After I came around the big bend in the interstate north of Isleta Pueblo, the lights of Albuquerque filled up the the space on my left, clear to the horizon. I laughed when I compared the view to the 18 streetlights of Arenas Valley that I see at night from my patio.
I arrived at the airport with 30 minutes to spare and headed to the cell phone waiting area. Rain pattered on the roof while I waited. Other cars came and went. At 10:21, through the rain-blurred windshield, I saw an MD-80 swoop in behind the terminal. Ten minutes later, I got Becky's call. I picked her up and we headed toward mid-town. The rain began to pound and pond on the road, but the late evening traffic was light. We stumbled around on the I-25 frontage road, disoriented and tired, but heading in the right direction. It would be hard to proceed in any other direction, since everything in Albuquerque is north of the airport. We passed a sign for the UNM hospital's trauma center. Becky observed that she'd been traumatized by the flight out, so maybe we should give up on finding the hotel and just admit ourselves to the hospital.
When we got to the road the hotel's on, we turned the wrong way and got a soggy look at the wrong side of town. Eventually we found the hotel, laughed with the cheerful and gay desk clerk, and turned in, sleeping while rain drummed on the window.
9/17/09 - It was still raining the next morning. The mountains you can normally see in mid-town Albuquerque were obscured by clouds. Becky wanted to take me up the Sandia Peak Tramway, which she thinks is about the coolest thing there is to do in Albuquerque. We wondered how that would work out.
Becky needed some kind of rain gear. We looked up the address of the Albuquerque R.E.I. on my cell-phone's crappy web interface, but then realized we didn't know whether it was north or south of us. The Google map wouldn't scroll to our location. We drove to the bead and craft store located across the parking lot (it was raining HARD, ok?!). There, we showed the map on my cell phone to a clerk and asked how to get there. She said:
"Go out here to the street and turn right and then you'll see Fire Ant Street. Go down there and turn south on Five Volcanos Parkway and you'll find I-40 and then you can run along side that for a while until you get to Bonehead Plaza, then take I-25 and head toward Santa Fe until you find Montgomery Street, but don't take that because you want Moñada Street so turn left instead and go on down there till you see Confused Court and pass that and take the next street and that's Mercantile."