The City of Moriarty is located in Torrance County; approximately 40 miles east of Albuquerque. Geographically, the City of Moriarty is located in the northern portion of the Estancia Basin, east of the Sandia Mountains and Tijeras Canyon which serves as the pass to Albuquerque. Moriarty's neighboring municipalities include Edgewood to the west and Estancia, Willard, and Mountainair to the south.
Moriarty is located at the junction of I-40 and NM 41. These two major roads are crucial to the City's economy, bringing truckers and travelers to Moriarty. Another road of great significance to Moriarty is Historic Route 66. The original "Mother Road" (Route 66, which once served as the main thoroughfare from Chicago to Los Angeles) is now designated as a national scenic byway and also serves as Moriarty's "Main Street" and primary location for businesses and services.
Commercial and business development in Moriarty is concentrated along Historic Route 66. Much of the traffic and business comes from I-40, which runs parallel to Historic Route 66 in an east-west direction. As a result of the proximity to these major roads, highway related services (gas stations, restaurants, vehicle repair, etc.) are major components of the economy. More recent commercial and business development is spreading along NM 41 and Martinez Road. The rapid growth of the Town of Edgewood, located less than ten miles west of Moriarty along I-40 is influencing commercial growth and traffic on the far northwest side of Moriarty along I-40 and NM 333 (Historic Route 66). The City benefits from the two designated scenic and historic byways that pass through Moriarty: Route 66 and the Salt Missions Trail. The Salt Missions Trail leads to the extensive mission ruins of Abo, Gran Quivira, and Quarai.
The sun peeks over the horizon as a brilliant, radiant wave of warmth blankets the ground beneath. As the light cascades across the desert, bobbing and weaving along the landscape, it catches the leading edge of a wing at the west end of the tarmac, bouncing in all directions off the smooth and polished surface. The aircraft sits motionless and quiet in eager anticipation of entering the skies above. Soon it will circle the heavens, riding on little more than a difference in temperature as it soars ever higher into the clouds, but for now, it waits.
The sunlight continues on its path through the city. It strikes the broad end of a large building and continues down its flank. Inside, light pours through the windows, illuminating the priceless artifacts that rest inside. Like a group of old friends together again to relive the glory days, the wings lay intertwined, carefully woven together to fit the massive wingspans and compact fuselages into a puzzle that spans the entirety of an amazing craft.
Gaining speed, the light begins to fill route 66 like a flood, filtering through the trees and splashing off the sides of homes and hair salons, local eateries and municipal buildings along its historic path through the center of town. Covered in the glowing trail left behind, the city glistens. Grills burst to life, neon flickers and hums as doors left unlocked are opened by familiar faces. The pace is different here. A quiet buzz of “hellos” and “how are yous” begins to grow, the sound of handshakes and friendly hugs building in presence like a crescendo of good vibes. The camaraderie is palpable and inescapable. As the travelers and tourists enter, they are met with the same smiling faces and warm welcomes normally reserved for the most familiar of friends. Here there are no enemies, only opportunities to help. As the warriors who rested overnight embark upon their continued battle with the road ahead, they are ushered out with full bellies and content smiles. Here there are no strangers, only future acquaintances.
The light, now intense and direct, illuminates the entirety of the aircraft as it spirals upward. A delicate dance of rudder and elevator, aileron and flap. The view is incredible up here, but only slightly better than on the ground. 360 degrees, above and below, as far as the eye can see. The sky engulfs all that can be seen in a mesmerizing quilt of blue and white, delicately sewn together and repeatedly pierced by the silhouettes of those daring enough to fly with no power. Below, adventurers of a different type soak-in a multitude of experiences. Metal machines coated in a thick layer of stories from years of prior use fill the curiosities of patrons at the automotive museum. The distinct jingle of spurs on boots, the rattle of trailer doors opening and the rustling and clippity-clop of horses hooves begin to fill the stalls at the rodeo while the nerves of preparation and hope for victory fill the space around them.
A breeze in the late afternoon begins to dissipate the once-dense sunlight, pushing it back in the direction from which it came, and making way for the magic that will follow. Like an explosion of brightly colored powders suspended motionless in the evening sky, the desert spoils the city with a free display of art unrivaled by any of the great masters. In the distance, the glow of stadium lights, accompanied by the voice over the loudspeaker and the cheers of the crowd. It’s game night for the Pintos, and they’re a favorite to win. At the brewery, the pace is calm. The open patio and picnic table make the perfect stage for a brilliant duet, performed by refreshing craft beer in partnership with the spectacle of thousands upon thousands of twinkling stars overhead. Soon, the grills will turn off, the neon will go dark and quiet and the doors will close, though they may not lock. After all, this is Moriarty, here there are no trespassers, only friends we’ve yet to meet.