Having seen how these crazy Americans do their own Guy-Fawkes-esque celebrations at Zozobra festival (even tho, obviously, it’s nothing to do with Guy Fawkes) it was now time to see how to throw the ultimate Hallowe’en party, American-stylie.
The shooting bug had really hit me (pardon the pun) and despite other various entertaining activities, including attending the International Balloon Fiesta, I wanted to go shoot stuff, again.
Off to the whitest desert we went, to camp, eat cactus and shoot at brown bottles and old tin cans! The group consisted of a bunch of Americans, one crazy Brit (me), a couple of guns and some tents. Great fun was had, despite the mosquitoes.
Clear blue skies, rugged landscape, stunning sunsets and sunrises…what more could you wish for? BALLOONS!!! Obviously, and lots of them!
Everyone the world over knows how much Americans love their guns! From Western movies, to police and sherifs, even your average Joe, you’re never really far away from a gun. Even driving down the highway you’ll realise gun shops and shooting ranges are plentiful.
So it was only normal that one weekend in early October that I would trek out with my American comrades to shoot bits of metal at paper and balsa wood cut out shapes at Calibers Shooting Range, on Cutler Avenue ABQ.
New Mexico really is a one-of-a-kind state. There aren’t any other states where you get quite such a potent mix of Mexican, Native American, Afro American and Old World American culture, all in the same state. Zozobra is one of those fine examples of historical and cultural superstition mixed in with modern American sub-culture. Think Burning Man, just on a much smaller scale.
Despite what I said about there being a huge drought in New Mexico (which there is) there are some lakes, the most notable being Elephant Butte (famous for boat parties and other chaos) and the lesser known, equally beautiful, Lake Conchas, part of Conchas Lake State National Park , famous for gentle jaunts around in a boat before throwing yourself in the water and taking a doughnut ride!
IT’s WORTH CONSIDERING:
Out in the South Western states, as they are so spread out an 8 to 10 hour drive to your destination is actually considered very reasonable, there’s no traffic, it’s pretty much just travelling in a straight line! With the sky turning a violent red tinged with a soothing purple, dusk began slowly seeping into the sky with a very faint glitter of lights in the distance.
Albuquerque, New Mexico was to be my home for the next year or so as I immersed myself in American culture, history and society. Welcome to the Wild Wild West. Having waited two hours at Heathrow due to a mix up with my tickets, and running my foot over with the luggage trolley I am finally on the flight.