Sunday, November 1, 2015

White Sands, NM...A bad day for a good American...

Going through the archives in search of a certain image on a certain memory card that I need for this or that purpose, often yields photos of forgotten situations and adventures experienced pre-blog, unreported, and therefore relegated only to memory, if remembered at all.  In this case, it was an event that upset a born on the 4th of July (really),  good American...Jackie...that she would like to forget.

Roaming the southwest one afternoon in June of 2009, we were hungry and thirsty and decided to stop by the side of some dusty, cattle path of a road somewhere in hills of New Mexico for some sandwiches cobbled together from left overs from breakfast and a couple Coronas that I had in the cooler for a moment like this.  Lunch was good, and with no trashcans to be found, I just threw the empty beer bottles (and cream soda bottle that Jackie was drinking) on the floor in the back of the car and forgot about them.

Until June 7th that is, when, after an amazing morning romping and rolling across the vast expanse of sugar white dunes that are the White Sands National Park...

                                                                                                     Photo by Jackie

we decided to visit the outdoor rocket display at the White Sands missile range which is part of the White Sands military installation/missile testing area.  Although we were just going to the outdoor exhibit that was within arms length, 200 feet of the check point and far from any opportunity to do harm, the not so bright attendant felt the need to do a thorough search of out car, at which time he uncovered the 2 empty Corona bottles, asked if we had been drinking, which we hadn't, and directed us to pull over to the special investigation area to wait for the military police who carry out any further called for intervention.  We sat for about half an hour with Jackie feeling particularly put upon and indignant about our treatment.  When the MP finally arrived, questioned us and examined the bottles which were dry inside and clearly not recently used, we were cleared and received this official looking certification verifying that we posed no threat to national security and were allowed to park our car and walk around the fenced in area of the exhibit.  He was clearly displeased about this cosmic waste of his time and made some disparaging remarks about the dimwits who called him in on the case.   Sound like something right out of Alice's Restaurant, huh.

All of that to see this amazing display, which we could have actually viewed through the fence around the base, without  the extras.  At the time it was a bit unsettling, as is almost any encounter with a uniformed government official other than the mailman in this post 9/11 world.

                                                                                                     Photo by Jackie

After all that, Jackie needed a coffee to cool to cool down, so we made our way to the Java Junction in Madrid, NM, one of Jackie's go to places along the Turquoise Trail, where they share her belief that "bad coffee sucks".  All's well that ends well.