APFwebs: Santa Fe, NM

As the world turns

by ✍ April 19th, 2013

Earth Day. April 22. Everybody’s on the bandwagon. Even our favorite local tobacco company is recycling cigarette butts.

[T]he waste collected through the Cigarette Waste Brigade will be recycled into a variety of industrial products, such as plastic pallets, and any remaining tobacco will be re-worked into tobacco composting.

Smoke ’em if ya got’em, eh? No stems, no seeds that you don’t need…

For our 29th anniversary, mi esposa and I visited lovely Truth or Consequences (TorC, as we call it), in south-central NM. While there, we satisfied our long-standing curiosity. We paid $59 each (¡!) for a tour of the Spaceport. We can tell you now, at this stage, the tour’s not worth the investment. (Get it? Stage? Space? Bwahahaha…)

A half day: 20-minute van-ride, each direction, and views of two vastly empty buildings. One, a dock; the other, a control station. We weren’t allowed within 25 feet of the (empty, I suspect) dock, as if a human touch could cause it any harm. A walk-through of the control station building revealed only two rooms, yet uncarpeted, with one item of furnishing each: a computer workstation. (Oh: the crappers were working, too…thank you.)

An armed guard escorted us closely at all times: protecting…what? Empty space. I guess we may have interrupted her viewing of Gilligan’s Island reruns. (Remember Maynard G. Krebs?)

The tour guide wearied us with constant chatter. Much dropping of names of famous folks he seemed to imagine he wished would want to know him (…if you catch my drift). He compared the coming space boom to the dot boom. Creativity-challenged, one might say. On the way back, we were treated to snacks of six-pack cheese crackers and bottles of warm water. Generous.

As it turns out, the Spaceport will serve no practical purpose, at least, at first. It’ll offer brief scenic tours into space. Up and back for well-heeled tourists who want to see the world turn and perhaps experience a brief relief from gravity. Then return to Earth, where the Law of Gravity is more strictly enforced. Heavy.

Our generous two-room suite at Pelican Spa was lovely, though. Even a private patio for smoking! Right in the middle of the art district downtown, it seemed decorated by aging hippies, and boasted tubs fed by hot springs. (Hot Springs was the name of the town before it adopted the name TorC for the old game show hosted by Ralph Edwards.)

We were there for the monthly downtown art hop. Art can’t hurt you, said a small artwork scroll given us by Michael P Thompson, one of the painters on the tour. And we rode a horse-drawn wagon twice around the block.

Ah, but home is where the heart is. We returned home after two days. Our space visit over, back to Earth. As the world turns…