2015 Balloon Festival Albuquerque, New Mexico combined with emergency surgery.

 

2015 Balloon Festival.1

2015 Balloon Festival Albuquerque, New Mexico combined with emergency surgery.

 

2015 Balloon Festival.Stephen.Jepson1

Each year around the end of September and the first week in October I go visit my sister Sandra in New Mexico. We share wonderful times at these annual get-togethers. I arrived in New Mexico on September 30 this year. We go to the Frontier restaurant and have breakfast – regardless of the time of day I arrive, I usually arrive in the morning. We talk and talk; my sister is extremely well read on the history of our planet and our universe. It is always inspiring and educational for me to spend time with her. This trip she turned me on to boron as it relates to human health and “Human Universe” by Brian Cox. Among other things. 

2015 Balloon Festival.Stephen.Jepson2

We took off on a 5 hour drive to Ouray, Colorado on Thursday morning. The place is famous for the exquisite beauty of its fantastic  setting and a most wonderful hot spring. We stayed at the St. Elmo Hotel. I found the place to be quite nice. On the way up to Ouray we stopped in Durango, Colorado where I had a unique experience; doing something for the first time in my life. That evening we shared a delicious meal at Buen Tiempo, a well done Mexican restaurant. In the morning we decided to take off early for  Taos, New Mexico because we wanted to arrive before dark to find a place to stay. The drive was filled with beautiful panorama after beautiful panorama on deserted highways. Very little traffic compared to what I’m used to. On the way into Taos we stopped and visited Earthship, a collection of unusual architecture carried to the extreme. What a piece of work that place is. I took several photographs. That night at our restaurant in Taos the man sitting at the next table bought our meal because he thought it was so nice for a brother and sister to be traveling around having fun. Quite an exhilarating experience having a total stranger  pay for your meal. Back in Coralles we got up at 6 AM on Monday and Sandra’s son Jake took his two children, Sandra, and me to see the hot air balloons go up at dawn at the Albuquerque, New Mexico balloon Festival. It is a stunning visual experience; the balloons are a vast array of brilliant colors. Sometimes they are fashioned into the shape of animals or items like huge buildings or fire trucks or something? Pretty much anything you can think of has been made into a hot air balloon. We were able to walk all around right next to and under the balloons as they readied for takeoff. Another thing I found quite amazing is the fact that some of the balloons that took off from the field where we were standing were able to circle around and after an hour or two return and land in that field. Leaving the Festival we took off on a drive up a gravel road to the top of the Sandias Mountains. We stopped at a picnic area along the way and each of us briefly went off in different directions. We went all the way to the top and then down the other side on the asphalt road past the ski lift area. Late that afternoon Sandra and I began a walk along the Rio Grande in Coralles; we got a tiny bit lost and had to pick and crawl our way through the briars and the brambles. I was pretty impressed with how much of a hunter gatherer I felt. Crawling and stepping over and… It was good. It began to thunder and lightning so Sandra and I decided to walk back to her car. Then it began to rain – harder and harder. Lightning all around and getting soaking wet. A couple walking in the opposite direction said: “we live close to here can we give you a ride home or back to your car?” We took the ride.

2015 Balloon Festival.2

The next morning, Tuesday, a week after I had arrived in New Mexico I woke up with pain in my abdomen. Something I had been experiencing for a couple of months but I did not tell anyone because it always went away and I felt fine afterwards. This morning was different and I said to Sandra: “I think there is something wrong with me because of the pain – discomfort I am experiencing”. She said: “let’s go to the computer and you tell me your symptoms and I will research it”. I ended up going to the emergency room at the hospital and having emergency surgery the following morning. To be continued…