1.19.2006

On the Road Part 1

This is somewhat annoying because I’m in the car writing this in Word, rather than online, the way I like to, but I suppose concessions must be made to the weary traveler. My mom is currently driving, and we were beginning to run out of things to talk about. I’m getting very fidgety being cooped up in this car for the past 4 days. Currently we are somewhere in New Mexico, trying not to be pushed off the road by a mild dust storm. We just went through a town called Lordsburg and got gas.



We’re hoping to get to Phoenix tonight, but apparently there’s a section of highway that gets closed frequently due to high winds. It’s somewhere around the Texas Canyon Summit, and the road leading up to it. There was a woman at a gas station/Indian trading post called Akela who warned us about it as she sold us cookies. Those cookies were awesome. I got a couple chocolate chip and my mom got one with pecans because apparently this area has a lot of pecan farms. Those cookies were gone really quickly. They weren’t bought from a mix. She had obviously made them herself, or someone there had.



Over the past day or two, my mom and I have been passed by some flatbed trucks bearing some odd items. The first one was so weird, our imaginations really got the better of us, and the second two, which were bearing the same things really caused those imaginations to run wild. At any rate I get ahead of myself a little. The first looked like some kind of upside-down robotic caterpillar. (Side note: We just hit Arizona!!) The second two looked almost like rocket ship parts. We were trying to figure out what they were, and by the time we had decided that they were parts to some kind of alien spacecraft headed for Roswell or maybe Area 51, they were too far away to get a picture of, plus another truck had gotten in between us and them. After that we saw various other parts to the mystery, including later last night we saw something I finally managed to get a picture of, some very tall pilons that are in all reality probably part of a bridge or a stop light, but after the other things we had seen, we just keep carrying on the joke. I had been taking pictures of the sunset as we were going into Fort Stockton (where we stayed last night), so I already had my camera out when these huge things came into view. Of course those are the stabilizers for the spaceship to hold it up so it can be examined. Then there were other parts, like gravity generators and air purifiers, and sleeping quarters and other pieces of alien ware. Of course transporting it all out in the open like that keeps people from being suspicious, because if the government had been covert, then the conspiracy theorists would have been all over it, but this way it all looks perfectly normal, especially since it was all done by different carriers… (We had a lot of fun with that.)



So right now we are getting passed by lots of truck as we have been for the last several days. Because we’ve been pulling the trailer, the car weighs a lot more than it normally does. So we’ve only been going about 55 miles per hour in the morning until the car warms up, and then later in the afternoons and evening, depending on the conditions, we can sometimes get it up to 60 or 65, but it all depends. Like a bit earlier, when we were still in NM we had a really strong headwind and were pushing to keep it at 53. Now that the wind had calmed down quite a bit (though not completely) we’re up to about 57. And this morning we were up to about 65. It’s really frustrating getting passed by tractor-trailer rigs and semis. Even RVs are passing us. But this is a relatively small car pulling just under it’s maximum towing capacity. It’s not really capable of going any faster so in the rare occasion that the highway falls down to one lane each direction due to road construction of what-have-you, I sincerely apologize to the people who get stuck behind us.



There was a trucker yesterday at a rest stop somewhere this side of Houston who told us they really don’t mind passing us. They see so many people going way too fast with trailers on SUVs who can’t handle them. They pass the big rigs and then 10 miles down the road they’ve fishtailed or rolled the trailer or boat or whatever. They would rather have to go around us and see us safe than have go around an accident. That guy also had one of the world’s cutest puppies. It was a tiny Chihuahua, only 4 months old, and loved to be petted and played with. I squatted down, and petted it for a while, and even all the way up on it’s hind legs, she could barely reach the top of my knee. I decided I want one, but I can’t afford one, and probably don’t have time for a pet for a while. Plus, I’m not really sure what my roommate would say if I just suddenly showed up with a dog I had failed to mention. Oops…



Steve might actually be in California by now. I should call him later, but my cell phone is losing battery charge. My mom and I have the same model of cell phone, so we only brought one charger. She used it last night, I’ll probably use it tonight. The thing is I used her phone a lot today because I was expecting a couple phone calls. So we might have to actually charge both phones. We can’t get into the apartment tomorrow night, so we’re staying in Phoenix for two nights. What we’re going to do is get in there tonight and stay tomorrow. And then drive out to California on Saturday. Once we get to Phoenix, there’s only about 9 hours of driving left, which is a relief. There was something like 12 hours or more today. It’s funny: we were so worried about the estimates about the drive times I had found on Google, and they turned out to be exactly right. I thought the online estimates were based on speed limits and other things, but I guess they include recommended stops and potential traffic and other things that other people include when they drive. We just added those things on when calculating. We added an hour for lunch and it came out perfectly. It was really amazing. I thoroughly love Google. (Of course I had told my dad to buy the IPO and he didn’t. If he had, we wouldn’t be having the monetary problems we are.)



I love getting passed by houses. There have been a lot of portable housing going by on oversized load trucks. There was one that we were passed by in an odd way earlier. It was not just oversized, but extra-oversized. It probably took up two lanes easily, but it was in the right lane coming up behind us and hanging over the right hand shoulder by several feet. So rather than making him go around us and change lanes. We got into the left lane and let him pass us on the right, and then got into the right lane. It didn’t make the people in the lane behind us very happy, but it worked, and it kept the really big scary house from accidentally forcing us off the road.



A lot of the houses the first few days were going to the Hurricane areas still. It was strange because I thought they’d have had enough FEMA housing in Louisiana by now, but there were still trucks marked FEMA pulling temporary housing though the different areas. (OH OH!! I just saw more spaceship parts!! These were parts of a moonsuit or spacesuit or something.) But the devastation that you can see, just from I-10 was crazy. You couldn’t always see a lot, but the Blue roofs started in Florida and didn’t end until well into Texas. We were still seeing blue roofs after Houston.



At any rate, my computer just warned me that I have no battery left, so that’s all for the moment. More later!!!

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