Well, it took about 16 hours over two days, but we made it to Albuquerque, NM. The landscape for most of the way through Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle and the first hour of New Mexico was the same - plains and grass and very little of anything else. I think at one point we'd been going about 3 hours without seeing a gas station and we were on empty. Fortunately, we ended up in Logan, NM where there is a gas station and a church and we gassed up, used the facilities and I bought some Powerade. They have it in the soda machines all around here and I've been drinking it up all along the route. Don't know what it's about. Just feel I need the extra electrolytes, you know?
A highlight of our drive was being pulled over in TX - or maybe it was OK - The police officer pulled us over and then immediately asked Kristen to get out of the car and put her in his cruiser? What? And then after a while he came around to me, opened my car door and grilled me about Who is driving this vehicle? (I wanted to say, "Well, you saw who she is and she's in your cruiser, but I didn't, I just replied with a slightly indignant, Huh?) How do I know Kristen? How long have we known each other? Etc... Kristen finally got back to the car and told me that the officer said this road is a major thoroughfare for drug trafficking and with us in a van with out of state plates AND the fact that they had a speed trap for just this purpose...so she got a ticket for going 11 miles over the speed limit. Augh. And we were on our way. I felt so bad about it, and the whole way she and I were treated. Oh and she said when he left her alone in the car, there was a rifle sitting in the back seat -- she asked the officer if he ever was worried about someone using that rifle on him and he said he knew she wouldn't use it. And she said, "No, not me, but some other person." And he blew it off. Wow. Couldn't pull that in New York City...
New Mexico was just flat for the first 60-75 miles and then all of the sudden, these gorgeous mountains, at first small then bigger and bigger. Absolutely fantastic. The landscape change is so dramatic, it was breathtaking. And the cityscape in Albuquerque is totally different from anything I've seen. Reminds me a little of Southern California, but not really.
Most of the time in the car I was doing work, writing a blog (difficult without Internet service for most of the ride), doing finances, making calls to get reimbursement for our oil change/hotel loss for Chipper, writing a personalized poem for a donor to the cause, etc... In other words, I had my face in the laptop most of the ride. It goes pretty quickly that way. Kristen plays her music (on earbuds or over the speakers) and we co-exist pretty well.
Last night she stayed in a different room so she could get a full night's sleep. I was surprised at how good it was to have my own space too. Remember, Kristen and I jumped into this with no real experience spending this type of time together, so, it's pretty challenging (not bad, but it's a learning experience) being thrust together this intimately for weeks on end. We're doing REALLY WELL working together and co-habitating. Learning how to communicate, etc. I think by week four we'll be doing very well with this. We do have to fix my snoring sitch.
Well, no pictures for this blog. Just words. :-) I'm going to share the poem I wrote for the GALA YOUTH NORTH TEXAS who donated to the cause:It starts out with love Rising above your every day So you can help a kid who's lesbian, bi, trans or gay You know that they are deep in the fray Of conflicts with parents, family, friends And you know some of them think about ends Ends with girlfriends/boyfriends, ends of their life Because of all the internal and external strife And there you are each Sunday at six With supportive thoughts and insights and ways to fix The fixes these youth get themselves into Well, also what society gets them into And you listen and you care and you let them be the true them With whatever issues or problems they bring in You let them in and you help them out With whatever they're about And some weeks are hard and some weeks are easy Some weeks what they're going through makes you queasy But no matter what you stick by their side From the moment they arrive til the moment they leave Jeanne, Michael, Al, Mitzi, Janet, Lisa, Gene, Jay, Jimmy, Diana & Steve Are the gears that keep North Texas Gala Youth going Without you there'd be nothing for these youth to join And be a part of And feel love It all starts with love And it all ends with love You all are love. Thank you for being here Thank you North Texas Gala Youth Volunteers!
Power to the Peaceful and Love to All, Y'all,
Ah, here's one picture...USBs, 15V and AC will travel...