So, I rolled into Albuquerque, the land of mythical meth, with a lot of fancy plans and pants to match. Normally, I spend thirty minutes or less in a county, this was special and I blocked off three hours to get some things done.
While I was going around doing my photography, I unexpectedly ran across this and was stopped in my tracks. I never expected to run into a monument to the Shoah. For those of you who do not know, that is the Hebrew name for the Holocaust. Why a different word? Well, holocaust is a greek word meaning “burnt offering.” Any sort of sacrifice to the gods can be considered a holocaust. Shoah, on the other hand, means “disaster” or “calamity,” but (from what I understand and I am not Jewish so if I’m wrong, please, PLEASE correct me here) it’s deeper, mystical meaning makes it the opposite of the word ruach, which means “spirit” or “faith” or, at its deeper mystical meaning, “the breath of G_D,” without which nothing can exist. Therefore, shoah means something more like “the absence of G_D.” Those two names definitely demonstrate a difference of degree and, perhaps, a difference of importance. I am rarely deeply moved by the things I see out here on the road, but this did it. So did the cache, but for different reasons.
Ghost bikes are especially sad for completely different reasons. It’s always a bit rough thinking about someone dying. To have a collision on a bike, doubly so. And someone so young? My youngest is just a hair older than young Gregory was. Of course, the cache was a respectful distance away (I can’t imagine anyone would put a cache on a ghost bike), by a wall next to the building this was in front of. Simple and to the point. But again, I took several hours here because I wanted to pick up a bunch of challenges in town. And, then, of course, there was a challenge just outside of town…
Ladies and gentlemen (or however you identify. I don’t mean to be gender assumptive), I give you the New Mexico County Challenge. I headed out a little east of town on I-40 for about twenty minutes, and then popped off onto ACTUAL Route 66 for a little bit. A little bit farther was a little roadside gravel area for stopping and just a little further off in the trees and rocks is this. I happily and greedily signed and left my mark as you can see. Here’s the thing… I usually trade up when I trade at all. I leave my uni-coins when I can and grab small doodads from time to time, but every now and then I find something so cool that I grab it even if I don’t have something quite as cool. There’s my shame, perhaps my sin. Well, I found something in here that I’ve been thinking about for a long time already but it felt like fate put it in front of me. You see, I had a wallet for, well, as long as I can remember. I know I had it when I met my ex-wife and that was fifteen years ago and am pretty sure I had it for at least five years before that, probably more. But it was falling apart and dying. So imagine my surprise when I found a brand new wallet in the cache! I couldn’t believe it! So I grabbed it. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my new wallet came from the New Mexico County Challenge! I’m thinking when I finally complete it, I may make it trackable. Don’t be amazed if Gift of New Mexico joins my collection one day.
At this point, of course, some of you might be wondering why I seem to have completely abandoned my normal title format on this entry. Well, here’s why… You see, the photograph at the top? That is not the Bernalillo County Courthouse! It is a county building, but it’s four blocks from the courthouse! And when did I find this out? When I sat down to write this entry!
I have to go back to Albuquerque! GAAAAH!!!
But that is a tragedy for a later time. Challenges in hand, the Ghost of Duval unknowingly hanging over me, I got to driving. At this point, I was beginning the downward motion of this trip. But before that truly began I had to make a stop in…