Jim lived in Albuquerque from
about 1950 until 1967, when he moved to Denver, and he knows all
about Albuquerque, so he made a good tour guide.
At least until we went north of
Alameda Boulevard, cuz none of the other roads were there yet when
he lived there, so he was lost a lot of the time, cuz our motel
was out about near the north end of town.
It would take a lot of explaining
to tell all about the entire history of Albuquerque, so,
instead, I'll just put in a link to the website of the
Convention & Visitors Bureau, cuz they'll probably tell it
better than I could.
Basically, it started out named
"Bosque Grande de San Francisco Xavier," but that was
a reel hard name to remember, and some folks might get it
confused with the San Francisco in California.
So they decided to have a
contest, with the winner getting some sort of a reel cool prize,
like a box of baby chickens, or a set of horseshoes for your
horse, or a pile of firewood, or a sack of pinto beans.
You know, something reel useful back in those days.
Since there was only about 3
people in that area back then who could read or write, it didn't
get too far, so they decided to jest vote on a name for the
They put up some signs announcing
the vote, but the same 3 people who could read or write was the
only ones who showed up for the election, so that didn't work
About that same time, a feller
named "The Duke of Alburquerque," came to town from
Spain, and he had one of those reel cool wagons, with gold and
silver thingys all over it, and 4 reel cool horses with all
sorts of colorful strings to control them with, and he impressed
everybuddy right off, so they decided to have a party.
That's when the Duke cooked up a
batch of weird, square donuts fer dessert, and everybuddy liked
them so much that they decided to name the town after him.
The square donuts was about 4 inches square and didn't have a
hole, and they puffed up a lot when he cooked them.
People said they looked like "Sofa Pillows," so that's
what they called them, and when the local people said it fast it
came out as "Sopapillas."
Then people started squirting the
hollow inside of the sopapilla donut full of honey to make them
even better. (That's also why Gloria won't let any of us
eat them on the couch, cuz the honey might leak out).
It was hard to say, "Alburquerque,"
and the guy at the newspaper office decided the name looked too
long, so he jest left out the first "r" and shortened
it to "Albuquerque" instead.
You ken find out more about it
No Pictures on
the Indian Reservation
didn't take any pictures around
Espaņola cuz there are lots of places in that town and all around
there that are on the Indian reservation, and they don't want
you to take pictures of anything there.
I don't know what they might do
if they catch you, but if they take away the film or break the
camera, I might get in reel trubble, cuz the digital camera Jim
jest bought doesn't use any film, and jest uses a little
computer thingy to hide the pictures until you squirt them into
the computer. That might cause some reel trubble if
whoever catches you gets mad cuz he can't find the film.
Lil Benny is
shown carefully guarding the container of Gatorade powder he
discovered on the counter top last week. He's from
Louisiana, and he's used to drinking swamp water, so he figures
that the Gatorade must be for making your own swamp water.
Albuquerque, New Mexico,
Brian had a computer fixing job down
in New Mexico, so we all decided to go along so we could all do
some sightseeing in Albuquerque over the weekend, then we would
head for where he had to fix the guy's computer on Monday
morning. That way Brian could go to work and Gloria, Jim and
Cathy and the rest of us guys could go and do some fun things like
sightseeing and eating ice cream, and so forth.
Anyhow, we got to Albuquerque on
Friday afternoon, July 18, 2003, and went to eat dinner at
Grandy's on San Mateo Blvd. Gloria was reel tired from the
trip, so she stayed at the motel in front of the air conditioner,
and we jest brought her back a dinner, and it was reel good cuz us
guys got to mooch a lot of the stuff from her, cuz she's a lot
easier to mooch from than the rest of the family.
The next morning, we headed out and
Jim took us on a tour of his first schools and the old houses he
used to live in. You ken see more about that if you go back
to the travel page and click on "West Texas Trip, Page
3," or just click
right here and it'll also take you there.
When it was lunch time, Jim decided
we would like to eat at Mac's La Sierra Restaurant, home of the
"Steak in the Rough," which is a platter of
steak fingers that are lightly breaded and deep fried, and it
comes with fries and some coleslaw or something like that.
The problem was, everybuddy else in Albuquerque also wanted to eat
lunch there, so there was a wait, so that's when Jim selected
another, equally famous, place to eat.
That place is named "The
Dog House." It has been a famous Albuquerque eatery
for over 50 years, and is located around 12th and Central.
We had the special footlong chilidogs for lunch, and they was
reely good. The place was originally on the other side of
the street behind another building, so it was reel hard to find
unless you were from around there. The original building was
very small, with about 6 booths and a pinball machine, but the
hotdogs were very popular. Then sometime probably in the
1970's they moved into their present building. It is a
little larger, cuz I think I counted that they had 5 or 6 booths
plus 6 or 7 stools at the counter, but no pinball machine.
After lunch we headed out to find a
new park that is located on the west end of Alameda Boulevard,
right next to the Rio Grande. They have bike trails and
other park kinds of things there
We had heard about a devastating
fire in the river bottom near the world famous Rio Grande, so we
tried to see what had happened, but we never did find the damage.
Albuquerque Photo Album
Wild Roadrunner we saw
Rabbit Crossing sign
Old Town in Albuquerque
Old Town Plaza & Gazebo
Old Cannons in Old Town
Drought Water Fountain
Brian & Cathy done shopping
Lots of neat stuff for sale
Old Town Dinner
Saturday night we wound up in Old Town Albuquerque (The World
Famous Old Town) and ate dinner at La Placita Mexican
Restaurant. It's been there for about a million years, or at
least since the 1930's, as shown on the sign in the picture at
They had really good Mexican Food,
and we also got some reel Sopapillas, cuz me and Sniffy snuck in
and hid under the table where the old folks and Brian & Cathy
was eating dinner, so we got lots of scraps.
July 20, 2003 On
Sunday morning we took off and drove around sightseeing some more,
and then we went up to see Sandia Crest, which soars above
Albuquerque by about a mile. That is to say, that
Albuquerque is largely about a mile above sea level, and Sandia
Crest is just over 2 miles above sea level.
It seems like more than a mile
above the city, probably because you ken see so far off into the
At Sandia Crest you ken look over
the edge fer free, but it will cost you 3 bucks to park there, so
all of us natcherally looked over the edge a bunch of times, cuz
it was free, and all of us like to get Jim's money worth whenever
possible. I would guess that if you counted up all the
looking that all of us did, we probably got in about $14.59 worth
of looking if they had charged fer that instead. Add to that
we had our own binoculars so we didn't have to put any cash into
the special telescope they have up there fer just such an
occasion, and it becomes reel apparent that they reely lost money
There was a sign that said because
of all the antennas up there, you might have some problems with
your cell phones and any remote controls you might be trying to
use. Jim didn't have any trubble with the remote that opens
the doors of the van, so it must jest be an exter special one that
isn't prone to having problems.
Sandia Crest & Madrid Photo Album
Albuquerque View from Crest
Sandia Crest Antennas
Looking east from Sandia Crest
Store in Madrid, New Mexico
leaving Sandia Crest, we drove north on the old road, I think the
sign said it was Route 14, on our way to Santa Fe. On the
way we had decided to eat lunch in an old coal mining town named
Madrid. They have a reel cool coal mine museum there that
the family had gone to see before any of us guys was ever bought
out of the store, so that was a reel long time ago.
There was also some talk about
touring the coal mine museum and going into the reel coal mine
after lunch, so that sounded reel good to me and Ty and
Sniffy, cuz we jest love getting into places like that where we
ken mess with old and interesting things.
Well, wouldn't you jest know
it...Madrid was jest another one of them towns that wants you to
come and spend your money there, but they didn't have very many
parking places, and the few they had were full of cars and
motorcycles, so Jim got an attitude and decided that if they
wanted any of his money, they should have some parking closer than
8 blocks away, and Free Parking would be even better.
On the north end of town was a
little store named the "Old Boarding House Mercantile,"
so we parked in their convenient, free parking lot and went
inside. The old geezer in there had all kinds of stuff, from
junk food and cold soda pop, to reel groceries like onions and
pinto beans, tomatoes, taters, video tape rentals, books to sit
and read on the front porch, and all sorts of ice cream, tater
chips, pretzels, and candy...in short, a reel junk food paradise
that also sold genuine groceries. We thoroughly recommend it
even if you jest want to check the place out.
There might be some other reel cool
places there in Madrid, but without any parking, either free or
otherwise, I guess we'll never find out.
Santa Fe, Espaņola &
Pojoaque We got to
Santa Fe by mid afternoon and kept on going till we got to
Espaņola, which is about halfway between Santa Fe and Taos.
Brian had a computer-fixing job there, so we checked into a motel
and kicked back fer a while until it was time to head out fer
We drove a little way outside of
town, towards Santa Fe, and got some dinner at a place named
"Gabriel's," in Pojoaque, New Mexico. Me and Lil
Benny went to dinner with everybuddy, but we waited out in the
van, cuz there was a lot of cars in the parking lot and also a lot
of pickup trucks that seemed to be always driving somewhere, so it
jest wasn't safe to get out of the van. We could see the
folks inside, and their dinners looked reel good, and let me tell
you, the smells in that parking lot were jest terrific, and I
would recommend it to anybuddy regardless of whether they were
going to go inside to eat or jest sit in the parking lot.
The old folks and Brian & Cathy
all had some Guacamole Dip with chips, then they had some Mexican
Food, cuz that's all they serve there, but it was reel good, and
they had some Sopapillas for dessert, and they looked reel
good. That restaurant has a guy with a little cart that
comes around and if you want some Guacamole Dip, he makes it right
there in front of your table, so you'll know that he didn't dump
it out of a can in back. We heard some people in the parking
lot talking about that Guacamole, and they said it is the world's
best Guacamole. That's great, but none of us guys like the
stuff, so we'll never find out, I guess.
2003 We got up early
and dropped Brian off at the establishment where he was to do his
computer work and Jim, Gloria, Cathy, and a bunch of us guys
headed for Santa Fe to do some sight seeing. How's that for
a fine arrangement, Brian has to work while the rest of us go and
We started at the
Jackalope Store, which sells all sorts of weird things, mostly
imported from Mexico and a lot of other countries. We didn't
spend any money there, on account of the fact that they also have
a store near Denver, so when we're ready, we'll just go there and
buy whatever it is that we happen to need at that time. They
have a lot of cool pictures on their website, so you ken jest
click here to find out more about it:
Loretto Chapel After
that it was starting to get hot, so we went
to find the Loretto Chapel, where they have a reel cool staircase
that was built a long time ago by some unknown carpenter.
Rather than get into trubble, I'll jest put their website link
here so you ken see the reel McCoy. They said the stairs was
made without any nails, and me and Ty crawled back behind it,
where the dust bunnies hang out, and there was a little hole just
big enough for me to get my head into, but it was too dark in
there, so I have to report that I didn't see any nails,
By then it was getting toward mid
afternoon, and we had gotten lost so many times and Jim was tired
of setting off the cholesterol detectors all over the place, that
we jest headed back for the motel in Espaņola.
That evening, after we picked Brian
up, we went to dinner at another Mexican Restaurant, named Los
Arcos, in Espaņola, and they also had reel good grub, but their
sopapillas was a might shiny with too much grease, and they didn't
puff up very good, so we jest had to glob the honey on and it
dripped off and made a sticky mess, and us guys almost got sticky,
so we didn't eat too many of them.
July 22, 2003 We
dropped Brian off so he could work again, while the rest of us
goofed off. We headed for Bandelier National Monument, which
is where early Indians used to live.
Jim used to come here with his
family when he was a kid, about 200 years ago, just after the
Indians had left, cuz back then they used to let you camp there,
where the picnic area is now.
Jim, Gloria, Cathy and I went on a
hike along the trail that went out the back door of the Visitor
Center in the park. We saw lots of holes in the side of the
cliff above the valley. Back when the Indians discovered
this place, they were looking for some new caves, and there had
always been a severe cave shortage all around the world, due to
the fact that wild animals would always take the best caves, then
came the tough people who got the ones that were left over.
The people who lived here didn't
want to cause any trubble, so they kept looking all over the place
for a new cave. When they got to Bandelier,
they found that there were a couple of little caves up in the side
of the cliff, and by doing some experiments, they discovered that
they could get a hard rock from down by the small creek that runs
through the valley, and use it to break off pieces of the soft
volcanic ash that the cliff was made of. Then another feller
invented a sharp rock, and pretty soon a team of experts emerged
and they invented a handle for it, and they had a hammer that
anybody could use to carve out their own cave.
Pretty soon there was caves all
over the side of the cliff, like in picture 1, and that's when a
different team of experts invented the ladder shown in picture 2
below. Then at night they could pull the ladder up, or when
somebuddy went on vacation, they could simply take the ladder
along with them so nobuddy would break into their cave.
(They had to do this cuz doors and locks wasn't invented
yet). Picture 3 shows Sparky (that's me) and Cathy in a
special cave that had that special pet door that I'm sitting in
and several other holes in different rooms that were connected,
kinda like an apartment.
Picture 4 shows me in a little pet
cave. I was thinking about using my pistol gun like a hammer
and making it bigger, but it was kinda hot and we had to go and
check out some more things. That's when we saw the little
squirrel in picture 5, and he was eating lunch. Gloria got
tired about a half mile from the Visitor Center, so she stayed on
a nice cool bench down by the cute little creek, and Cathy, Jim
and I went on to go and see the ceremonial cave at the end of the
trail, about another half mile ahead.
Picture 6 shows Cathy at the top of
the first of 4 reely big ladders that were too big for me to try
to climb, and they was made out of logs and had splinters all over
them, so Jim and I decided to stay behind and let Cathy go check
it out for us. Picture 7 shows the big cave that is at the
top of all those ladders, and also up there is a little basement
that they call a "Kiva," and that was probably where the
old geezer Indians went to smoke their cigars and drink coffee.
Picture 8 shows the sign that
reminded Jim that he didn't reely want to climb all those
ladders. Jim said he had climbed those ladders about 50
years ago, when he was a kid, and he still remembers those rickety
ladders, and he also remembers what is up at the top, so he didn't
need to do it again.
At the bottom of the valley, near
the creek, there are some ruins of some stone shacks where some of
the Indians lived. Apparently, some of them started getting
older and got tired of messing with ladders and digging caves in
the side of the cliff, and probably even some of them got tired of
falling out of bed in the middle of the night and getting hurt
when they hit the ground, and they built the stone shacks that are
mostly gone except for the foundations and a little bit of the
walls. It was also probably a real drag carrying firewood up
those ladders, so that same team of experts invented doors and the
roof and made the stone buildings on the ground.
you want to know more about Bandelier, jest click below for more
information. Oh, yeah, whenever you're talking about
Bandelier, especially when you're there, don't ask anything about
the "Forest Service," or the lady in the Visitor Center
will get reel mad at you like she did with Jim, and she'll keep
telling you it's the "Park Service" that runs the place.
night we went back to Gabriel's for dinner and everybuddy ate the
same thing all over again. Us guys found a brand new
sopapilla sitting on a picnic table just inside a fence that was
next to the restaurant, so we squirted some honey all over it and
had a reel feast, and didn't even get very sticky. Jest when
we got through the fence on our way back to the van, some yuppy
guy with a cell phone came and sat down at that table, and called
the waiter over, and told him that he needed to get another
sopapilla, cuz it looked like some wild animals had made a
horrible mess and ate most of it up!
shouldn't have abandoned it if he still wanted to eat it!
23, 2003 Not much
else exciting, we headed for home and got here about 3:00 in the
|It has been
estimated that it takes
about 2,000 bee-hours to produce a single teaspoon of honey!
often refered to as "Mexican Bread," and are little
more than flour and water that has been cut into squares and
deep fried, which, if the grease is at the correct temperature
and all the other variables are correct, will result in the
finished product being puffed up.
This allows honey
to be put inside the hot pastry to help offset the burn of hot
chilis. Some cooks also apply powdered sugar to the
There are no
known pictures of sopapillas, because nobuddy has ever stopped
eating long enough to take a picture, and by the time the idea
pops to mind, they're usually all gone.
For more recipes,
jest click below:
|If you want to
make your own Guacamole, there are about a zillion recipes that
you can find on the internet through lots of websites.
Basically it is made up of smooshed avocados with whatever other
ingredients you prefer. Click on the link below to find
more recipes than you ever thought there were:
|When we was looking fer one of the
touristy things in the area, Jim decided to do what he reely
hates to do...ask for directions. Well, Jim didn't reely
decide to ask for directions, Gloria decided for him.
Anyway, we pulled into a parking
lot of the local clinic and he went inside. Just inside
the front door they had a Cholesterol Alarm, and since we all
had been eating so much Mexican Food, including guacamole dip
and those reel good taco chips and Sopapillas, all cooked in
lard, Jim set off the alarm when he walked by the machine.
Right away, a doctor came over to
him and tried to get him to go to the emergency room, so he
scooted out of there reel fast and we found the place we was
looking for the old fashioned way; we drove all over the place,
then wound up finding something else that was even better, and
had free parking.
|The Fellers Who
Went on This Exciting Trip
Left to Right: Ty, Hiram, Sparky, Sniffy, Lil Benny.
The guys from Hiram's crew who went on the trip are shown above.
Some of Ralph's crew also went
along, but we don't have a picture of all of them, so we'll just
use Ralph's picture of him sitting in the corner until we find a
picture of the rest of the travelers.
You Are Visitor Number
Since July 30, 2003