The longest trip I have ever taken was seventeen days. It was a trip through China during the height of the SARS scare. It was a once in a lifetime trip, well worth every bargain dollar it cost because of SARS.
But no matter how wonderful a trip over five days is, two days before
returning home my thoughts are already there. Is the house safe? How are the plants doing? I want fresh clothes. There are thoughts of a favorite food. And people. Always I begin to want to feel more attuned to the energy patterns with my son’s family (perhaps all in my head), and friends.
The trip is still very enjoyable. How can it not be when I am sitting in a garden with Sam in front of this tile for breakfast? I have a fresh orange and a toasted English muffin.
It doesn’t take long when leaving Santa Fe on I-25 heading to Albuquerque for the landscape to leave the protected village spirit to the imposing, tough love of the southwestern desert.
The last leg of the trip is felt when I leave I-25 in Albuquerque and head
due west on I-40. New Mexico has a unique architecture of adobe that is stylized in a Native American way that is very appealing and in its way, more unique than the prolific 1800 Victorians of the north. It falls into the landscape as efficiently and creatively as Frank Lloyd Wright ever came up with.
The towns we passed had names including Laguna and Milan, which made me wonder if town fathers wished they were somewhere else. Again we cross the Continental Divide but we skip the photo op. We drive through the discussed Thoreau which compares as a dreamer’s pretension. Oh well, I’ve had those, too. Sam began to sing the old Route 66 song as we pass through Gallup, the last New Mexico town. “You’ll see Amarillo and Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff, Arizona don’t forget Winona.” He worked it for quite a while.
Then it was Junction 339 in Arizona where Sanders, Arizona has, as far as I could see, three Christian churches, no gas station, restaurant, or hotel, and no easy sighting of human beings. From the junction to St. Johns the map shows we are on Apache land and it is still quite free of people.
Spontaneous Stop # 12 / St. Johns Museum
Except it was closed at 3:00 p.m. on a Monday. So we followed the Sheriff out of town. The probably befuddled person who led this parade of three kept to a clear five miles below the speed limit from St. Johns to Concho, fifteen miles down the road.
Not long after that we began to hit the pine forest that surrounds Show
Low, Arizona and our last hotel of this trip in Pinetop. Are you reading in the news about Phoenix having a heat wave nearing 115 degrees? Well, less than two hours away the high for the day was 83 and the night low breezing through our room was 46 degrees. Below are the chairs in the Los Cerrillos Restaurant where we had dinner.