Trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico
May 8, 2019
Kirtland Air Force Base
Since we’re now dry camping experts (We’ve done it once and nothing burned down), Check out our blog about it here, we got an overflow spot at Kirtland Fam Camp. It was very cheap and we got what we paid for. The visit started out well, it was the first fam camp to give us a gift bag when we checked in so I was excited about that.
But when we got back to where we were going to camp, there were goat head thorns everywhere. Poor little Z couldn’t walk more than 10 steps without stopping for us to pull one out of his paw. The guy got seriously depressed while we were there.
The woman in the office was very cranky. One of the dryers took our money and wouldn’t return it. I went in to ask her what their policy was about this and she just shrugged and said, “they don’t give us change here.” And that was the end of the conversation as far as she was concerned.
Another time when we were checking out, another guest was checking in. The woman couldn’t answer any of his questions about the park and Lance ended up telling him everything he needed to know about camping there. The family bathrooms were gross. The shower drains didn’t drain, there was mold all over the shower bench, and hair on the walls of the shower.
Needless to say, the experience at the Kirtland Fam Camp was not worth repeating.
Benefits of Staying on Bases
One of the benefits of staying on base is access to the commissary for cheaper groceries. Lance was beside-himself-excited when we stumbled across the MRE section of the clearance rack. He couldn’t wait for me to get home and experience my first MRE. Not enjoy the MRE, but experience the MRE. Only half of the heating packed worked and apparently, that means I got a good one. So, I experienced a bag of half warm pasta, a sack of crushed pretzels, Zapplesauce, and some delicious expired M&M’s.
There was a pack of coyotes living out near our campsite. The pups would go nuts every night when Taps played. It was cute hearing all their little voices howling at the trumpets. They have now been renamed “desert puppies.”
Working out on the road
There were two gyms on base. Both were very outdated and like a maze to get through. But hey, a workout is a workout. The smaller lifting rooms were nice because there was nobody else in there so we got to work out without any distractions.
There was a rock wall at this base that we took advantage of. It is always fun to try new ways to stay in shape. Lance has done rock climbing for years and it is brand new to me. There is a special kind of sore that happens after using a rock wall; my forearms and fingers have never been so tender!
So, as a new military wife, I am having a difficult time with the way I am treated. I have had to have my husband’s permission to make changes to our insurance. I have called to make vet appointments on base and they talk down to me but when Lance calls to do the same thing, he is treated with respect. Booking a hotel room was no different here. I called to make a room reservation for my mom who was coming to New Mexico to visit.
The woman at the front desk would not let me make a reservation without my husband’s permission. It seems like I have traveled back in time to the 1950s and it’s crazy to me! I am sure things like this will continue to happen and I’ll most definitely be sharing them in future posts.
Whenever we would venture off base, it was time to lock the truck doors. Albuquerque has been described as “a never-ending strip mall” and did not disappoint. I do believe gentrification has hit Albuquerque because of the abundance of hipsters. Seriously. I hadn’t seen such a high concentration of hipsters since I left the Northwest.
Although I am not a fan of high waisted jeans, beards on men who have never done a hard day’s work and uneducated political chatter. Hipsters do have good taste in food. It has been a while since we have enjoyed Banh Mi and washed it down with Thai iced tea. And as in every hipster mecca, there was delicious, locally brewed IPA.
Challenges of living on the road
Living on the road has many advantages and quite a few struggles. One of the struggles we have is whenever we need to print something. Rather than going to the UPS store to have things printed, we utilize the public library. Most will give us a card, and limit the number of items we can check out until we can verify our local address. We only print or rent a movie for the night.
However, Albuquerque Public Library allowed patrons to check out museum passes. This is a service we would have utilized if we were staying for more than a couple of days.
Ok, it’s clear that I have not been of Albuquerque but there were some cool things to see while we were there. As I have said in earlier blogs, I prefer to see things that are off the beaten path or are a little strange. The first thing I think of when I hear Albuquerque is Buggs Bunny and how he “should have taken a left turn at Albuquerque.” I found that Route 66 intersects with Route 66 in downtown; the streets are now 4th Street and Central Avenue.
I loved all of the original hotel and diner signs from the height of Route 66’s popularity. It’s very kitschy but a cool piece of American pop culture. A drive down Central Avenue at night to see the neon signs is a fun thing to
On the east side of Albuquerque on Route 66 is a musical rumble strip. If you drive over it at 45 MPH it plays “America the Beautiful.” It was installed in 2014 to get motorists to adhere to the speed limit and bring people to a lightly traveled part of Route 66. The amount of work that must have gone into engineering these perfectly placed rumble strips to impact the pitch produced by the tire traveling over it impressed my inner math nerd. The Musical Highway is eastbound on Route 333 between mile markers 4 and 5 near exit 170.
Albuquerque is not a city I see as a destination in my future, however, Santa Fe will be a place we visit again. Stay tuned for stories from Santa Fe.