This last week Heather and I have been on a road trip.  Just a little jaunt through Arizona and New Mexico to show Heather some of the places I saw as a child while traveling with my mother on summer vacations.  I’ll be writing more about this in the next few weeks.  For today just some highlights of the trip, the fun, and the disasters.

The trip took a bit of planning as we only had a week to travel and I wanted to cover a lot of ground.  As it turned out, likely too much ground.  The plan was to get to Needles, CA, on the first day and then through to Holbrook, AZ on the second day.  Day three would be spent exploring the Petrified Forest and Painted desert.  Then another travel day to Taos with a day there and after another travel day off to Monument Valley and a half day tour with a Navajo Guide on Friday.

Basically it was to be a travel day, and a sight-seeing day.  I planned travel days to be four to five hours of driving so we could stop at some point of interest and get a leisurely lunch.  Sounded like a great plan to me.

It almost worked out great.


On our travel day through Flagstaff we stopped at the Museum of Northern Arizona and walked around historic Flagstaff for a bit. 

Museum of Northern Arizona

Our first sightseeing day was looking at the trees turned to rock in the Petrified forest.

Heather walking towards one of the petrified trees.

Checking the weather we learned that it was going to snow in Taos on our Tuesday travel day and judging by the wind and rain that was kicking up where we were in Arizona, we thought it would be best to adjust our travel plans and avoid the snow. We made Albuquerque our destination and visited Old Town and the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History on Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday was a better weather day and we headed up to Santa Fe and had a great time walking around the plaza, eating and shopping.  Then we visited the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi before heading back to a sleepless night at the hotel in Albuquerque.

That hotel has to be one of the noisiest we’ve experienced.  The A/C unit was as quiet as a small jet engine, guests keep slamming doors up and down the corridor until 4 am, TVs on all night, and a management team that didn’t seem to care, so at 6:00 am we packed and started the long drive to Monument Valley.

Along the way we had a stop at Canyon de Chelly – I’ve got tons of stories about this place that I’ll tell another time.  For now here is a picture of the canyon from the south rim drive:  

Canyon de Chelly from Spider Rock over look.

Just before I took this picture the battery light came on the dashboard in the car which sent us on an unwanted adventure that resulted in this photo-op on Friday morning:

The final adventure – a 90 mile ride in a tow truck.

We never made it to Monument Valley, but feel fortunate to have made it home safe and sound a day earlier than planned.

I am planing on writing more about our adventures over the next few weeks and am currently working on some of the essay titles.  Here are the working titles so far:

  • Getting Kicked on Route 66
  • Travels with Google
  • AAA and the Tow Truck Who Refused to Leave the Garage
  • Italian Food in the Desert
  • The Hopi Tow Operator and Travel Guide
  • From Farmington to Santa Fe
  • I Left My Gas Cap in Flagstaff

I haven’t decided if that last one is going to be a poem or a country song.

I’ll let you know next week,


About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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45 Responses to Traveling

  1. JoHanna Massey says:

    What an absolutely amazing trip you had. Several of these areas are personal favorites…the Museum of Northern Arizona, Petrified Forest, and Canyon De Chelly. Looking forward to reading more. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. lifeintrips says:

    Interesting post…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I Left My Gas Cap in Flagstaff” I chuckled at this one. Sounds like quite the adventure, and a worthy trip, regardless, I’m sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. huckfinn47 says:

    Terrific pictures and engaging stories. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. huckfinn47 says:

    Wonderful pictures and terrific stories. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Debra says:

    The parts you DID experience look wonderful. I haven’t been to some of those places since I was a child, and I would like to return! I’m glad you made it safely home. Your blog titles are just great! I hope you can write about each one!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I think maybe those titles tell their own story…

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s gotta be a poem AND a country song! I love Canyon de Chelly. Wonderful photos. These trips are always so inspirational, even the disasters.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Lovely to ‘see’ you, Andrew 🙂 Do you have any pix of the Basilica?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Allan G. Smorra says:

    All great stories seem to start off with some version of, “You ain’t gonna believe this…” I look forward to your upcoming look back at the scenic landscapes and the adventurous escapades.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. George says:

    Love the photo, Andrew. Except for the towing episode, of course…:)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. What a gorgeous trip. Well, except that last event. And I love all of the article titles.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Carrie Rubin says:

    Ahh, the best-laid plans… You didn’t happen to run into Clark Griswold, did you? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Well, those kind of “adventures” do make good blog fodder. We’ll be waiting for the rest of the story. The absolute worst hotel experience we experienced was on our cross country trip from the Pacific Northwest to the East Coast. We stayed one night in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Oh, what a horrible night it was. Drunken parties in the indoor pool next to us. Loud music, people yelling, slamming doors, whiskey bottles strewn hither and yon. We couldn’t wait to get out of there the next morning (of course, all was quiet by then!).

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like a horrible night. Our night didn’t involve a drunken party – it was just loud.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh wait, did I forget to mention walking by a window in that same place with open curtains and seeing guns laying on the table?? It was not just horrible, it was also a little scary and we had our three young children with us. We had driven over 8 hours that day in two cars (we were moving), were exhausted, it was late when we checked in, and there were no other available rooms in any other motels nearby. Qualified as the worst stay ever.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Whiskey and guns aren’t a good combination. Once when I was traveling with mother we stopped at a roadside diner and the own/waiter came out with an old six shooter on his hip and wearing his cowboy boots. We almost left, but he was friendly and gave us a great meal.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Glynis Jolly says:

    My husband has always wanted to drive Route 66 in a ’57 Chevy. It may happen some day in the future, although without the vintage car.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Much of the old Route 66 is gone, but sections of the historic route are still there. Most of the towns still have some rte 66 related something. My mother first had the family on rte 66 in the late 60’s – back when the interstates were first being built. It was a different time then and a different traveling experience.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. PiedType says:

    I could spend years exploring NM, including all the places you mentioned. The archeology, art, and culture are fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hope says:

    I used to live in New Mexico. Can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You were in our old stomping grounds! My husband and I met at NAU, his mother’s family was from Holbrook (they ran a curio shop at the entrance of the petrified forest).
    Canyon de Chelly is beautiful, but most people don’t know of it. Sounds like you got the guided tour?
    Looking forward to your tales!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was stomping all around there. We stayed two nights in Holbrook and visited one of the shops at the petrified forest. I have a longer story to tell about Canyon de Chelly – I did a tour there in 1972 when I was 12 with my mother.


  19. davidprosser says:

    Primarily a catalogue of disasters then Andrew. I can imagine the great reading this is going to make.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Interesting adventure… Waiting for more.

    Liked by 1 person

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