On the road to Wyoming, day 1

Posted: August 23, 2021 in Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

My alarm was set for 4 am but I woke earlier, packed the coolers, loaded the last things in the van, and we were off on our two-day drive to Wyoming, the second time on this route for me and the first for my husband. Since we were married in 1984, we’d taken a different route, first from the east side of Cleveland and then an almost identical route from the Chicago area. Now our views and attractions were completely different.

We chose the scenic route, taking the Bush Highway to the Beeline Highway en route to I-40 east, confounding our GPS for some time before it gave up and went where I wanted it to go. Through the Tonto Forest, it was still night but we caught sight of two coyotes making their way next to the road.

After Payson, the two-lane highway 87 took us toward Winslow, Arizona (taking it easy but seeing no one standing on the corner when we arrived or any females in flat-bed Fords) and were enjoying the scenery when we were astonished and excited to see a large but young black bear run across the road a short distance ahead of us. He was really moving. What a great start to our trip! But it was about to get even better.

Just outside of Pine, right next to the road were three elk, animals you rarely see during the daylight at least in Wyoming. We found out later that there’s a herd in that area but this was quite a treat. Because there was no one coming, I stopped the van, rolled down the window and took a few shots. This fellow looked quite handsome.

The morning and road both went smoothly as we traveled east on I-25 on the way to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Here’s a joke for you. A couple died, went to heaven, and met St. Peter at the gates. “You have to spell the name of a city before you can enter”, he said. “Fine”, they replied. St. Peter turned to the woman and said, “Spell Omaha”, which she did rapidly and correctly. Turning to the husband, he said, “Spell Albuquerque.”

New Mexico is home to 19 pueblos. Visiting pueblos is on my list of things to do once Covid retreats. If you look at this map, you’ll see the Acoma and Laguna pueblos near I-40 and when we turned north on I-25 from Albuquerque, we passed through or were near a number of other pueblos which, as far as I can ascertain, are not just the pueblo buildings themselves but also the area where that tribe of Indians live. For more information about the pueblos, click here. (As far as the use of “Native American” vs “Indian”, I’ve read that many prefer to be called Indians so that’s what I’m going with.)

At this rest stop we saw signs telling us a bit about the Laguna and Acoma pueblos.

Our stopping point for the evening was Raton, New Mexico which, if you remember from last year’s post, is home to the coolest retro gas station. While looking for a place to eat, we went into The Ice House, which serves BBQ and makes their own BBQ sauce. The food must have been good because the place was packed, but with Delta around, we weren’t in the mood for crowds, so we decided to try elsewhere. But I did like this wall art outside and the cool seating in the lobby.

Couldn’t you just see Marilyn Monroe sitting here?

The alarm was set for another early morning to get us through Colorado and its traffic before it got too bad, even though it would be Sunday. Although I often take time to fall asleep, the combination of the early morning departure and the day of driving put me out quickly. Yes, I did all the driving because a) I enjoy it (driving is my super power, I think) and b) my husband works so much that I wanted him to have time to relax. Good night for now.

Comments
  1. rugby843 says:

    We always stopped in Raton on our way from TX to CO.

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    • It’s one of those small towns that’s unsure whether it’s dying or reinventing itself but there are beautiful areas nearby so worth spending some time there. The state park is lovely! And there’s a big volcano not far away and a fort a bit further.

  2. What a packed day you had not even including the driving! I like your super power, and I bet your hubby does too. 🙂

  3. Sue says:

    Sounds like a good trip!

  4. Dan Antion says:

    New sights, new roads, new food – all the good stuff!

  5. This sounds so fun! Enjoy!

  6. You’ve had quite a trip that day!

  7. Toonsarah says:

    We were fascinated by the pueblos in NM, especially Taos and Acoma – I do hope you gett o visit one day!

  8. Resa says:

    Janet, glad you had a great time!
    Also happy you are safe, back at home, Covid free!
    Looks like you got a lot of great pics!

  9. Wind Kisses says:

    Love the ” Marilyn Monroe” couch. hahaha Yes, I could see that. Donna

  10. de Wets Wild says:

    Thanks for keeping a seat for us on a wonderful drive!

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