Musings

Not peeking

I do like our primary bedroom en suite shower view. That’s a redbud waving at you.

Let there be…

For several reasons, I don’t have significant (share-able) thoughts this evening.

I am fine.

North exploration

A hot breakfast comes with our room near the Quito airport. Nice, but not the quality that Alejandro and Washington produce on the Grace. Or I’m sure the other chefs that work there when they are off. Interesting sausage-slice “flowers.”

John went and got our rental car, not as straightforward as you’d think, but not too terrible. We set off northward, toward and to Ibarra. Row crops and fallow fields mosaic.

Crossing Río Guachalá.

These photos are not terribly good. Please look beyond reflections, dirty windows, and distracting power lines to absorb what they capture about the Andes and the people living there now.

Note the adobe wall separating this lot from the street/ditch. Much of our first leg was away from the normal long-distance traffic, and rural life was more apparent. Commercial activities are focused along the main roads. Along with many busy buses.

While most areas have straight-walled domiciles, this is one of two areas where we noticed these overhanging second stories, sometimes with an ambitious additional overhanging third story.

Green. Lush. On Galápagos, we heard it was the dry season. Doesn’t seem the same here. Of course, the mountains making the clouds rise will bring rain.

Only really old vehicle I’ve spotted. Many dating back to the 1970s, however.

Urbanization. Ibarra.

Scattered toll plazas, not particularly frequently. Always one dollar.

Scrappy neighborhood with scrappy roads. Think about what happens after a good rain. And many people navigate these streets on foot, like this tiny elderly woman on the right.

Many towns have large artsy signs, sometimes with a statuary. This is the only one that we saw riffing on the Hollywood sign.

If this were Mexico, I’d call this a zocaló in front of the Palacio Municipal. I don’t know if either of these terms are used in Ecuador.

We took a detour to see Laguna Cuicocha, dramatically within Cuicocha’s caldera. With two islands.

Truly lousy photo of a careful stack of maize stalks, with all the butts to the exterior. I will look for another one, but may not find one during our brief survey. Fascinating. I presume the stalks are for animal feed.

Valley town.

I’m calling this Flower Town; more stands sold flowers than groceries. Some or many of the shade houses around here must hold flowers. Flowers are a pretty way to export water.

Tree skelton

Let’s close with this tree, festooned with lichens(?), rather cloud-forest-y.

Roundabouts

On our wee jaunt yesterday, we found abundant evidence that the highway department’s routing specialists have gone for traffic circles in a big way in recent years. In our experience, they can showcase, um, interesting art. And varied detritus.

On the move

We drove far enough north today that we found pears in bloom, rather lushly decorative among these old (for the Midwest) buildings…

…not far from the Uh-Hi-Uh river.

Fun fact: although many boundaries that follow rivers track the middle of the river, or what was at one time the middle, somehow, that’s not so for the Ohio River. Indeed, the state of Ohio, The Guru (aka Mr Ohio) says, doesn’t “have” any of its namesake river.

Distribution center

This is not charming, although I do find it interesting, mostly, I guess, in the lineup of blue trashcans and the double row of meters. And, then there’re the liberated cables and wires. I’m rather glad I don’t have an apartment in this complex, I must admit.

It’s just me

The color is ho-hum, but the shape-contrasts are fabulous.

And a wee update from That Corner. After having that smooth cement surface, today it got a new asphalt layer. That I didn’t expect.

Dead trees, architecture version

I thought a year ago that new construction in our general area would die down. How wrong I was. Here’s what I call the empty tooth socket stage.

And here is the new underway. I heard four nail guns busy simultaneously.

And even the casserole heat-and-eat place is getting an upgrade…and while that’s underway, they have a temporary parking lot freezer (with its own generator). Yes, the lot is very desnivel (Spanish for un-level).

Variable conditions

Heavy overcast, although I found these (and other) blooms cheering.

That Intersection was partly open, with one crew working around the edges of a pile of unused pipes and other materials. I could not tell if all the detritius would be removed today or not; they would have needed another vehicle and a motor-driven loader to accomplish that. Maybe I’ll check tomorrow. The road surface, however, looks ready for thousands of tires.

Waiting for a line of bad weather to come through, oh, between now and 3am.

Winter works

Yesterday I saw the crew compacting the fill to a level a short foot below the surface-to-be, so I knew this was coming. Today the concrete is poured and the surface skimmed (or whatever), so that it’s almost as glassy as a skating rink.

And down the way, they’ve removed the Big Green Pump, leaving just its sound-mitigating panels, fence, bumpers, and orange cones.

Over at the Firehouse, the project remains in early phases, still chunking the concrete from the driveway. Perhaps tomorrow they’ll load it in trucks and send it to…the suburbs? Some dump outside the metro area? To fill an eroded gulley?