Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Travelogue, the Finale

Got an early start from Flagstaff, back onto I40 heading east, and a while later(through lots more beautiful country, enough to make you think of moving) reached New Mexico. Which shortly led to a decision:
The NM Dept of Transportation sucks.
Specifically, a few miles into the state was a big overhead sign: "I40 eastbound lanes closed at Coors, seek alternate route". Ok, pull out the map, Coors, Coor... "There's no Coors on the map?" So with no more information, we continued on. Through more volcanic countryside, including the malpais, which I'd first read of loooong ago in a Louis L'amour book. Lots more places which, with more time, we'd have taken off to see. Past places from Joe Leaphorn books, Shiprock and the Big Rez.

And then just west of Albuquerque is a traffic backup, and when we get up to the block, yeah, I40 is blocked, a big sign repeating the earlier message and two deputies impatiently waving people to an exit. Why am I saying DOT sucks?
No 'detour this way' or anything signs, just 'get off and go some other way'.
NOTHING between the first sign and this one, and- the big one-
Coors is AN EFFING STREET. Not something you find on a state map, which means unless you happen to be getting the right radio station(and our radio wasn't working) or know the area, the effing signs DON'T TELL YOU WHERE THE PROBLEM IS.


Lost some time getting around this, and then the cherry on top appeared: it didn't just cloud up, it started snowing. Light, then heavier, then light, and then damn hard. As in 'Hard to see cars very far in the other lanes' heavy at times. We'd thought of maybe stopping in eastern NM or Amarillo for the night, but not knowing what the weather might do we were concerned that, if we stopped, we might wake up to being stuck for a day; so on we went.

It continued doing this almost to the Texas line, then both stopped snowing and the temperature was rising. But it was only about 200-250 miles left at that point, so we decided to finish the drive. Which we did a few hours later at the parents' home.

I mentioned the dog was travelling very well, but he was, if anything, more sick of driving than we. He'd been here before, when son was on leave, and he walked into the house, took a big sniff and said "This isn't a motel! I know this place!" Mom petted him and sat down, he spotted a ball the cats play with and pounced on it, then flopped on the rug on Moms' feet and stretched ALL the way out.

I will note further that, after a break, we opened the door and set him loose in the yard: not only was he cool with having his personal dog park, but "NOBODY else has peed on these trees! Cool!"

That ended the critter end of the trip. After some sleep, and a big bowl of stew accompanied by a large wedge of fresh cornbread, I headed home the next day. Dog was too busy exploring, peeing, drinking from the bird bath, scattering his toys and so on to care. When I got home my dogs proceeded to tell me how much they missed me by, when I opened the gate, zipping right past me to check the front yard pee-mail they hadn't covered for days("Gee, I missed you too, you little bastards.")

Thus ends the tale. I'm sure I'm skipping over things that ought to be noted, but I really don't care; as I said, not a trip I want to repeat anytime soon.

1 comment:

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