Friday, July 10, 2009

Day 19 – Santa Fe: Running on empty

In Homer’s “Odyssey,” the hero, Ulysses hears the songs of the sirens as he tries to bring his crew back home. I heard something almost like that and it convinced me that it was time for both of us to go home – no passing “go” (Amarillo and Palo Duro Canyon in this case) and no spending an extra $400.
Every part of my body was signing the same tune – “Hurt So Bad” (an old Little Anthony and the Imperials ditty as compared to the John Mellencamp number, “Hurts So Good.” Nothing feels good right now – my back is killing me, my right foot is still throbbing, my head aches, my butt is sore from sitting for more than 3,700 miles of driving and my eyes are red from all the Southwest sunshine. I’ve even got a sunburn on my bald head.
Collectively, they sang the same chorus, courtesy of Grand Funk Railroad: “I’m getting closer to my home.”
Normally, a couple of pain pills and some Tylenol quick release silence those voices. But it won’t work anymore. The voices have cracked the sound/medication barrier, and are threatening to go on a “non-work” strike if not heard loud and clear.
Hey, I’m no dummy. And when I broached the subject to Jodie, she raised her eyes to the skies, and said, “Thank you, Lord. You finally delivered the message to him.” Seems as if she was ready to return two days ago, but waited until we visited Santa Fe.
On paper, it all looked doable, but when the rubber met THAT much road, and a dozen sunsets came and went, it was more than just a “bridge too far.” It was a museum, national park, restaurant, jewelry-gift shop, hotel, motel, staircase, mountain top and canyon … too far.
“We can come back and do what didn’t get to see next time,” Jodie added.
I’ll start planning on Monday.
We spent our final day of vacation in the artistic nirvana known as Santa Fe. Except I spent it on a bench outside the public library. My legs literally refused to move, or walk, more than a few feet, let alone several blocks.
So Jodie went and saw the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – one of the items on her personal bucket list (although the ONE painting she wished to view was not on display). Still, it more than satisfied her passion for her favorite artist (mine is a tie between Peter Max, Jackson Pollock and George Rodrigue, who paints the famous “Blue Dog” series in Louisiana).
I passed the time doing a little people watching and in Santa Fe, that apparently could be a full-time piece of recreation. You see the entire spectrum walking the streets of the Santa Fe plaza.
Lots of street people carrying their own bedrolls; many of them with dogs. Lots of girls in their summer clothes and sundresses (like Bruce has sung) and other women draped from head to toe in turquoise. Lots of skinny old men in shorts with spindly legs. Lots of skater boys dodging unsuspecting tourists.
I kept an eye on four young people (perhaps college age) who were backpacking more stuff than any Marine or Army infantry soldier could carry. They parked themselves next to a pay phone and did a little dumpster diving for smokes.
What was worse was using the public library for its restroom facilities to do whatever (I dare not imagine for fear of losing all contents from dinnertime).
I also noticed something else: businessmen carry backpacks instead of briefcases. Times have certainly changed…
On the way out of town, we spotted a small shopping area with a needlecraft store and I finally bought something for myself – two Native American inspired needlepoint canvasses for future enjoyment. It doesn’t quite rank with the two bracelets for Jodie on her birthday (it’s Sunday and she remains a nifty Jack Benny age) … but it will do.
Besides, I’m a tough guy to buy for. Most of what I want I have. I just want to spend time with my granddaughter and my children.
I’m such a simple man to please.
We ended the day at the Sandia Peak Tramway, having dinner at Sandiago’s. We went TO the tram, but thought discretion would be the better part of valor and nixed the ride to the top of the 13,000-foot peak.
“It’s basically a tin can of death hanging on piano wire,” Jodie announced; I agreed, noting my prominent case of “slipapohbia” in full bloom.
Others did not agree; the line was long to reach the top and enjoy a dinner at a high-tone establishment.
But I looked to the west, saw a massive dust and rainstorm approaching, and decided that when it rains mud, it is not a good thing.
Besides, with MY luck, we’d be on the national news for being stuck in a storm 10,000 feet above the ground and swinging like a carnival ride. No, sir; I covered the news and rule number one was “never become the news.”
So this is it until we get home. The final blog will come on Sunday after a long night’s, and morning’s, sleep. Finally…
Until then … when each mile rolled on the odometer brings us one step closer to home and our own beds … shalom!

1 comment:

Farner9 said...

Nice posting! Very amusing...I can relate.