24 January 2012

Rain in the Southwest

It's been raining all morning. I love it! We don't get much rain in Albuquerque. It really is a treat when it rains here. Sometimes, as I lay in bed, I imagine what Albuquerque would be like if the climate were different. I imagine what the Sandia Mountains would look like if it received 100 inches of rain every year. I imagine the mountain completely covered in snow from November to April. Then having the mountain covered in clouds all year getting rain or snow. It would be a rare for me to see the mountain, every so often when the clouds go away. The mountain would be completely green, even though there are lots of rocks. I imagine towering Douglas fur trees. I imagine moisture soaked, cool air. The run off from all of our mountains would make the Rio Grande big enough to rival the Mississippi. We would have giant bridges to let ocean ships cross underneath them. The city I dream Albuquerque to be like might look a lot like Portland, OR.

It's funny, because I've imagined Albuquerque being like this city a few times over the years. Being in the desert isn't so bad. I love being able to see the mountains almost every day. But sometimes I want more variation. I want storms. Snow storms, rain storms. I can do without the wind storms. That's about all we get here in Albuquerque...wind. We get an occasional thunder storm in July and August, and we might get a dusting of snow in January. The cool thing about New Mexico is that the weather isn't uniform for the entire state. The temperature in Santa Fe seems to be 5 - 15 degrees cooler than Albuquerque all the time. Santa Fe seems to get much more snow than we do. I suppose it's our geographical location. We're in a river valley in ABQ against a 10,000 ft mountain. Santa Fe is sitting at 7,000 ft above sea level against a 12,000 mountain chain. Rain here means snow in Santa Fe most of the time.

So, to see some snow, or some thunder storms, I just need to drive one hour north on I-25. Santa Fe isn't Portland, OR. There aren't towering fur trees in every neighborhood. There are mostly shrubby junipers and piƱon. But then you drive up to Hyde Park and the Santa Fe ski basin and you'll see some towering pine trees. They aren't as tall as the trees you'll see on the Oregon coast, but they're a respectable size.

Maybe I need to live in Portland. I love that the city has tall buildings. I love that they care about their city there. They want to preserve what they have. It really sucks to say, but Albuquerque citizens don't give a crap about our city. So often, especially on the West Side, I see people just throwing their garbage out of their car window. That pisses me off so much! Care about your city! We all have to live here. Albuquerque has so much potential. It really makes me sad that we aren't living up to that potential.
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