I went to the “River of Lights” at the Albuquerque Botanical Gardens for this first time this year on opening day, Nov 30th 2013. My Mom was in town otherwise I would not have gone.
I still get confused between the Botanical Gardens/Aquarium and the Zoo. I drove to the Zoo (aka BioPark) thinking thats where the event was held and instead found the park and ride to the Botanical Gardens. I then drove to the Botanical Gardens, saw the crazy traffic getting into the park and drove back to the park and ride at the zoo. We then rode a school bus from the zoo to the event.
We arrived at the Botanical Garends near opening and there was a long line to get in but it moved fast.
Even with all the displays being (I assume) LED rope lights, I have to wonder how much power the displays consume.
In the center of the park there were some carolers singing in a covered area surrounded a large open area. It was dark and leaves covering the ground everywhere. There was some sort of short metal garden barrier near the carolers that my Mom and I tripped over. I informed an “official” with the park that someone is going to trip and break their leg on it.
Overall there were lots of people, there were lots of we made light display, it was cold. There were expensive alcoholic beverages to be had. My mom compared it favorably to the Phoenix Zoo ZooLights although she thought Albuquerque’s attempt was smaller and more expensive.
On Friday 7 September 2012 4 friends and I rode horses into the Pecos along with 2 pack horses and 1 one guide. We rode about 8 miles up to East Pecos Baldy. The horses were provided by Tererro General Store and Riding Stables at a cost of approximately $1250 (not including tip). The pack horses carried each of our back packs at about 30-40lbs each and 70lbs of food (with an undermined but significant amount of that weight in alcohol). Since the Pecos Wilderness is a Wilderness, no motorized vehicles are allowed.
The Tererro General Store typically takes hunting parties into the Pecos but we not interested in hunting, just a way to get into the mountain without having to carry 40lbs plus packs 8 miles in. However we were hiking out, all downhill and theoretically with less pack weight. What could go wrong?
Which brings me to the title of the article. Apparently there has been an overall reduction of horse packing business for the Tererro General store and insurance is not only becoming more expensive but harder to get as insurance companies don’t want to cover horse packing. Therefore this will be their last year of providing these trips and they plan to sell off the stables and horses. We weren’t the last trip up for the horses as they had a few more hunting parties going up but we were near to being the last trip.
This is the first time I have rode a horse since I went to the Philmont Scout Ranch over 20 years ago. I was a little nervous that the horse I was going to be riding would take one look at me and decide to ignore all my commands. There was nothing to be nervous about. The horses, mine was name Sampson, has been on this trip many time and knew the way better than I did and was used to newbies trying to drive. There was very little for me to do except keep him from running into the other horses when they suddenly stopped and from taking any shortcuts that we might get stuck in (they aren’t all that smart sometimes).
We start the trip about 10am New Mexico time and arrived at our destination 8 miles up the mountain about 12:30pm. The 8 mile ride took us through some forest, then to a large clearing with some grazing cattle.
We were back in forest when getting to our final destination.
It mostly rained the whole time so we had to come up with covered communal area where we could sit around the fire and not get soaked. There also wasn’t a lot of firewood, the area had been picked pretty clean. What little firewood we found was wet.
We spent time exploring the area near East Pecos Baldy. There are supposed to be big horned sheep in the area but all we came across was cattle and a few bow hunters on horseback also looking for sheep.
We were lucky to have a day of no rain where we were able to hike to the top of Ease Pecos Baldy.
Finally, we hiked out on 10 September 2012. While we ate and drank our way through most of our supplies we still managed to have quite a bit of weight on us on our way out. Making us wonder why we didn’t rent horse to take us out.
As an example, Macdonald notes that in Afghanistan even the ubiquitous scorpions can be used for intoxication. Tartars in Bamiyan province prepare scorpions by smashing them between stones and letting them dry. The main part of the tail, with the sting, is then crushed into a powder and smoked with tobacco and/or hashish (marijuana).
A friend of Macdonald’s who witnessed a man smoke scorpion in the Afghan town of Peshawar described the reaction:
The effect was instantaneous with the man’s face and eyes becoming very red, “much more than a hashish smoker” …. He also seemed very intoxicated but awake and alert, although he stumbled and fell over when he tried to rise from a sitting position …. the smoke tasted “sweeter” than that of hashish, although … it smelled foul, and the intoxicating effect lasted much longer. (1, p. 247)
As with most drugs, anecdotal reports of scorpion’s effects vary widely. It is likely that the numerous Afghan scorpion species have divergent psychoactive properties. Scorpion has been reported to keep one awake, cause severe headaches, and rival the effects of a “strong mescaline trip.” (1, p. 248) One Kabul man who had smoked between 20 and 30 times reported the effects to last three days. During these periods he had difficulty opening his eyes, his head spun, and he had constant visual hallucinations.
I first read the article on December 6th from azcentral.com “New Mexico couple missing after leaving Chandler” where Dana and Elizabeth Davis went missing driving from Chandler, AZ to Albuquerque, NM along US60. It’s something that caught my attention because I have driven that path many times.
Its hard to belive that I can call a project complete, but I’m getting so close to the Master Bedroom project being complete.
Last month I hired someone to finish the drywall in both the bedroom and bathroom (along with a hallway issue). They taped and cleaned up the parts where the new and old dry comes together then textured them.
Since then I have painted, put in a new door and installed the closet hardware. The only thing left is to put in trim, all the outlet covers and a closet door. Those will be completed once I decide exactly what I want.