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Entry date: 11-4-2022 - Trip notes part 8 - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

Happy Friday everyone!

I think I can finish up the trip story today. Yay! Perhaps it is only exciting to me and perhaps I need to remind myself and you, dear reader, that this is just me riffing on my life. Someday a novel can come from it, perhaps, about a guy and a dog that learns to shit all across America.

About the point where I got into New Mexico, Interstate 54 gets a little strange. Not in a terrible way, mind you, but there is a feeling that you are out in the middle of nowhere and you are. I got gas in a small town called Logan and let Bailey out to walk around there for a bit. It was warm there in comparison to everywhere else I had been on the trip for the previous week, and I was not liking it at all.

It’s kind of high desert around there and pretty if you like that sort of thing. I wish I would have taken more pictures as I was really enjoying the scenery. I couldn’t quite get away from that feeling of being alone, though. After two full days in the car with just Bailey, I must admit, it was lonely. Part of me was looking forward to a little solo time, but I think one day would have been enough.

The detour took me through the backside of Tucumcari, New Mexico and I was amazed out how different that part of the town was from area closest to I-40. I thought I was going to be joining I-40 right there, but due to construction, I went on this crazy detour for about an hour that took me out into what might as well have been the moon or something.

There was not much of anything on this road, I think it was the 104, and then I was on the 129 to get back to I-40. I had no cel signal and I was just happy that my episode of SmartLess had downloaded to my phone enough so that I didn’t lose it, as well. If I would have had car trouble, I would have had no way to let anyone know.

When I finally got to the 40, it was backed up for miles. There was an accident, it seems, way ahead and the traffic was barely moving. Sitting there just made Bailey more and more anxious and I was getting more and more tired and hungry. It was just about dark when I got into Albuquerque proper and found my hotel.

I picked a place on the west side of town so I could get an easy start the next morning and I’m glad I did. It was a La Quinta, and it was surprisingly nice. Bailey and I got to our room (and I put my leftover pizza up high enough so she couldn’t get it) and were able to relax for a while before crashing out. A couple of Voodoo Ranger IPAs helped that a lot, too. Those things will sneak up on ya.

The next morning we were up and on the road early. It was still super dark outside at 6AM when we got on the road and traffic was light heading west. The cars and trucks on the road seemed to be flying for how dark it was and all I could think of for the first hour or so until the sun came up was that I hoped there were no animals that were going to be darting across my path. I was almost home and I didn’t want to take any chances on anything slowing me down.

The section of New Mexico between Albuquerque and Gallup is quite pretty at sunset or sunrise, so I enjoyed the treat for my eyes as I drove once the light started creeping into my rearview. The mountains and high plateaus that are on either side of the road can be quite breathtaking and full of color. This is the area that Liam thinks Arizona should annex from New Mexico.

On our walk the other day, the boys and I were talking about how Kari Lake, if elected, might support taking land away from our neighboring state. Fun stuff to ponder, but I hope she fucks right off. She’s going to win, though.

I should have gotten gas in New Mexico but didn’t. Gallup sort of sneaks up on you. I thought there was at least one more exit, but I was wrong. Then I thought, I can make it to Winslow, no problem and somehow missed Winslow, too. As I was getting close to Overgaard, my gas light came on and now it was my turn to be anxious.

One thing I can’t stand the idea of is running out of gas. It’s a vey avoidable problem and even though I was nervous as hell, I knew I was only a few miles from a gas station when it looked like we were about out. Luckily, I made it to a Chevron there in Overgaard, and got some much more expensive gas than I would have gotten if I had just stopped at Gallup.

I went into the little convenience store attached to the Chevron to take a leak and saw a bunch of very “patriotic” hates including one that said something clever about guns and God and “fuck Biden.” The woman working at the store saw my amusement at this and I realized I was in the wrong part of the state to be mocking their Trumpism.

Bailey took a huge dump on their picnic area, though, so I was happy about that. I cleaned it up because I am not a heathen, but I’m guessing anyone who did stop to eat there that day could smell something mighty awful coming from the garbage can. She seemed quite relieved.

We drove through Payson on the way home and when we got near the turn off that would have taken us to Apache Lake, Bailey seemed to get really excited. She must’ve recognized the smells of the area and I think she knew we were close to home.

We got to our house about 12:30PM, so I had some time to relax before heading out to Mesa for the rehearsal dinner. I was a bit of a zombie at this function, I do admit, but the trip was ultimately worth it. I can’t wait to do it again. See you tomorrow.

Check out that dirty window! Sunrise in New Mexico.

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1 Comment

Nov 05, 2022

Always a pleasure to read your words. I would have to write them as they occur as my memory is quite shattered these days. Hopefully when things finish up in December, I’ll return to my normal forgetful self.

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