Monday, June 23, 2008

Driving Across Country: Day 2

I woke up at 6 a.m. after a fitful night's sleep. Slade was not too excited about getting up, so I got dressed and took Ripley and Marble out to potty first. By the time I had them fed, watered and ready to go, Slade was ready to get up. He managed to drink some water but had no interest in food. However, when he saw me start to pack up my suitcase and the bags of dog stuff, he got himself up off his cushion and to the door, watching me expectantly. Apparently, he is not a big fan of Flagstaff and was ready to go. He was NOT going to be left behind!

I had hoped to drive around the Northern Arizona University campus, my old Alma mater, before I left, to see how much it had changed since I graduated 10 years ago (OMG, has it been that long!?), but I need to get Slade "off the mountain" as soon as I could so that the altitude would stop aggravating his heart condition. He was coughing A LOT less, and no more sickness, so it looked like he was on the mend, albeit very tired.

We were on the road by 8 a.m. I would lose two hours as I drove across New Mexico to Amarillo. Pulling a trailer, I have to drive slower than I usually would, plus I have to stop for potty breaks (mine and the dogs'), food, fresh-brewed iced tea and fuel, so the 600-mile drive would be about 10 hours, then add two hours for the time change.

As I drove across the Easter half of Arizona, I couldn't help but be reminded of the very popular Depeche Mode song I had grown up with, only with the cities listed in reverse, "Well, it goes to St. Louis, down to Missouri; Oklahoma City looks Oh so pretty. You'll see Amarillo; Gallup, New Mexico; Flagstaff, Arizona, don't forget Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernandino..." Some of Interstate 40 has been built on the old Route 66.

I love the northern New Mexico scenery. There are such vivid contrasts with red rock, green shrubs, yellow grasses and black volcanic rock. This picture really doesn't do it justice. I had to pull off on to a freeway overpass and stand on my car hood to get this shot without any building or cars in it. I wish I had the time to really get off the beaten path for great photos of the area.

I was surrounded by thunderstorms both in eastern New Mexico and Texas. Lightning, some of it arcing from one cloud to another, was all over the place. Fortunately, I could enjoy watching it because it wasn't raining heavily on me as I drove, just enough to get everything damp.

I got into Amarillo at 8 p.m. local time. I made the dogs and turtles comfortable in the hotel and then went to get a steak dinner. I needed one! I got back and had time to play with the dogs, something I don't get to do as often as I would like. Slade still wouldn't eat dinner, but he continues to drink water. Hopefully he will feel like eating tomorrow morning. He also didn't feel like playing much, but he butt his head against mine and enjoyed an ear scratch.

Ripley, who is usually always ready for a wrestling match, thought he was a 70-pound lap dog, and was more interested in trying to curl up in my lap as I sat on the foor to play.

But traveling seems to agree with Marble, as she was ready to bounce around, lick my face and just generally act more chipper than usual.

Now, everyone is settled in for the night and hopefully I will get a better night's sleep than I did last night! Off to Missouri tomorrow!


Shannon said... are having quite the eventful trip....hope everything from this point on goes well for you. Love the pictures of you doggies.....hang in there Slade...there isn't any altitude in Florida....

Lori Shrout said...

Jessica - love how you're documenting your trip. Sorry there is so much to document !
Hope Slade feels better soon.

LuvJones said...

How cute! LOVE the pooches!

misspriss said...

omgosh! i grew up in amarillo and just returned to houston from visiting the family there. anytime i hear of someone who knows anything about that small city is amazing. hope u enjoyed it!

Jennifer Priest said...

LOL you crack me up talking about Depeche Mode! I cannot believe you are driving. Looks like you are making the best of it though and having fun in true Jessica style!