Then it started to rain that Sunday of the week. We had 6 days of rain which varied from a drizzle to the usual "dump the bucket" rain. We have a rain gauge and we recorded over 11", yes ELEVEN INCHES, of rain for the six days of rain. Luckily, the rain stopped early Thursday morning. We had packed our bags and the food cooler on Wednesday night and just had to put it all in "Babe" the blue Subaru Baja in the morning.
Thursday morning was clear and cool, I started to put stuff in the car and I opened the camper shell which is on the back of the car and there I found.... the Air Tank, yes an AIR TANK. Ok, it is medium sized and fits, but why is this in the back of the vehicle? According to my husband, it is case we get a flat tire. Excuse me, but if you get a flat wouldn't you CHANGE the tire? Then I presented with an explanation that the tire would not be totally flat, you could pump it up and get to a repair shop...[during this I let my mind wander]. Also in the back of the car were two huge plastic tubs with emergency stuff: shoes, waters, towels, energy bars, basic tools, flashlights, and more. Between the air tank and the two tubs there was just enough room for the small suitcases. Oh, and all of this was from a man standing in a T-shirt and shorts while it was 42 F outside. Go figure.
I went back inside and got the maps, Garmin GPS, camera bag, coffee to go mugs, food, and the other stuff I wanted in the actual car with us. Then while trying to get all this organized, I found 2 small flashlights in the pocket in the dash; another 3 in the driver door pocket; 2 more in the passenger door pocket; a large one under each seat (driver and passenger) and one more in the glove compartment. That adds up to 10 flashlights, and does not count the unknown number back in those emergency tubs. Have I mentioned that my husband has a flashlight fetish?
At around 8:30 am we hit the road and headed to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The route was rather easy- up the I-15 to Barstow then hang a right on I-40 and kept going east.
You can't miss it kid, you will run right into it.
Oh, and in Needles we waved at Spike (Snoopy's brother) and kept going. In Williams, AZ we ran into snow on the ground and just a light falling of it coming down. It was 31F outside and my husband is still walking around in shorts and a T-Shirt. We crossed the Continental Divide at an elevation of 7,000+ feet and then headed downhill toward ABQ. At around 10 pm (it was 9 pm for us) we arrived at our hotel and crashed after 13 hours of driving including stops.
Albuquerque was cold and had gray skies and is at about 5,000 foot elevation. We were surprised at how sprawled out ABQ was and that there weren't a lot of tall buildings. During our wanderings, we went to some local museums - specifically ones with Rock and Mineral sections and drove around looking at the city and the surrounding small towns; stopping in various small shops and just having a fun time.
OH, and at one point while going down a hill with a curve, we hear a funny PSSSTT-ing sound coming from the back of the car. Erich looks at me and I knew he was thinking "We got a flat tire, good thing I brought the air tank". I have great hearing and knew it was not a tire but from inside the shell. Sure enough, the tank had tipped over and the emergency valve had been triggered - letting the majority of the air escape. So much for having emergency air in case of a flat tire. Besides, isn't that why we have AAA?
Since we had gotten into ABQ when it was dark, when we left we were able to see the surrounding area that we did not see, on our way in. We rolled into Flagstaff, AZ around 3 pm, found a Chinese restaurant and had a late lunch and afterwards we drove around the town before getting back onto I-40 and heading home.
Go west young man.
Go forth into the gathering twilight.
Don't forget to write when you get work.
It was a dark and stormy night.
Overall we drove about 1800 miles - saw some great scenery, took just a few pictures, and collected a few rocks along the way.
Here are a few of the pictures, you can find more pictures on the Travels page