THE TRIP

I figured I’d better write down the details of our big trip down here before I forget everything.

Day 1  We started out on Saturday morning, June 2nd from Houston.  It was our big driving day, going from Houston west as far as possible before we got sick of driving and sick of each other.  We made it to Van Horn, a tiny little town about an hour east of El Paso.  The day was fairly uneventful, just driving, except for the part when we thought we had enough gas to get us to the next town, then we weren’t quite so sure we had enough gas to get us to the next town.  If you’ve never driving across the middle of Texas before let me tell you, there’s a whole lot of nothing between San Antonio and the western border, including gas stations.  The southwest isn’t like other places where you see a gas station every 10 miles or so.  We held our breath for about 20 miles before we gratefully pulled into a tiny little gas station and filled our tank.

Day 2  Sunday morning we started out and only got a couple miles down the highway when we noticed that the right front tire on the car was vibrating badly.  We turned around and headed back to Van Horn to see if we could get someone to look at it.  Being Sunday morning in a tiny little town, there wasn’t anything open, but we lucked out and found a guy working on a semi outside a small little repair shop.  The only reason he was there was because he got called in by the semi, but we happened to come by just as he was finishing up and get got him to look at our car as well.  Turns out both our tires were bad and needed to be replaced and fortunately, the guy had 2 of the right sized ones in his shop.  Lady luck was smiling once again.  We headed off down the road to start exploring New Mexico.  Like Texas, New Mexico has a whole lot of nothing.  Also like Texas, we were not paying attention to the gas gauge again and all of a sudden the low fuel light bings on.  Fortunately we’d just passed a town about 10 miles back, so we turned around and very conservatively drove back to what appeared to be the only gas station in a 50 mile radius.  I kid you not, after leaving that town, the next town/gas station was 56 miles away.  Can you imagine if we’d run out of gas in the middle of that?  We’re keeping a much closer eye on the gas gauge now.  I think what it is is that I always check the gas gauge when I get in the car to start driving, but when you drive for 2-3 hours at a stretch, you tend to forget to keep an eye on the gas level.

Cool things we saw while driving through the New Mexico desert.  We were driving along and saw what looked like a long skinny brown plume of smoke in the sky.  It went up at least 150 feet in the air.  We watched it for a long time trying to figure out where the fire was and why it kept moving, then realized that it was a really long tall dirt devil.  It crossed the road in front of us and watched it spin the dirt as it continued along.  Further along down the road we also went through a little dust storm, then got caught in a massive New Mexico cloud burst outside Albuquerque.  Though we didn’t see it, I guess they got quarter sized hail and everything.

Which brings us to today, Day 3.  We spend the night in Albuquerque and today went to see the space ship house.  It’s just a privately owned home in the city that looks like a steam punk space ship.  It’s incredibly awesome and a minor tourist attraction.  I would love living in the house, but I don’t think I’d be keen on people stopping by and taking pictures of my house all the time.

After the space ship house we went to Old Town Albuquerque.  It has a lot of little shops, mostly jewelry, pottery, beaded stuff and woven blankets, typical tourist stuff.  I’m not much of a shopper, so we just wandered around looking at different stuff.  We did go to the candy store that made the rock candy that they used as meth in the tv show Breaking Bad.

From there we went to Pueblo Montona park.  It’s a big hiking trail, but we didn’t go for the hiking.  Apparently, a fire swept through the park a while ago and burnt up many of the cottonwood trees, leaving tall burned stumps.  One of the firemen went back to the park and used a chainsaw to make beautiful carvings out of the burnt trees.  The detail and work on it was incredible.  That was our last stop Albuquerque.  From there we headed to Gallup New Mexico.  We stopped by Red Rock park, it’s surrounded by beautiful red cliffs and even had a rodeo area snugged in a area with red rock hills around it.’

Tonight, Monday, we are staying in Winslow Arizona, of Eagles “Take it Easy” fame.  Yep we stood on the corner in Winslow Arizona, just like Glen Frye sang about.  There’s a Standing On a Corner park in the downtown area with a couple statues, a big mural on the wall behind them picturing a pretty young girl driving a flatbed Ford with the words Winslow Arizona across the top.  Also parked on the street on the corner is a real life Flat Bed Ford.  How cool is that?  There was a constant stream of people there to get there picture taken there.  How crazy is that to have that be a towns claim to fame?   Life is awesome!

Tomorrow, the Grand Canyon…hopefully.  There are wildfires in the area and some highway closings, including the one that’s supposed to take us to the canyon.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

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