Saturday, April 6, 2013

Trip to USA Fall 2012 (Part One)

It has been a while that I posted something but here is a new post about our trip to USA.
Again we managed to take a Military Space A flight. Military members, their families and military retirees have the opportunaty to fly on airforce transport flights, that would otherwise be empty, at no extra cost.
 We drove to Ramstein, Germany and stayed in lodging for one night and went to the terminal early in the morning. There was a charter flight (Patriot Express) to BWI (Baltimore Washington International) leaving early but had only 22 seats available. We flew on this one the last time. It's  a regular plane with all the comfort. We had no luck this time getting on but there was another flight to Dover DE later in the afternoon and yes we got on this one: a C5 Galaxy cargo plane.

 It's always an adventure to fly on a military plane. This plane has about 75 seats above the cargo area. These seats face the rear and there are no windows!! This area is called "the cave". Well that's how it felt and there was not much light.To get there you have to climb a steep ladder.

Here is a video to give you an idea.. Do you hear the strange noises it makes. Kind of scary isn't it?

We arrived safely at Dover AFB in Delaware and stayed two nights in lodging. We had to find a way to get to BWI where we had to pick-up our rental car. Distance 82 miles/132 km. Taking a cab would cost us around $ 200. No way. There were no other people to share a van so I checked public transportation, this would cost us "only" $ 66. Eight hours, four busses and one light train later we arrived at BWI. I'm thankful that we have good public transportation in Holland.

Next day we picked up the rental car and drove to SC to stay a few days with the family.

One day Leroy found this rattle snake in front of his Mom's house and killed him.

Off for our trip to Arizona but our first stay will be in Albuquerque to visit the annual International Balloon Fiesta. This takes place during early  October. This is a must to see if you are in the area during that time.It's a nine day event and there are over 600 balloons from all over the world. It is the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. It's awsome to see the launching of so many balloons. So colorfull and different shapes.

Another nice place to go during the balloon fiesta is the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival . It features the work of talented artists and craftsmen . As I like Southwestern arts and crafts I had to see it of course. It's held in a huge white tent near the balloon launch field.
Doug Fountain makes beautiful art but  not for my pocket...
I bought one of these beautiful flying ladies, called "Air Craft", made from wire, paper, fabric and  paste for Jasmina's 11th birthday. They are made by Sarena Mann.
Painting from Sheri Burns.
I bought one of these woven necklaces for daughter Mila's birthday. These are made by Arlene Zaloznik. This artist also makes the most beautiful gourds.

After that  our taste called for  Indian fried bread which was sold behind the tent. We choose the Pueblo veggie taco.

This Indian lady was making fry bread all day.
Before going to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center the next day, we stopped at the "Just Imagine Gallery" in Tijeras first, for a cup of tea and to check out the Arts and Crafts Market which is held every weekend from May through October. Owner Anna King from the Gallery sponsors this market. As it was one of the last markets for the year, just five sellers showed up.
 Next was a visit to the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
The mission statement of the center is: to preserve and perpetuate Pueblo culture and to advance understanding by presenting with dignity and respect, the accomplishments and evolving history of the Pueblo people of New Mexico.
Because we spent too much time at the gallery talking to Anna King, we didn't have the time to see the museum part inside and spent most of the time outside where a native American craft market and dance performances were held.
Another nice thing to do around Albuquerque is to drive the "Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway", linking Santa Fe and Albuquerque. The drive is approximately 50 miles along highway 14. It's a drive back into history through the mining towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos.

In 1825,Golden was the site of the first gold  rush west of the Mississippi, before the California and Colorado gold rushes. Mining is gone now but there is still a pittoresque little church: San Francisco de Assis. Mass is on Saturday afternoons.
Remains of the old mining camp in Golden.
Now what about a fence like this?
Madrid, once an historic coal mining town is now an artist community with lots of small shops and galleries.
One of the sculptures from  Michael Austin Wright yard environment.  
Old fire truck at Madrid's Old Coal Town Museum
Can't read the sign clear but it's the "Kickin Ass Ranch". The little house is partially made out of a railroad car and the bridge from a flatbed trailer.
Mailboxes along the road in Madrid NM
Another little mining town is Cerrillos. Turquoise is still being mined here on several private claims.
Cerrillos is a quiet little town with a few shops. We didn't have much time to roam around here, will definite do that a next time.
St. John's (San Jose) church.
Small house, big cottonwood tree.
Door in Cerrillos
After a week we left Albuquerque behind us and drove to Alamogordo to visit friends we hadn't seen for 22 years.
On Highway 380 from Socorro to Carrizozo NM.
Lava flow at the Valley of Fires. This is one of the youngest and best preserved lava fields in the continental United States.
 Alamogordo was our home in 1989/1990 when we were stationed at Holloman AFB. Obviously we had to go to White Sands National Monument, although we have visited it many times, one never get bored to see the beauty of white sand........
From white Sands we continued our way to Arizona.

 To be continued.........

1 comment:

  1. at the end ... the white sands is incredible; so beautiful to see in a photograph. Lots to enjoy, great series Geke; good to follow your journey with you both. Leroy, a rattle-snake is definitely not one I'd like to encounter up close like you did. Geke, you picked up delightful gifts for your family too; take care.