorated the sun set.  Finally we got into a mini town, and an incoming truck stopped.  The woman in the truck told us that there are no gas station here, the nearest place to purchase gasoline would be 18 miles further down where we were headed.  Michael said not to worry, when gas light lite up, that meant we would still have 22 miles to go until the vehicle completely stalls out.  Really~ Mike… we have already gone 10+ miles, and we have got to go another 18!  Jeff put on Miss Tony on the stereo, and I suggested Sean to gear the van into Neutral while we coast down hill.  We rocked the van as we were Neutral down the hill, it was working out, we coasted miles.  Finally we arrived at the gas station that the woman trucker promised 18 miles back where we were.  It was a Trailer park rest station.  The man who ran the joint was a grumpy old man, who expressed his dismay that he was planning on shutting the station down in 20 minutes until we bum rushed into his store.  I bought delicious New Mexico made beef jerky, we stocked up, gas up, pee, pooped, and were ready to hit the road again.  The sun has gone home, and we were tired and hungry.  We really didn’t feel like bracing the cold again that night, so we have decided to hit up a city, and check into a hotel.  The nearest big city and not too far away from White Sands and Alamongordo is Las Cruces.  We have been to Las Cruces already, but just for a dinner stop, we decided to fully check this place out.  Lodging there for the night will allow us some time in the morning to scope the city out.

On second thought, there were all these small towns up the road.  Hillsboro, Hatch…etc.  We hit Hillsboro first, after getting off the exit, that little town has nothing but trailer parks after trailer parks.  Hardly any lights…pitch black…we did saw the post office tho…it was a shack with the United States Post Office sign logo on it, Not lite up, just there.  Then, we arrived at Hatch.  Hatch is an interesting place.  The entire town is probably the size of Hamden.  We saw some stores that has just racks and racks of chilli hanging.  I have never seen this, I was blown away!  Later we heard that Hatch produces some of the Finest chillies in New Mexico.  Hatch reminds us of our friend, Eric Hatch.  Hot stuff!

I went into the store and asked permission to take photographs.  The guys who ran the shop were so nice, he even recommended us to go across the street for some down to earth Mexican food.

We hopped over the road, and get our stomachs ready for another dosage of Mexican food.  This store is really down to earth.  They have alittle gift shop in there selling these pinatas, hats, postcards….  The lady who served us has a gentle attitude, just the kind a hungry traveler would want after a long day.  This is the place I got my very first cup of Horchata.  Horchata is a sweet delicious rice drink.  I am not sure if its got dairy in it or no…I am lactose intolerant.  I imagine there should be no dairy in it at all.  However, i found my rear end sounding like a bugle soon after our dinner.

We got into Las Cruces half past 9pm.  Checked into a Comfort Inn.  The lady at the counter told us that the Spa and Pool were still open for another half an hour.  We stripped and raced to the spa.  I felt so good in that hot tub of bubbly chlorine water!  Sean, Jeff and I were so excited, that we jumped into the cold water pool for a second, and then jumped back into the hot soup.  Wow!  it was really something else.  After we cleaned up, all of the boys hit up the bar 1 mile down the road, Wheatie stayed in.  We went to a bar in the historic district.  The lady bartender was a dark character.  She told us about a serial killer who roam around the White Sands.  She also asked to borrow an internet telephone so she could show us something awful.  Eventually she got hold of one, and she made an extra effort to come and show us this thing called the “Blue Awful” from Google image. Its some kind of sexually transmitted disease.  Her point was to tell us to use condoms while during any sexual activities.  ok.  We then drank some more beer, and played pool till midnight.  That night at the hotel was extra comfortable sleep.  Especially the previous night wasn’t so attractive.

Next Morning, we went to Billy the Kid Gift Shop.  Next to Billy the Kid Gift Shop there was an ice cream place, their ice cream tasted like it was made of milk powder.

Then, we went to Las Cruces’s farmers market.  This farmers market doesn’t have many fresh produce, instead, more craftsman selling their crafts.  I got a bag of hand cracked wall nut and trail mix, it was the best i have ever had, for 4 dollars!  Sean also spotted the Duke of Hazard car, General Lee, and I took a picture of it.  There was also a burrito truck selling food for 2 dollar and 50 cents.  Food was really cheap and delicious, real deal.  Then Jeff was buying some uncut geo rocks, the man who was selling those rocks offer to cut them for him.  Using a tile saw, he chopped Jeff’s selection into half, and wow….inside were these beautiful crystallization.

This is a beautiful day, 70 degrees, and a little bit of breeze, rarely any clouds in the sky.  New Mexico air smells dry, yet fresh.  Every morning i woke up having these dry booger, cemented to the inside walls of my nostrils.  They peel off quiet easily, and after they fell off, i could breath in much better.  In Baltimore, my boogers would remain wet through out the night, and in the morning, I would have these gooey matters stubborn to exit.

On our way to White Sands National Monument.  We passed by the United States Army Missile Range.  Dude, is this the place where they testing out all the Nuclear Shit?  who knows, it was a vast amount of land, with little shacks scattered here and there.  The missile range adjacent to the highway seems mysterious or rather Boring!  Further down the road, an exit sign called for White Sands National Monument, O yea, here is where we get off.  I have always heard nothing but good things about this place.  One time, some girl told me that she came here and was inspired to stripped butt naked, ran, jump, and scream with joy.  I am usually a calm and clear headed person, White Sands really did give me the same urge, and erotic sensation it offered to that girl friend of mine from back in the day.  However, we all pretty much kept it under control.  Only took off our shoes.

The sand felt cold.  It wasn’t sticky at all.  It was comfortable, soft, clean, like a young sweet girlfriend.  The weather got nicer and nicer, gee, we took off our coats and sweaters, and on with the sun tan lotion.  Ha Ha!  And we all took off running onto the dunes.  It was hard climbing up on the dunes, the sands kept falling down, so one would have to exert extra energy on their thigh muscle in order to gain momentum upwards.  And Wow!  Yes!  the view up on the dunes are AMAZING!  there were gentle breezes that caressed our faces.

At the entrance of park, there was a big warning sign gives people advices about the dunes.  For example, not to venture too far away from the vehicle, or do solo expeditions out into abyss.  If one was disoriented, it was strongly recommended to sit on the nearest dune top.  And wait.  Another warning was that if one finds missile or bomb fragments, not to touch it.  It might explode.

White Sands makes me think of the pictures or movie scenes of Sahara desert.  This sand however, is really sparkly white!  I really like it.  This scenery made every one of us Very Happy.  So triumphant, i heard Rocky’s sound track in the back ground.

At some point, we each chose a dune of our own, and hollar at each other from our own dune.  Surprisingly, you don’t need to yell, and the sound transmitted quiet nicely.

Mike said that this sand is like those fine powder materials inside of a sheet rock.  If it rains, would it harden?  It must never rains in White Sands.  Some people told us that there is a underground U.S. military base, once in a while, it will stick its missile shooting gun barrel out of the sands, and shoot some missiles for fun, then retract back into the sands.  I have also heard that if you venture deep into the dunes, there is actually a hidden lake in the middle.  In the lake there are mermaids swimming around.  at the center of the lake, there is an island.  On the island there is a New York Fried Chicken.

I was worried about scorpions.  There were no scorpions!  At least, they weren’t around where i was.  We all carried lots of water with us.  I was picturing desert travelers had cracked lips, dehydrated complexion, hallucinations, and eventually died of thirst.

Then I saw Mike at a distant dune.  He was rolling down the hills.  John made Sand Angels.

Wheatie asked me to take a photo of her while she threw up two hands full of sand.  All I have to say is that this is a Champion photo idea.

Playing in the sand.  Kids love it.  Me too.  You know who else likes to play in the sand?  Thats right, Blingbling!  This place has an unlimited amount of sand.  Wahahahaha.  Jeff, John and Mike were so pumped they decided to jump from the top of the dune to their death!  CRAZY.  However, the dunes are too large too soft and way too comfortable to die.  There were some rough landings tho.  I say, out of all the jump attempts, John was the most graceful, Jeff was the most inventive, and Mike….you call that a jump?  lol.

Yea.  Hung out all day, Chilling till the sun down.  As the sun started to set, our shadow gets longer and longer.  So cra cra cra crazy.

Ever since we set foot in New Mexico, we Representin Bmore!  We sketch everybody out everywhere we go, Gangster.  Even the cows and bulls were like, step aside, let me see you shake it!

I didn’t see any scorpions, but i saw a desert cricket!  Everywhere we went, we see fat crickets!

We congregated on the top of the tallest dune available in sight, and we saw a weird looking rock.  It was weird because a) there ain’t no other rocks around but it.  b) the surface of this rock looks smooth, yet geometric, like a ceramic sculpture.  c) it is the brightest object off to the distance.  d) looks like it might be a bomb fragment.  Our curiosity roused up, Jeff and Mike raced to this weird rock, and I followed behind them with the camera.

On a closer inspection, this rock turns out to be a bee hive.  A desert bee hive.  Its got holes on the sides.  They were more like wasps.  They look mean.  Jeff made a good decision of not to destroy it.  I really want to stir up the hive harmony by knocking on its door with my urine tho.  However, I know, this is an inappropriate and uncivilized approach to make friends who looked mean and lives out in the desert in a rock with holes on the sides.  So, we left it alone, in one piece, peace.

White Sand is a beautiful, magical, and sexually appealing place.  I couldn’t stop looking at it with lustful eyes.  This resulted in a teary right eye.  And eventually at the end of the day, developed into a sty.  I think probably some dust particle was blown into my eye by the breeze while i looked too hard into the viewfinder of my camera.  We hung out all day at White Sand, forgot all about taking care of our rumbling tummies.  There was a good idea to camp out in the desert, in particular favor of the site.  But, other than a picnic area, we didn’t see any camp grounds available for setting up tents.  Besides, hunger is really a big drag.  So we left White Sand in search of food.  At the entrance of the park, there was a visitor center.  A big sign said, Food & Drinks.  Good call.  On our way out, just would like to grab a burger or a burrito for the road.  So we stopped in, but all they had was frozen nachos and bagged soggy sandwiches.  Bust!  I did saw this tree in the court yard of the gift shop, so I took the photo for an empty promised burger.

posted by Andrew Liang at 5:05 am  

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