Usually when I make long-distance drives, I tend to push myself and go further than I had intended, but tonight, I decided to stop at Flagstaff. It seems I was rewarded for my efforts for I was greeted by a very cute man at the desk. Now, to figure out if he’s gay or not.
I began the day in Raton, New Mexico, where I decided to avoid the Interstate for a while and drive through Cimarron and Taos, New Mexico. Up until Cimarron, I enjoyed the drive, delighting in the vast open spaces with mountains just to my north and on the distant horizon in the south and west. It seemed I was the only person on the road. And the colors of this empty landscape were wonderful, soft browns and greens of the earth against red-tinged rock, all set against the blue sky, decorated with white and gray clouds.
Something went wrong in Cimarron. The coffee machine was broken at the Shamrock Grocery. Maybe it was that I had just bought a T-shirt at the allegedly haunted St. James Hotel where Jesse James had once stayed. Wherever I stopped after that, the people were friendly, but the coffee was terrible.
Despite the beauty of the landscape from Taos until just north of Santa Fe, I became anxious in traffic as my turn signals stopped working in the New Mexico mountains. Maybe that was why I starting I feeling off, experiencing different sensations that I normaly experience when I drive through mountains or across open spaces. When, about an hour west of Albuquerque, I stopped to get gas, it started raining cats and dogs. After filling my tank, I rushed in to relieve myself to find the men’s room being cleaned. When I asked how long it would take to clean, the lady at the counter (in the adjacent convenience store) was downright rude.
Finally, I could use the facilities, but still felt off. They were working out the road outside the filling station and I had to wait for 10-15 minutes before the construction worker directing traffic signalled for me to get back on the road. Ever a bit superstitious, I wondered if the T-shirt were jinxing me. So, once in Arizona, I decided to throw it away with my trash. And suddenly, things started to change. While the woman at the Subway (in the roadside convenience store) told me to wait, I realized I really didn’t want a sub sandwich anyway. On my way out, I discovered this yummy Quaker Baked Cheddar Snack Mix on a chips shelf.
As I noshed on that, sipped coffee, then water, I began to feel better and delight in the scenery once again. Even the rain clouds didn’t bother me. Indeed, I delighted in the beauty of the dark clouds hovering over a distant mountain.
It was beautiful driving across northern Arizona, seeing the dark shadow of mountains in the distance, across the vast plain. I stoppws in Winslow, Arizona where I stood on the corner. I took a few pictures, bought a few T-shirts, then decided to make it as far as Flagstaff where I would call it a night.
I found a great hotel and learned upon entering my room that I had gained an hour, so will relax a bit and decide on my itinerary for the last day of my trip.