Compared to the first half of March, which was spent entirely at Grand Canyon, I’ve moved around quite a bit. I had about two and a half weeks to make my way to Marfa, TX, where I’ll spend all of April, so chose a southern route through New Mexico. I’d been to Albuquerque and Santa Fe several times in the past so the southern part of the state was all-new to me.
My first two nights out of Grand Canyon were spent at Meteor Crater near Winslow. The crater was caused by a nickel-iron meteorite about 50 meters across that plummeted to earth about 50,000 years ago…the crater it left behind is about 2/3 of a mile across and 500 feet deep. The impact energy was about 10 megatons and just for perspective, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were about 16 and 21 kilotons respectively (there are 1000 kilotons in 1 megaton). I’m glad I showed up 50,000 years too late.
As I was leaving, I noticed a motorbike parked out front with a website marked on it and looked it up. Turns out, the owner is a guy named Bruce Smart who is biking around the world to raise money for various cancer charities. He’s from the UK and started the trip from London and was about ¾ of the way through his trip, North America being the last stop before returning to England.
We chatted a bit about each other’s journey and I told him about friends who I met in Sydney that did a motorcycle trip from Sydney back to London…hopefully they’ll all get in touch when he gets back. Here are both their websites:
Next stop was Pie Town…a tiny place with an interesting history. The first I’d heard of Pie Town was on a trip home to Rochester two summers ago. My friend Megan and I went to the International Museum of Photography at the George Eastman House. A new exhibition was about to begin called “The Gender Show” which showed how gender is expressed in photography. One of the highlighted artists was a woman named Debbie Grossman who using Photoshop, manipulated photos of the citizens of Pie Town, NM taken by Russell Lee in 1940 who was sent by the US Farm Security Administration to photograph and document life in the rural community of Pie Town.
For some reason I became very curious about Pie Town after doing some reading, I had to go. You can read more about both of them from the links below:
Russell Lee’s photos archived at the Library of Congress:
Debbie Grossman’s feminized variant:
My own photos of Pie Town…
Of course, nostalgia wasn’t the only reason to visit Pie Town…there was pie as well. I lucked out…I hadn’t really put any thought into the date I visited Pie Town but I arrived on March 13, the eve of Pi Day…and Pi Day (3.14) was the day that the two cafés re-opened after a winter hiatus and served up pie.
And the waitress was from Rochester!
Truth or Consequences, NM
Yup, weird name for a town. It used to be called Hot Springs, NM until it was named after a radio quiz show…the quiz show is gone, but the name remains.
I stayed at a beautiful state park here called Elephant Butte Lake State Park…the South Monticello Campground was on a bluff overlooking the lake…great spot.
I had my first visitors since starting my journey in late January, Rodney and Mentor. I knew Rodney from when we both lived in Sydney…he’s since moved on and currently lives in Dubai with his partner Mentor. They called me about two weeks prior to meeting up to tell me they were doing a road trip from Vegas to Houston and asked “where will you be?”. Our paths crossed in TorC, and it was great seeing them and having them as guests in Sacajawea!
Six nights in Las Cruces…time to recharge. I know that sounds silly, “recharge”, I’m not working after all! But I needed to be in one spot for a while and have access to some basics…like a gym! I’ve been trying to maintain a level of fitness but find it difficult when I don’t have a daily routine so this week allowed me to establish a short term routine and the gym slotted in perfectly.
Aside form admiring the jagged mountains surrounding Las Cruces, I didn’t to a heck of a lot here…but it was nice and the weather was much warmer than Pie Town.