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