But then, it never had a chance. Not only does it include those blasted highways, which interrupt our slow crawl along RT 66. These highways contain lay-racers: cars swerving back and forth across the fast-paced 4-6 lane highways. The other detracting quality is not the city’s fault. We were not allowed to leave Albuqurque until we’d heard from our adoption agency, leaving the diverse city the role of improbable prison.
Back in Tucumcari, we’d had a “screening call” from our agency, for a “last-minute placement”. This means that a baby, born that day, was meant to be placed for a last-minute adoption before being discharged from the hospital. We confirmed that our profile could be shared with the birth-parents, and the next two days of our trip involved a regular reference to the fact that we may become parents on the 10th of June and all that that entailed. The uniqueness of sudden role-change and the details and neccessities in assuming this role was always on our mind. In Las Vegas NM we received an email about the baby’s health and in Albuqurque, we waited to discover which incredible adventure we would be pursuing.
We did enjoy Albuqurque. It was such a change from Santa Fe and it’s insane number of small art galleries. It was also different from the small, sweet, lush town of Las Vegas and is the opposite of Tucumcari in size. New Mexico has been incredibly diverse, but we’ve been glad for the American Indian (Native American?) representation here. We’ve gone from the part of the country where plaques and museums talk about kicking the nation’s out of the east, to a part of the country dappled with reservations, cultural centers and ancient sites.
Yesterday we visited Bocca Negra and took the short stroll up the messa to see the gorgeous Petroglyphs in the volcanic rock. These were so different from the Petroglyphs in Norway, far younger and telling a different story. It was beautiful. We next headed to the visitor center and fell in love with the “fetishes” or small carvings that some Pueblo artists make today. We were then enticed to visit the Pueblo Cultural Center in town and as we excitedly found seats in the center’s courtyard, Ivo’s phone rang. The birth-couple are still conflicted and unable to make a decision. They have been discharged with their baby and will take the weekend to be counseled and decide how to move forward. Ivo hang up the phone and we returned to the courtyard and our adventure across America. A Pueblo family performed the dance of the deer and we stood for a moment, feeling the mysterious nature of life.
As we moved on, we left the city and returned to the quieter stretches that make up RT 66. The desert out here is incredibly gorgeous. Every blink interrupts a gorgeous view. We passed the continental divide and watched as the smoky sunset made the horizon glow.
We’ve continued on to Gallup, where we were ushered-in by drunk drivers on the road. We passed the casinos and motels in various states of disrepair, past the airport and on to a motel outside of town. Today we will head to the Painted Desert and Winslow AZ, where we will make good on the celebration of our two-person family. We sleep through the night and will go out late and do other various, non-kid-friendly activities and cherish this incredible travel opportunity that we have.