Posts Tagged ‘New Mexico’

One Word Sunday: face

Cellpic Sunday 11.20.22

From the road…day 1

Posted: October 25, 2022 in Travel
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4 AM was the time I’d set to leave but as I woke up earlier than my alarm, I left the house at about 3:30 AM. The good part about leaving at that time and in the dark is that there are very few people on the highway. The two bad things about leaving in the dark are you miss all the really beautiful scenery in the first part of the drive and you really have to pay attention to the road to be sure no elk, deer, or other wild animals come charging out into the road. So I’d been the road for 2 1/2 hours when the sun began peeking over the horizon.

I ran into an issue with a detour that immediately added half an hour to my trip, a trip where because of time zones, I lost two hours on the first day. Arizona doesn’t do daylight savings time so when I got into New Mexico it was an hour later, then another hour later when I passed into Texas. But an unexpected issue made itself blazingly obvious when I turned east—the rising sun was directly in the middle of the road just over the horizon. I could barely see. I Jerry-rigged an additional sun visor by putting a CD envelope (not a case) in the bottom of the mirror on the sun visor so I could just see the road but not have the sun directly in my eyes. This is a little of how it looked without that. Bad photo but taken with great care which is the important thing.

When things improved, this is what I saw.

However, the detour that I was unhappy about, turned out to be the high point of the entire day. I drove through a part of New Mexico that was beautiful. I plan to visit it on the way back.

Out of the window…

And then there was snow!

And another from the van.

Despite the early start, attack by the sun, and detour, I arrived on good shape in Amarillo, Texas where I checked in to The Big Texan motel. Well, I didn’t actually have to check in. I was sent a room number and the code this morning and email so I just went to my room and went in. After a bit of a break, I walked over to their restaurant.

But all that’s another story. That’s it from the road today. Tomorrow I’m on my way to Rolla, Missouri. It’s a shorter day so I don’t have to leave so early. But as I wake up early, we’ll see what happens. As Scarlet O’Hara famously said, “Tomorrow is another day.”

No Thursday Doors today, so I’ll get right into the first day of my trip. I left the house at about 4 am, on the road for an hour or so before the sunrise I showed you yesterday. Daylight found me driving along beautiful highway 87 (the Beeline Highway) all the way to Winslow (more on standing on a corner there eventually), on to I-40 (paralleling or part of the old Rt. 66), and through Albuquerque, New Mexico where I hung a left to head north towards Colorado. As I got closer to my destination for the night, Raton, New Mexico, just a few miles from the Colorado border, I not only saw rain in the distance but drove through a mini-storm so intense that I had to slow down quite a bit.

Raton was hopping as it hosted the annual Run to Raton motorcycle rally, which I’d never heard of before. The plan had been to eat at a local brew pub, but that stretch of street and businesses was blocked off to vehicles and appeared packed, so I looked for somewhere less crowded, spotting this bit of street art during my search.

Bruno’s Pizza was my eventual choice. I ordered a pizza to go and a local dark beer to sip while waiting which gave me time to look at some of the paraphernalia on the walls, at least the baseball section. You gotta love Yogi Berra-isms. 🙂 I suppose today you might call him Captain Obvious, but his words will make you laugh. What to read some more? Click here for 50 of his most popular sayings.

Three of baseball’s most famous stars…

Another Yogi-ism, then it was back to my motel for some pizza and R&R before getting to bed early in preparation for another early start. I particularly want to be on the way early on the second day so that I get through Denver with the least amount of traffic as well as get to Sheridan in time to get groceries, gas, etc., get up the mountain, unpack, and still have some time to relax. Good night!

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.

Hurrah! It’s time for another road trip. Today I’m starting the 27 hours of driving time to go from our house to that of friends back in Naperville, where I’ll spend a week and a half visiting people and places. Thankfully the gas shortages aren’t in the area through which I’ll be traveling. Since it’s a travel day, here’s a photo from a trip going the opposite direction on a night I stopped in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the sunset view from my room.

As usual when I’m traveling, I’ll respond to comments but probably won’t be doing much online visiting. I might even update you periodically and who knows, I might come across some purples along the way. 🙂

for Life in Colour: purple

Ever since we got married (36 years ago next month), we’ve been driving the same route to Wyoming, whether from Cleveland’s east side or Chicago’s southwest side. This year, except for the last 30 miles or so, it was new territory. I’d planned to get up at 4 am, but woke earlier, heading out in the dark to cover just under 700 miles, a trip that would take over 10 hours. I don’t stop much with a goal of gas/bathroom stops coinciding. I had food packed, tea in my Contigo thermal cups, plenty of snacks, and the wonderful BBC radio “Lord of the Rings” production for the CD player. Incidentally, that recording has made the trip with us for almost all those years, first on tape, now on CD.

I didn’t see much scenery the first several hours, the sky only lightening around 5:30 am. I saw where a wildfire had devastated acres and acres and then it was through the White Mountains, onto I-40 (paralleling or overlapping with historic Rt. 66 in many place, and to Albuquerque, where my route turned north towards Raton, New Mexico just south of the Colorado border where I’d stay overnight.

Rain in this part of the country and at this time of year is scarce. We’ve been in Arizona since the end of March and have experienced only a couple “showers”, in quotes because there often not enough to measure. But past Santa Fe near Wagon Mound, there was more than the promise of rain, although most of it was to the west of me. It looked wonderful!

I could see the rain coming down in the distance. All these shots were taken with my iPhone while driving BUT with one hand firmly on the wheel and eyes on the road. It gives point-and-shoot a whole new meaning and also means lots of deleted shots when I finally stop, but I often get some good ones, too.

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Day 3 in (mostly) photos

Posted: March 28, 2020 in Uncategorized
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We left Albuquerque on a cloudy, chilly morning but with a sky filled with clouds of all sorts.

How to show motion in a photo: take a shot out the side window while doing 80 mph. Do it very carefully and delete all unusable photos.

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