Monday, December 27, 2010
the other Vegas - Day 3 - 27 Dec 2010
Photos: Oklahoma sky, cattle country, finally see the mountains in the distance. Pinon hills, the southern part of the rockies, Carson National Forest.
Clayton, NM elevation is 5,000 feet.
Same highway 54, the old Santa Fe Trail. Yesterday was another 500 mile day, today will be shorter, only 200 or so. Destination: Las Vegas, New Mexico.
When I get to Las Vegas I feel like I have been coming off a long journey from the prairie. New Mexico smells different, there is pinon in the air, sage and pine. I head into downtown, near the plaza area. Las Vegas, NM has been used for many a film crew and it is a funky little town of about 15,000 people established in 1835. The Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad came here, and Amtrak still stops here. Las Vegas has more than 900 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a mix of Victorian, old west and adobe. I have lunch at a local cafe and savor the New Mexican food that I can't find anywhere else. After my 'fix' I study my maps from the Chamber of Commerce. Las Vegas is like Santa Fe was in the 1970's - very laid back, artsy without being overblown about it, and not overcrowded with adobe building codes.
I call my friend Anya to let her know I'm here. She used to live here and she is now in Minneapolis. She calls me back immediately. Within a few minutes I have the names and phone numbers of her friend and also her old landlord. The house she used to rent is a few blocks away. Since I have only his name, I knock on the door. The landlord's relative is home, and shows me around, it just happens that the 3 bedroom 'cowboy house' is available soon, but I'm really looking for something smaller. There are a couple of 1 bedroom places in the same house. She calls the landlord and he answers and gives me information, he will try to set up a showing for me tomorrow so I can get the feel of the place. He calls me back later that night, he has 14 properties in town, what a selection, what a nice guy, we talk about red and green chili and may meet for a bite to eat tomorrow. I call Anya's other friend and she says yes, she will see me tomorrow, cook me dinner, and is excited to meet me. It is either a very friendly small town or everyone is looking for someone new to do things with. I could very easily settle in here but I need some time to get more of a feel for the place. There is only one movie theater that shows one movie at a time (I have Netflix), one theater (the college), a great library with a park and a plaza to itself (that says something), a good used bookstore, lots of cafes and restaurants and it is an hour away from Santa Fe and the crowds, two hours from Albuquerque, lots of natural parks and open space. I find a few massage therapists and herbal medicine shops and the town has a good vibe to it, I feel at home here. The Universe listens and puts things in motion quickly. Now all I have to do is decide, and act.
I'll stay here two nights and then head south to Albuquerque. I have friends and places I need to see there, too.
I check my work computer connections and all is well. I have wireless and my cell phone so I can link into work tomorrow for a half day. Amazing that I can work anywhere I want to! This is my dream, to be able to live in some funky small town and still have my job. I love Minneapolis, but sometimes I need to get away from it all, I can think clearer here, not so much pressure. Somehow I will find a way to put the edges of the puzzle together into a whole.