Pursuit Horizon Blog 11 – Carlsbad Caverns, Sculptures Ranch, The New F1 Track in Austin TX24 Jul 2012, Posted by The Journey in
Roswell bores us. A deep big hole. A whimsical place. Amanda keeps getting naked. The first man to kiss Turn-1 stands before you.
Leaving our Lava land, and headed towards Carlsbad Caverns I realize we must go through Roswell. I’m highly interested by this place; in my mind it is a constant state of alien paranoia. Massive floats, parades and stores must always be touting their wares and celebrating their status as visitor landing area. Plus the people watching will just be fantastic!!
I was wrong. This place is desolate. We go through one part of town where the buildings are deteriorating rapidly, and the streets are empty. All I could feel was highly let down as we passed Main Street and saw 3 cheesy alien stores. Cheesy is what I expected, but so empty and boring I did not.
Carlsbad Caverns; what can I say? This place was massive, expansive, gigantic, and any other word one could find in a thesaurus to say “BIG”. I loved this cave system. It is mysterious, calming, terrifying and intriguing all in the same breath. More than 750 feet below and Zach was in heaven. Having never experienced a “real” cave before, I watched him from afar as he was wide eyed and talking quite fast. It really was like witnessing a child who finds a mystery he gets so enthralled about that he screams with excitement. After 4 hours of exploration, we headed up to watch the bat flight. Every night around 7.30 the over 400,000 bats who reside in the cave system, head out for their nightly insect hunting duties. They escape as a swirling mass, their wings create a wind and noise unlike any I have heard before, and then fly off towards the Pecos and Black Rivers, it is quite hard to describe. It is a must if ever in New Mexico.
I am getting tired of looking down the road and seeing a straight line. I am actually falling asleep on the bike because New Mexico into western Texas is so boring. This is not good, I am actually slapping the side of my helmet to stay awake. Give me some twisties, some turns, anything to keep me awake! But alas it does not happen until we come into Fredricksburg.
In “Hill Country” we come across a majestic silver bull sculpture. We both gasp and decide this needs further exploration. Upon turning around we notice this must be just one of many pieces of art in a place called the “Benini Galleries and Sculpture Farm.” Okay with a name like that we must go see it. I already have visions of burning man; massive fields with impressive art scattered for all to enjoy. I was not let down in the least. This was a magical place of beautiful sculpture, exceptional paintings and was filled with a sense of wonderment. It is very hard for me to put into words the innate nature and feel of this place.
We spent a good few hours wandering the property, enjoying the beauty and having heartfelt conversations with a kindred spirit; Mrs. Lorraine Benini. Realizing the sun was setting quickly we need to get moving towards Austin to meet up with good friends of mine, Helen and Rocky. With whom we would be spending the evening. I enjoyed every moment of great conversation and rambunctious retrospect. What wonderful people who hold a dear spot in my heart.
We reluctantly left our incredible company; comfortable AC, and a real bed, to head off to visit the new Formula 1 track being built in Austin, Tx. The Circuit of the Americas is a spellbinding new track even as it is under construction. Something about the detailed layout of the track and the insane turns captivated me. As it did Z. He has been a Formula1 fan since he was 21. So being able to touch (well kiss….literally, he kissed turn 1) a groundbreaking track here in the US was another dream fulfilled in his life. Mr. Silver Tongue could not speak, think clearly, or remember some of his favorite tracks as he talked to Ali Putnam, who gave us a tour of the facilities. He was so awe struck by the enormity of the experience he was getting to have.
After the tour he was still presenting his cool nature until we got out of the gates. In which time he started uncontrollably giggling like a small school child. I love moments like these where he is fulfilling his dreams, and I get to share them with him.
She Keeps Getting Naked – It’s HOT really, really hot. Day after day of 100+ degree heat and Amanda has decided that the bra under the leather coat is the way to go. I’m not arguing; that’s all I can say.
I wonder if the Aliens we’re disappointed too? – Detour to Roswell, NM as it has to be a worth seeing. It’s iconic in American folk lore and well . . . Maybe years ago it was more but today it is a town with a few run down novelty Aliens shops and desolate building. The creaking wreckage of a sign that looms at the corner of Main St. says it all.
It just gets bigger and bigger -I have seen photos of Carlsbad Caverns NM, watched video of it on TV and yet I was not prepared for it. You just have to experience it; you have to be there in the great natural caverns that seem to expand infinitely as you continue into their depths. Deeper and deeper we descended; over 750 feet deep and the caves keep going. They keep opening into new textures and ever larger caves. You have to see it; you have to be there; it’s a must on any explores list.
A screeching halt into a whimsical world – As if in sync Amanda and I look at each other and lock up the rear tires of our bikes. As we passed by the entrance of the Benini Gallery and Sculpture Ranch on 290 something immediately told us to stop. Our intuition lead us down a whimsical road lined with a multiplicity of majestic sculptures. It was as if we were riding into a fairy tale; into a land filled with color and expression. LOCKED and CLOSED, hmm no matter I press the button and ask to enter. The gates opened and we follow Lorraine Benini into the heart of the ranch. I’m getting that Charley and the Chocolate Factory/ Edward Scissor Hands feeling and we are dwarfed by the giant metal scultures; so colorful so intriguing. We then tour the gallery with Benini’s unique use of primary colors and space. Finally up to the top of the hill to the fairy tale house that sits in the shadow of giant twisted steel works of art. This place is certainly one of the highlights of journey. One day I can only dream to live in such a magical place with my artistic princess Amanda.
On Cloud 9 aka Turn- 1 of COTA – The Art Of Motorsports finally has a home in the US worthy of the sport in Austin TX. The Formula one track under construction in Austin TX is massive and worthy of the world stage. I have watched Formula One my whole life and been devoted to it for the last 20yrs. I have seen a lot of racetracks in the US and Europe and as I stand atop Turn-1 of the Circuit Of The America’s you can sense there is something special about this place. It has that special something; that grandeur . It is the feeling of standing atop a new temple in a sport I love, it has overcome me. I have to get down on my knees and kiss the newly laid asphalt of Turn-1. Ali informs me that I am the first person to do so. I grin from ear to ear. Around the track and down to the main straight; I’m now standing in the threshold of pit box #1 looking up at the grandstands. If I daydream for a second I can only dream of what it must be like as a driver to be standing here on race day. OK I’ll kiss ground here as well, maybe dance around a bit, keep it together I’m looking a bit foolish but I can’t help it I’m overcome with awesomeness.
I will definitely be back in Austin in November for the inaugural Formula One race.
This journey of America continues to put experiences in front of me. I’m loving every day of it. I’m hoping it will never end and I can explore the world with Amanda by my side.