This blog is about my time in New Mexico, or perhaps I should say it is mostly about New Mexico. I will get into the events experienced there but first I must talk about a carne asada burrito.
Some people know about the amazing glory that is a carne asada burrito and unfortunately, there are some people that do not. For the latter, imagine incredibly seasoned beef, cooked just right, and put inside a soft, homemade tortilla generally with some guac and associated grease from the beef. There are taco shops all over southern California and whenever I’ve moved around I’ve always hunted to find THE spot to get a burrito. They will all be good, but some are just amazing.
While I was living in Hawaii I often missed Mexican food. We had some, but it was never as amazing as it ought to be. I considered if it was just because I was biased, but every trip to the mainland would confirm my thoughts (which one could argue is related to the confirmation bias, but due to wanting to get back on course, take my word on this). There was one time I went to El Paso, Texas for a training and came across L&J Café as some peers told me it was a solid spot. Within the week I ate there twice.
It was a delicious carne asada burrito and they had an option to add queso on top, something different than the taco shops I was accustomed to in California. While I like the standard, I do love cheese and went with this version. It was amazing. So good that while driving from Texas to New Mexico, I decided to head through El Paso in order to get a fix. A big factor in this was the unpredictable timeline of when I’d be in El Paso again, but also, I had been missing good carne asada while on the journey.
I made a good part of the journey across Texas and slept in the car. As usual, I woke up rather early, well more like decided to stay up after a series of naps. I had time to kill until I could get my burrito and went to Planet Fitness, but in El Paso, it wasn’t 24 hours which was annoying. I had to wait a bit for it to open. I went to a Starbucks for some needed caffeine and then hit a hard and long workout to earn that burrito.
I went to L&J Café and got the burrito along with some cheap beer. I also destroyed two bowls of chips and salsa. I had just worked out after all! It was as delicious as I remembered. I then started to make my way to New Mexico.
I came across High Desert Brewing Co and was able to talk with an owner that was in. Not only that, but she offered me up a beer for the chat which was appreciated. I heard how they are community orientated. They focus on their taproom and have events such as weekly yoga for the past 3 years.
From there I kept driving and came across Truth or Consequences. I thought it was an odd name for a town and as it turns out it was named after a TV show as some publicity stunt. I’m not sure if that’s absolutely correct, but I’m going with the old school approach here and going with what I believe I heard and leaving it as is without looking it up on google. The town reminded me of a smaller version of Hot Springs in Arkansas, with one major drag strip.
I went into Truth or Consequences Brewing Co and found an owner, but it was her birthday and there was a party for her! I told her my story but was conflicted. I, of course, wanted to complete my final brewery meeting for New Mexico, but I certainly didn’t want to interrupt a birthday party! She was so kind, said her husband would be there shortly and he could talk to me. While I was waiting she offered me up a beer as well. I was blown away by the kindness. When the husband arrived, I heard how cost, time, and complexity are often more than anticipated but having persistence helps to overcome each.
It was a rather productive day. I did hours of driving, got some work done, had a workout, some great food, beer, and completed some meetings. I wasn’t quite sure what to do for lodging. I had a friend whose family had some land in New Mexico. There was a house they were fixing up, but I didn’t have access to it. I could park my car in the driveway and sleep, but it was a couple hours away and I’d have to drive back the next day. I decided a hotel was the way to go.
The next morning, I popped into TBE CrossFit and the owner was there and able to meet with me. There was also a kid of a member hanging around and during my questions, she drew a nice sign for me. I kept it! I heard how keeping a positive attitude and persevering leads to success.
Being a Sunday, it was not a great day to finish off the state. As such, I took some rest and relax time and got some writing done. Unfortunately, I should’ve done more writing, much more often too!
Getting into Monday, I needed one more gym before a decent drive to Tucson. I came across CrossFit 91:10 and talked to the owner. She was willing to talk with me after finishing with a small class of a couple people. I was stoked. I also thought I wouldn’t have time for a workout, but now I could squeeze one in as a Planet Fitness was close. Then I thought it’d be more time efficient to workout at the CrossFit gym, then meet, then go and shower before getting on the road.
I quickly asked if I could work out in the corner and got a sure thing. While working out, I didn’t want to use equipment that may be for the members or make noise or get in the way. It was during this I realized how brash I was a few moments earlier. The owner didn’t know me. They didn’t know my entire thought process and how I wouldn’t try to take advantage. I felt terrible.
Luckily for me, she is just a genuinely kind person. While meeting I heard how being humble and always willing to learn are good things to keep in mind. She also shared how she thought the journey was cool and was completely understanding when I explained my thought process earlier. She even gave me a shirt and a sticker for the road!
It was now time for Tucson, to spend time with a good friend’s parents who I have spent some time with before. I knew I wouldn’t be hungry, I wouldn’t be a burden, and I was sure to have a good time.