Wind, Sand and Burgers

28 02 2009

Apparently windy season has arrived here. It gusts all the time. This is good in its own way because it dries out the mud as the last of the snow continues to melt (and I sincerely hope we’re past the big snowstorms). But the wind here really blows.

It’s funny, it seems that there is at least one thing for each season that makes it not-quite-enjoyable to be outside here. If it’s spring, it would be gorgeous out, except that it’s raining, so you’ll get soaked and muddy. If it’s summer, it would be gorgeous out, except there are so many buffalo gnats you’ll get eaten alive. If it’s autumn, there are still buffalo gnats and now it’s also raining again. If it’s winter, you’re getting snowed on and you’re freezing. And for that magical couple of weeks in February and March when the snow seems to have stopped, it’s not raining yet, and the buffalo gnats are not yet in proliferation — the wind is blowing incessantly.

We have, for the most part, made quite an effort to enjoy the outdoors here in spite of the minor inconveniences that each season brings. It really is beautiful here — albeit, always with an “except for.” I’m looking forward to the temperature going up a bit so we can go exploring again in Cibola National Forest, which is literally right next door. And even though the rain does cause some inconveniences, it really is quite a thrill when it rains here.

This past Thursday, we went with Gabe and Beka Anast’s family to Red Rock State Park (just barely outside of town) where there is a large sand dune. The wind died down enough for us to enjoy ourselves for about an hour. I climbed all the way to the top, which was no small feat as it’s a very tall and extremely steep incline with no solid foothold. You stop climbing, you start sliding down, so you have to stay in constant climbing motion, kind of like a stair-climbing exercise machine. The kids managed this much easier, but then again, they don’t weigh 190 pounds. We got a little sandblasted on the way back out, but it’s definitely a place we’ll go back to visit again soon, perhaps when the wind has lessened.

Any physical exercise from which I might have benefitted at the sand dune was promptly cancelled out afterward. Gabe, Beka, Liesl and I then took the kids (that’s nine children between our two families) to Blake’s Lotaburger, a diner chain that’s fairly prolific across New Mexico. Their food is delicious. Think “burger-the-way-burger-should-taste.” Not quite as good as, say, In-N-Out, but reasonably close to it, and a major step up from the usual fast food joints. For a Colorado comparison, I would put Blake’s in the same category as maybe a Griff’s, or Jim’s Burger Haven. Anyway, my Lotaburger with Cheese and Bacon would probably take more than a trek up the dune to work off. But hey, it’s become quite rare for us to eat food like that these days. We had a great time.

So there’s our week. Wind, sand and burgers. I think that just about sums it up.




4 responses

28 02 2009

Sounds like you had a wonderful time filled with lots of fun, laughter and great company 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

1 03 2009

Maybe they buffalo gnats won’t be so bad at the sand dunes when you go back this summer, after the wind has died down!

2 03 2009

At least there wasn’t sand in your burger…and it didn’t make you pass wind…

3 03 2009

Here’s what I’ve learned after 36 years in Gallup. The wind is tiresome but it stops on June 15th. Then the gnats are really bad, then you wish the wind would blow a little bit cause it blows away the gnats. Vicious circle!!

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