Friday, February 22, 2013

Headed West

Last Wednesday we packed our bags, loaded up Red and headed west again.  This time our primary goal is Sedona, Arizona.  We only got a taste of it the last time and we decided we needed to spend some quality time there.

But of course, part of the destination is the journey.  Our journey began early with hopes of reaching Oklahoma City prior to the winter storm” Q”.  About four hours outside of OKC we started getting a little freezing precipitation, but not bad.  Luckily, we hit town about 3:30 and we even got to visit the Cattlemen’s Steakhouse for a late late breakfast before the storm hit.

Next morning we woke up to the sound of strong winds and ice pellets crashing against our window.  We had breakfast downstairs and debated as to what route to take and when to take it.  Ultimately we stayed with our original plans…I40 to Albuquerque; however, we delayed our start time by an hour until 8:00.
We hit the roads and almost immediately began to doubt our decision.  Lots of cars off the roads.  We were counting them, but quickly lost track as we wanted to expend most of our concentration on the icy road.  Ice, snow, rain, sleet….all kept coming at us.  Sometimes we could drive 60. Other times 30 seemed way too fast!

About 30 miles east of Amarillo, Texas we saw several state trooper vehicles flagging down traffic.  They rerouted us to a little road alongside the highway.  We soon saw miles and miles of stopped vehicles.  Ahead of them was a huge accident…we counted twelve semis that were jackknifed or crashed and there were cars all over.  So glad we had decided on our delay!  (No serious injuries were reported from this accident!)
Once we hit Amarillo we were in the clear.  Cranked Red up to 75 and soared!  Soon we started seeing mesas and the beautiful scenery of New Mexico.

Bronzed T Rex
Last year I wanted to stop at one of the many dinosaur museums that are scattered through the west.  This trip we decided to stop…at Mesalands Community College's Dinosaur Museum.  Mesaland’s Community College specializes in two things: paleontology and bronze works.  They’ve combined those two skillsets to create the largest collection of bronzed dinosaur bones and skeletons in the world.  Truly amazing….and so much more!  They have artifacts from all over the world and they do a great job of giving the history of the dinosaurs while at the same time, letting you have fun.  You even get to touch some of the bones.  Where else have you done that!!??
Finally hit our destination for the night:  Albuquerque.  Mona was driving and I was navigating…a perfect combination to fulfill a life-long dream.  “Turn left,” I said.  Mona obliged.  “Damn, “ I said, “We should have turned right.”  “Do you know what we just did?....we made a wrong turn in Albuquerque!”  I was thrilled…..Mona was….well, not.

Stayed in a little hotel just a few blocks from Old Town.  Walked there, did a little geocaching, had a New Mexican dinner and we were ready to call it a night!  Time to rest up for tomorrow!

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