Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sound the Trumpets!

We are one day away from reaching our final destination of Mesa, Arizona. Da, da, da, DA!! Sound the trumpets!

It has been a long and arduous trip! It will be nice to stay in one place for awhile. This is our home away from home; we spend just about half the year here. It will be nice to see all our old friends again.

But back to our road trip. After we left Dorothy and OZ, we didn't have a bit of trouble. In a blink of an eye we were in Oklahoma.

And in another blink, we entered into Texas.

It's not that my husband decided to put the metal to the pedal. Oh no. It's just that Oz is located right near the border of the Oklahoma panhandle. We only had to drive about an inch on the map, maybe 20 or so miles? till we crossed into Texas.

Then New Mexico. Three states in one day! Wow!

We spent a night in Tucumcari, New Mexico. I won't post any photos of the town; I didn't take any this time around. In fact, we didn't even unhook the trailer. I'll save Tucumcari as my next Flashback Friday.

Onward to Albuquerque where we settled for a couple of days to do some housekeeping like laundry and grocery shopping. I wanted to meet up with Becky, from Becky's Blog, but between her work schedule and our delay in getting in Albuquerque later in the week, it just didn't work out. Sorry, Becky!

I saw this abandoned house on the way to Albuquerque. It looks so desolate out there, doesn't it?

We were bombarded with billboards, ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ROAD, for the Flying C Ranch, a touristy place along the way.

I tend to frown upon these kind of establishments, but I had to pee, and I was hungry, so we stopped for lunch. It was definitely a tourist trap, with lots of souvenirs an such, and how about a stuffed buffalo, for the mere price of $19,999.99?

You could also buy an Indian blanket or poncho....

Or how about a cowhide rug for $399?

Heck, you could buy anything you wanted. Just look at some of the stuff available here!

This morning I thought we'd be on the road by 9:15 the latest, but Jim got caught up in checking the air in all the tires (12! Six on the truck, six on the trailer) and filling two low ones. I had an interesting conversation with a man who had spent 10 years living on a boat with his wife off the coast of South America! Can you imagine that? I asked him if he had had any trouble with pirates and he said no, but friends of his did. Wow. Anyway, now they are full-time RVing. They just changed their way of living from on the water to land!

We finally got on the road about 10:00 am and within a couple of minutes heard a lot of sirens and then saw several police cars on the side of the road while two more zoomed past us. When we passed the scene I saw one vehicle pulled over with a man standing there, while the police were walking around him carrying their RIFLES. YIKES! Excitement galore!

Then I saw a semi-truck with a flatbed carrying the whole front end of a JET AIRPLANE. Seriously. By the time the picture computed in my pea brain, the truck was past us and I didn't even get my camera off of my lap. I guess seeing an airplane going down the highway just didn't make sense to me!

Saw this billboard and thought, yeah baby, after this trip, I need it!

Easy for you to say. Try pronouncing this town's name. Must be Navajo.

Typical scene out west.

Talk about being between a rock and a hard about driving between one?

This next picture was taken on the fly as we were driving by the San José De La Laguna Mission. The plaque on the side of the road reads, "The picturesque mission church of San José de la Laguna was built around 1706 by Fray Antonio Miranda and shows the single – aisle floor plan commonly used in pueblo churches. It has been repaired many times, and acquired its distinctive white stucco exterior in 1977. The church contains a beautiful and well-preserved altar screen made between 1800 and 1808 by a folk artist known only as the  'Laguna santero.' The interior walls are mud-plastered and white-washed, and the floor is made of packed earth. The handsome wooden ceiling is laid in a herringbone pattern."

A close-up

From a distance:

The mission is part of the Laguna Pueblo, founded in 1699.

Here's another funny billboard sign. Funny that it caught your attention, but it sure got it's point across!

How about this scenery?

So this truck passes us up and I read "Trophy Transport" and immediately think, "What, they're moving Trophy Wives?" Then I read the smaller print on the back of the truck: "The Premiere Big Game Shipping Experts", and I think, "Seriously? There's THAT many people who buy/want these honking big trophies hanging in their houses? Huh!"

One of the many things I like about Arizona and New Mexico, is that they like to decorate the outside. Like their bridges and on/off ramps. It's pretty cool. Well, here I saw this huge two-spouted jug on the side of the road.

We've seen a lot of trains these past few days, and what's really neat is that you can see the train from a long distance because the land is so flat. These trains are long, too!

Here's one....

Or how about this one?

Feast your eyes on these red rocks. This was just at an exit that we passed.

Before you knew it, we were in Arizona!

Okay so here's the thing. Before we get on the road, we always check the weather for our destination. There was a wind advisory for the whole Northeastern part of AZ. You know, RIGHT WHERE WE WERE HEADED. It said, "steady winds 25-30 mph, with gusts up to 40 mph" and recommended that "high profile" vehicles take caution.

I read that and I see a red light flashing, "WARNING!" "WARNING!" I think we should change our route.

My husband, however, does not.

"What's a little wind?" he says.

You KNOW what our road trip has been like so far.

But, he's driving so we don't pay attention to the wind advisory.

We had a head wind pretty much all the way to Arizona, but I'm telling you that the closer we got to the border, the more the wind picked up. Pretty soon we were seeing dust devils twirling alongside the road here and there.

Then this is the scene looking out of Jim's window.

That dust was blowing across the road. It looked like this.

Did I say, "I told you so?"

No,  but I wanted to.


That corgi :) said...

bet you can just taste it since it is so close! soon you will be "home". beautiful scenery as you traveled down the road!


SquirrelQueen said...

You see some really beautiful, and interesting, scenery on your travels Pat. I really like all that red rock. The dust across the road looks like here on a windy day.

Before I forget, I love your header photo. I hope the poor pumpkin didn't suffer too much!!

Lindy MacDuff said...

Hard to believe it's time for you to be in AZ again - seems like you just left for the summer! Hope you have a great winter. Thanks for sharing all the beautiful and interesting scenery from your trip with us.

Valerie said...

What an interesting drive. I love those billboards, so funny. Oh, and I quite fancy having a stuffed buffalo in my back yard... it might scare off the animals we don't want...grins. Happy Halloween.

Brian Miller said...

ah its beautiful country...what no pictures of the man held at rifle point...come on! smiles. enjoy the settling down for a bit...

becky said...

Hi Pat!
So glad you made it safely to your destination! I'm going to look up Mesa on the map & see if I can make it my route home! A lot of the scenery here looked familiar, though the last time I drove this route was New Year's Eve last year... so most of it was covered in a blanket of snow... which made for some interesting driving. I've never seen it blow like that, but one time my mom & gram came to visit me in Santa Fe, and they ended up staying a few extra days "cause the winds were so bad both along I-40 & I-25!
p.s- I think you should have bought the buffalo.... imagine the looks you'd get w/ his big head sticking out the window!!!
enjoy being in one place for awhile!

Gail said...

I love traveling with you!

Ruth said...

I really love your "Captain's Log" - well more like Captain's sidekick's log.

I never thought of your travels as like cruising around in a houseboat, but that's perfect!

I am SO READY for a road trip. I want to observe everything just the way you do.

Teresa - in the Middle Side of Life said...

I think I've been to that tourist trap (many years ago). I love that scenery and miss driving through it (my in-laws used to live in So. Cal. and we'd drive out to see them). Enjoy your time there.

Eva Gallant said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos! Such beautiful scenery! I have to say my favorite is the seat belt billboard! lol

Missy said...

You should have bought the Buffalo!

misslynda said...

You sound like Pat again - - - - without stress after the tiring beginning of the trip - - and finding humor in most everything. Getting close to home will do that for a person.
I am glad you share the pictures of the desert and flatlands. It makes me realize how much I love our mountains and would miss them. But people who have lived in flat areas sometimes get claustrophobic when mountains obstruct their view.
Thanks again for sharing your journey. It's always fun to travel with you!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Enjoyed the update. Careful in that wind (hope you're out of it and "home" by the time you read this)....

I look forward to what you have to say about Tucumcari. It was the ONE and ONLY place in New Mexico that I didn't fall in love with. I really hope we can go back to that State some day and maybe I should give it another chance.

Anonymous said...

after the journey you've had getting there, you may need a vacation from the to you;)

Levonne said...

Good chronology of your travels the past several days Pat! And your pictures are good. Nice choices of things to share with us. Mesa and Arizona are great in the winter. I know you will love it. But you have to watch out for those sand storms. They can be dangerous. (Thanks for your comments by the way at A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings.)

Anonymous said...

Pat, my friend a surprise awaits you at Lilly Swan :)

Allen said...

You know I just love going on your trips. I miss Arizona. The scenery is just beautiful. Have you been to Flagstaff yet? There is a Mansion that was built in the early 1800 with running hot water and electric. Its pretty cool to go and see.

Betty Manousos @ CUT AND DRY said...

What an interesting drive! So, welcome home after this amazing trip. I love that beautiful scenery and your photos are simply!!

Big hugs to you!

B xx

Ami said...

Thank you for the photos!!! I feel like I am THERE, baby!!

WhisperingWriter said...

I love your photos.

And I totally want a poncho.

Sunny said...

I don't understand why you didn't buy that buffalo! LOL!
You covered a lot of miles in one day for sure!
☼ Sunny