Anyhow, along the way, Katie and I saw some cool things and ate some tasty meals. First, we'll start with the Hatch Chili Festival. Hatch, New Mexico bills itself as the chili capitol of the world and has a reputation for it tasty yields.
We stopped by chance. We had been driving for a few hours and were ready for a break when we saw the carnival lights. We paid $5 to park and wandered around the joint. There were all kind of decorations made with chilies and we bought a heart-shaped red chili wreath for our mom. There were also all kinds of chili-based food -- roasted chilies, roasted chili salsa, chili powders, roasted corn with chili butter ....
There was also a row of the standard fair stuff such as funnel cakes and cheap engraved jewelry. We didn't hit up the rides because they looked a little suspect, but we did partake in the food. One of the food stands was fire-roasting green chilies. They put a batch of several hundred into a drum like you would see at a bingo game. They rotated it by hand over an open flame. I wanted to try one and they looked around for one from the last batch. I believe they were selling a gallon-sized zip-top bag of them for $1, so they gave me one to try free of charge. It was so tasty! Like a green pepper with lots of heat and smoke.
I don't know if I'll ever be in the area again, but I'm so glad we stopped.