This is a much belated post of day three of the 2009 Southwest Road Trip (parts one and two). I’m not even half way finished yet, so I’m going to try to get off my ass and finish it out. Yeah. We all know how that goes. 😆
Anyways, I can’t remember where we stayed the evening of day two, but I’m confident we got up at the butt crack of dawn on day three. We got up early every morning on that trip. The old people I was with didn’t like to sleep in, they are terrified of missing something the last days of their lives. When my ass gets old, I’m just going to sleep. That’s why I’m working now, so I can sleep late when I retire. Damn old people.
We probably didn’t have a plan on where we were going that day, as long as we were heading further west. As I said before, we had general places of interest we wanted to see, but everything in between was bonus. So we packed up the rental and got the hell out of Dodge (or where ever the hell we were that morning).
One of the first things we saw on the road that morning was a damn cow right up on the edge of the road. I can’t remember what road it was, but it was a two laner. I also think think this was one of the times I was texting and driving and freaking the folks I was with out. I remember telling them something along the lines of “THERE’S NOT EVEN ANYONE DRIVING ON THIS ROAD!”
Then, of course, we come over a rise and that stupid cow was damn near in the street. I hate when that shit happens.
As you can see, the cow — like the one we saw the day before — had an attitude. Those cows in the Southwest don’t take kindly to strangers.
At one point that morning, we took one of the numerous side stops we had been making on the trip to stop at one of the souvenir stores that are littered throughout the Southwest. As we were coming out, I noticed a Continental Divide sign. I had flown over the Continental Divide numerous times in my life, but I never knew exactly what it was. Unless the sign is lying to me, it’s the point where the rain fall divides, and flows to the west to the Pacific and to the east to the Atlantic. THIS WAS A LEARNING TRIP, TOO, PEOPLE!
I think it was at this stop I bought one of the two Indian blankets I ended up with. (If you’ve ever gone to a boardwalk, you know exactly the blanket I’m talking about. They are like horse blankets, but not that itchy.) I thought I was getting a good deal at $7, because I had seen them going for about $12 at most other places we had stopped. At the time, I figured they weren’t going to get cheaper. I should have thought twice, since we were hitting about every shop on the road, after all.
About an hour after we passed the Continental Divide, we stopped in Gallup, New Mexico, for lunch at one of the destinations my uncle wanted to see. We weren’t quite hungry yet, so we dropped Big Les (my uncle) off at the casino, and me, Fame (my aunt) and my pops headed up to the Red Rock State Park to catch some of the sites.
Red Rock Park was okay, but not awe inspiring. In its defense, we only tooled around for an hour or so, and it was certainly pretty, but nothing really jumped out at me. Well, a prairie dog jumped out of his hole and eyeballed me when I stopped at the post office on the park’s site. These Southwest animals had attitude.
On the way out, I pulled the rental over the side and snagged a picture of something you just don’t see every day (at least on the East Coast).
Hell, I guess since grass is so sparse out there, you added some color wherever you could. I imagine it also makes it easier when giving someone directions to your house. “It’s the third blue roof on your left (just past the green one).”
After we left the park, we picked up Big Les and made our way to where he wanted to stop for lunch: The El Rancho Hotel. Apparently the hotel is famous mostly for the sheer amount of movie stars that stayed in it back in the day. It had a pretty impressive interior, and the food was decent (I had burritos with green chili, but their green chili could not touch the bowl I had in Old Town Albuquerque), but it really did nothing for me. Maybe if it was The Stanley in Colorado it would have. But no way I minded. I saw a piece of history I otherwise wouldn’t have.
Our stomachs full, we jumped into the car, headed west on Route 40. Within the hour, we crossed into Arizona, where we stopped at the Tomahawk Indian Store. Its claim to fame was it was the biggest teepee in Arizona. I don’t know if that’s true, but if it is, I was there. I know it may come as a shock, but I have a picture to prove it.
There were a couple things I had on my list to do when I got out to New Mexico and Arizona. That cowboy hat was one of them. I got a lot of shit for it from my uncle, including this conversation directly after I bought it from a Love’s Truck Stop (yeah, that hat is authentic redneck, bitches!).
“So what are you going to do when you get home?” He asked.
“What do you mean?”
“The hat, what are you going to do when you get home?”
“I don’t know what you mean?” I said, repeating myself.
“Are you going to wear it?”
“Why wouldn’t I?”
He laughed. I laughed. My friend Zig said, “You just replaced one hat your friends don’t like with another.” Zig is no doubt referring to my awesome blue bucket hat. My male friends make fun of my cowboy hat, my pretty lady friends compliment my cowboy hat. My male friends can go to hell. Pretty ladies overrule my stupid friends.
My dad liked my cowboy hat so much, he bought one, too. More on that later.
Moving along with the trip, after some dicking around (and buying another blanket, this time for five dollars (:mad:) , we headed onward.
After just over an hour on the road, we hit our final destination for the evening: The Petrified Forest. Part of the painted desert, this park was absolutely breathtaking. We didn’t have much time to go through it, but the time we spent was memorable. If I ever get back out there, that is one place I plan on returning to.
We spent about an hour in the park, driving through and pulling off at various scenic locations, each one seemingly better than the next.
A spectacular sunset ended the day, as we drove to the nearest town to find a place to crash for the evening. So far, this vacation was turning out pretty damn amazing.