‘Record’! (average) Rainfall, New Mexico Fall Festivities

I was ‘Eagle One Nano’ waxing the coach this afternoon… after washing it yesterday (muddy from the Colorado trip return). The sunny sky clouded, wind blew, lightning and thunder, then rain…lots of rain, still periodically pouring down. Nice to listen to tonight? Our Drought (CO2 ‘activists’ blamed Global Warming of course, which demands Taxation) is ended obviously.  I have to finish the wax job tomorrow, when the sun shines (sun shines every day).

Some areas with homes in low areas, have flooded during these seasonally rainy ‘Monsoon’ days. Primarily because they are built in the nice treesy valleys near the rivers. The big dry arroyos that some ‘new here’ people naively assume will never (?) see water again, flooded …..as they do every 50 to 100 years or so. Too bad they had happily built new home developments in them.

Now it is someone Else’s fault and tax Payers must ‘Do Something’.
Our home is high on the foothill slope of the mountain, so only when the mountain sheds water in a roaring rush, do we see it pass by. The street below our house leads into a mountain slope arroyo. It turns into a small river some years. Times that the kids always love
.

Exciting to go to the concrete lined arroyos (channels) that control and somewhat direct the runoff through the paved city. The big concrete flood control channels were engineered for the ‘Hundred Year Flood’… whenever that comes. There are other time periods, floods much greater, that the channels can not handle.

Interesting to watch the ‘whatevers’ pass under the bridges, being pushed by the raging waters. Often times it’s people, sometimes cars, even trucks. When people get kinda forgetful and attempt to drive through the water running fast across the road, the cars get sucked through the barriers, into the downhill channels for a wild ride (water park?). Sometimes the occupants do not survive, as was the case nearby several years ago.

With all of the water pouring down, we only are at our normal for this time of year.  Averages change constantly due to additional or less rainfall. 9.3 is the new ‘Normal’. 8.5 inches has been our yearly avg total, registered at the ABQ ‘Sunport’. The news weather people jokingly call it the ‘Drought Port’, because areas around it, get downpours of several inches periodically. Some areas of the state get a foot within a week :>)

NM goes from barren brown arid desert, to vibrant green within days. The mountains reinvigorate their streams, to sustain the foliage and forests. Wildlife returns to normal foraging patterns, rather than seeking sustenance in the urban interface.

Black Bears are now drastically overpopulated, due to tightly restricted hunting rules/regulations forced in order to “Save the Bears” (like Save the trees, save the minnows, save the birds, save the earth… ad nauseum).

An overpopulation, leading to intense competition, which often forces them down into urban areas, especially during sparse rainfall years limiting food. This year had record Bear intrusions. Of course the animal loving groups loudly proclaim, “Feed the hungry Bears” in the forests. Hmm… Govt signs and Rangers all over the National Parks, ‘demand’ otherwise. Seems the Socialized ‘Welfare state’, lovingly embraced by the Liberals, now pertains to wildlife?


Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta…a really big thing  http://www.balloonfiesta.com/  is scheduled for October. Million plus people attend to watch the International spectacle (most photographed, visually documented event in the world), feast on special foods, attend scheduled entertaining events including nightly balloon ‘glows’ and enjoy the entire time of festivities and tours. Thousand balloon attendance is not often recently, with higher costs and quieter economy associated to the event.

To witness a ‘Mass Ascension’ (of several hundreds) is memorable. Waking up at 4 Am, dressing in removable layers for freezing morning air, mingling with the crowds for parking and transportation, walking great distances and paying for the privilege, is to be expected, as the balloons from around the world, lift off at the initial crack of dawn.

 Fall Harvest festival at ‘El Rancho De Las Golondrinas’  is scheduled during Balloon Fiesta. A time/place where the colorfully attired re-enactors bring the old, historical, but perfectly maintained living museum of Spanish territorial trading route village life along the trails to Mexico City (El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro) village of Las Golondrinas (the Swallows) near Santa Fe, back to life for periodical special weekends throughout the year, is another area Fall attraction. Fun to watch the period attired people, as they spin wool they are shearing from the sheep, weave, harvest grain, corn and vegetables that had been planted during the spring enactment. Art of every taste associated with the culture, is plentiful.

 The re-enactors Mill wheat that has been washed in the flowing stream. Milling is demonstrated in an historically restored ‘overshoot’ water wheel powered Grist Mill (moved onto the site from another location). Blacksmiths with talent, expertly forge the tools and decorative items for use, (commonly ‘reforging’ high quality steel coil springs from trucks)….and for sale (everything’s for sale, including hand made crafts, dolls and clothes). Donkeys pulled either an old rolling stone (the old way) in a circle, or now drive a compact iron roller mill to crush sorghum for sugar and molasses. Heavy iron implements typically arrived after the railroads opened up the vast western territories.

Apples are ‘press’ crushed into juice for fermenting as cider. Grapes are crushed by feet, to make juice and wine. A distillery periodically cooks and distills it’s ‘product’ during certain events. Curandero’s demonstrate and sell their natural herbal ‘medicines’.

Hand making of soaps is demonstrated and sold. Some that are wrapped inside a wool yarn. The Bakers even make deliciously heavy bread (for sale) in historic ‘Adobe’ ovens (Hornos, a Moorish oven design, imported from Spain) outside the homes and village businesses. Food of period and territory is plentiful at the Fiesta. Lots of Chile to eat and decorate with (hanging ‘Ristras’) for the season.

Adobe is in constant need of maintenance, especially after the seasonal rains. The numerous wooden ladders seen on pueblo style buildings, are for access to the walls for maintenance.

The building of ‘Carretas’   http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paraguay_carreta.jpg   is a treat to watch, as the craftsmen fashion wheels and framework, creating the primary mode of transporting ‘Cargo’. The word Car is from the terminology of Carreta, Cargo is the load carried by Carreta. Carriage is again related to the wheeled device from ancient history. I find it interesting that the American Indian had no previous knowledge of the amazing device that originated in the ancient times of Europe, Asia and Africa.

The historic   http://golondrinas.org/Museum_Info/History/index.html  Spanish Territorial village, working ranch with it’s typical rural setting along trade trails common three hundred years ago, stretches along the stream through the valley, up hills, through farm fields. Just like many trail villages (paraje’s), rest stops typically 15 miles apart, hundreds of years ago along the Camino Real (an international superhighway) trading trail to Santa Fe. Jim Gorman was the highly informative, on site historian on 06 Oct Sunday 2013.

Jim Gorman described the small external windows to prevent the raiding Comanches (a 400 mile radius was common from their always roaming, operating bases) from entering the buildings. The noticeably small doors were to force the raiders to crouch as they enter, rendering them subject to stabbing and chopping by the desperate defenders.

Hispanic dances with their traditional colorful clothing, telling stories and ongoing musical entertainment are scheduled, with various themes and elegant attire for each event. Kids chased grasshoppers to feed the turkeys when present in the past, a fun pastime.This living museum is a great event for kids to roam and see history in it’s working environment. There are several different events throughout the year, including a Civil War re-enactment.

The historic site is always improving in amenities, with a modern kitchen providing choice traditional foods. Dining is under a large structure with many tables for comfort. Clean Restroom facilities are provided near the main common. Portas are elsewhere.

Touring New Mexico, The Land of Enchantment, is like ‘time travel’ back through cultures. Sky City high on it’s vertical walled mesa, is just one historic native American Pueblo attraction, a day trip from Albuquerque. ‘Taos Pueblo’ to the north of historic Santa Fe, is world famous.

New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque ended today. We didn’t attend this year. Rare for us not to go to New Mexico State Fair. We enjoy the traditional culture foods, live stock, events (including Rodeo), exhibits and fascinating special attractions :>)

Although still scheduled with a ‘Midway’ carnival, including exciting rides, Expo fun events, NM livestock exhibits, rodeo and horse racing at the new ‘Downs’ with Casino, we miss the somewhat quirky attractions of years ago. Times when the NM State Fair attendees decked themselves out in their finest western wear, including their best western hats and boots. A time when the State Fair was themed more rural than urban. When the young cowboys and cowgirls in sleeping bags, slept through the night on hay bales, close to the stalls with ‘their’ stock.

A group of circuit traveling Mules loved to trot up a ramp and jump into a huge water tank, equipped with an exit ramp for use after they were satisfied with being wet enough. The ‘Diving Mules’ eagerly looked forward to their hourly ‘splash down’, especially during the heat of day. Naturally animal rights ‘activists’ shut it down… deemed it ‘animal abuse’. 

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