Wednesday, March 25

Monett to Tucumcari/ Tucumcari to Phoenix

Start: Monett, MO
End: Tucumcari, NM

Miles: 622

Start: Tucumcari, NM
End: Phoenix, AZ

Miles: 640

This was the first half of Oklahoma. Add some cows on the side of the road, and that just about does it. I drove through a huge storm (the same one that dumped tons of snow on the Dakotas) where the lightning was magical. My windshield wipers are toast, but they were troopers. Got me through when it mattered.

This was Baxter's reaction to the rain. He morphed into Vampire Cat and threatened to take me out.

Besides the rain, the other exciting thing about Oklahoma was this:

I don't know what the difference between red dyed diesel and non-red dyed diesel is, but who cares. There are ostriches for sale! I didn't see a pen or anything, and I know they are huge, so I feel like this is misleading. Is the sale anywhere near the gas station? Why is it on the sign? I actually stood there and starred at it for a bit before I realized I should move on, or spit, or something. I bet Vampire Baxter would have been appeased with an ostrich.

My impression of Texas was that they have very nice rest stations, and have a little too much time on their hands. The building below is the rest station. There is groundskeeper mowing the roof.

The view of Texas, 70 some odd miles east of Amarillo. Sit and enjoy it while you grill a steak (what else would you eat in Texas at a BBQ?) on one of the very handsome grills outside the lawn-rest area. It's too bad there weren't a whole bunch of little Texas shapes that could be grilled into the meat. That would really make the whole thing special.
I stayed the night in Tucumcari, NM. A strip of road that in it's glory must have been something, but now is eeking along on its oasis nature and its reputation associated with being on Route 66. I ate at Del's, a fun restaurant owned by two sisters in town, that have a friendly menu of burgers and Mexican food. I liked the cow on their sign.

Today I was happily in the land of mountains and evergreen trees. The first glimps of snow still resting on the tops of - well, I don't know the name of the mountain- I squeeled a little. I hadn't realized how much mountains represent. How much has happened since last being intimate with them. How much more rooted in myself I feel just being closer to them.

What shocked me was how beautiful I found Arizona to be. It is unlike any place I've ever been. The reds and oranges that seemed to paint everything, the vegetation, the smoothness that comes from thousands of years of patient sandblasting. And then the view changed as I passed between Flagstaff to Phoenix, and weaved up and down, between and over the hilly passes. The views were awesome. This one doesn't do it justice. I made it to Sarah's house at 5:30 and got the cats settled. They are going to be so bored when I stop moving them around. They have really gotten the hang of it - they sleep for most of it now. I met the neighbors, had a chat, then we went for dinner - the whole time never stopping the stream of conversation that will undoubtedly continue for the next four days straight. Sarah and I are going to have so much fun!


  1. Hm.....Interesting blog. Alaska, it's too long from my country. But..... very exciting to reads your notes.

  2. glad you made it safely to sarah's! xo


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