Well, sort of. The main road is actually I-40. But, that little metal bridge and the road that leads to it is a portion of what remains on Route 66 about 20 miles west of Albuquerque near the Route 66 Casino. For me, this is a pretty good “on the road” picture. Dusk. Car headlights. High desert scenery. All the stuff.

I made this picture last summer. It’s being used for an advert – isement for the Albu – querque Photo – grapher’s Gallery. The boots are worn by a young woman in a folklorio group. The Eblogger spell checker doesn’t like folklorio because it doesn’t speak Spanish. Come to think of it, neither do.

There is a story in The New York Times today about a group of families living just outside of Albu – querque in a place called Pajarito Mesa. Apparently about 300 families are living there, completely off the grid. No water. No electricity. No roads. It’s a hard life. They chose it.

Now, it appears, they’d like to be on the grid. So, amazingly, now they are getting a lot of press. I wonder how that happened. Despite describing where they are located, I still have no idea where this place is located because nobody has published a map. Why not? The area hasn’t been mapped. Not even Google maps has done it.
There is a huge irony here. So much of the open land surrounding the city looks like the picture I’ve posted today. Huge power lines connect the city to generating plants so that the exurbs can have electricity. These lines stretch for miles south and west as the city claims more and more wild high desert.
I’ll leave it at that.

Yesterday, I wrote a lot about volcanoes, nature and the nature of things. Today, I’d like to write very briefly about people relating to nature.

In the specific case of this picture, the two lane road you see leading to the volcano is obviously man made. Yes, yes, yes. It’s probably perfectly safe since, as I wrote yesterday, this particular volcano hasn’t erupted in 30,000 years.
But, I wonder what the people of Iceland said about their volcanoes.
Having written that, it’s time to mention the unmentionable. The elephant in the room. Too many people building and using too much stuff. I’m no scientist. I have no idea if all these recent earthquakes, and now, this volcanic eruption are in any way related.
But, I’m not a believer in coincidences…
… especially after viewing a Science Channel piece on the Chinese city of Xian. I won’t go through the whole history, but the oldest part of the city as built behind packed earth and brick walls about 600 years ago. It withstood big bore cannon fire during two wars with only nicks and scratches. Today, it is being pulled apart. By what, you wonder. The heavy buildings in the modern city; skyscrapers of all types and large factories and estate housing are pushing the earth down in the city and that is pulling down a centuries old wall.

Stupid Volcano. It seems that we, as a people, never learn. Nature is relentless. Nature doesn’t care. Nature is not good. Nor is it evil. It just is. Now we are being reminded of that. Because of the volcanic eruption in Iceland, the skies are empty in Northern and Central Europe since it appears the volcanic ash will foul jet motors. Nothing is moving with any sort of speed which limits fresh food and other deadline-based shipments. This has affected the entire world. It also seems that every time the scientists say, “tomorrow,” the volcano responds by further erupting and spewing more ash into the air. The last time this happened in Iceland, the cloud of ash and dust was some strong that it caused the Mississippi River to freeze at New Orleans. It caused record cold in Europe and it was a decade before the planet recovered. Stupid volcano.

How does this picture relate? It’s a volcano that is located about 10 miles west of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Apparently, aside form the inland oceans that formed the Southwestern deserts, the southwest was also formed by many volcanoes.
But, not to worry. The art in Santa Fe won’t be damaged any more then it already is by a new volcanic eruption. The last time these volcanoes blew their corks was about 30,000 years ago.

Every now and then the light around dusk becomes truly amazing. Dusk arrived. The Sandias and sky darkened. But, a small opening in the clouds allowed for a “spotlight” of sunlight to appear which illuminated the northeastern area of the “Q.”

I’d like to say that this image was the result of my hard work and diligence. But, in the interest of full disclosure I have to admit it’s just luck. The over riding rule of “F8 and be there” really applied.

There has been remarkable growth in Northern New Mexico, usually not for the better. Once upon a time, this lonely little road wasn’t a road and there were no power lines there. It was just high desert.

Today, you can find row upon row of tract housing immediately to the east. And, this road was carved out of the desert.
It’s becoming an emerging part of a series that I’m starting to call, “How the West was really won.”

I was walking along a park area in Beijing, China and I met this man sitting and enjoying the sun in the late Autumn. He was doing some water painting in which he would paint Chinese characters in water on the walk way. They would eventually disappear as they dried. I thought it was come of transcendent experience that revolved around the nature of things passing away.

Oh no.
I asked him why he painted with water and he told me that if he painted with ink he would be arrested for defacing state property.
So much for transcendence.
With age came wisdom.
This man was 96 years old at the time when I photographed him. People his age always amaze me, not because of their longevity. But, instead because of the history that he’s lived through. He was alive when China was ruled by an emperor. He was alive through the Boxer Rebellion that led to a more democratic leadership. He was alive through the Japanese invasion. He lived through the fight between the Kuomintang and the Communists. He lived through the Mao years of death and oppression and now he’s seeing a form of Capitalism.