Today I’m in Phoenix, AZ, my last stop before the final destination. Due to me forgetting to bring my laptop up to the hotel room with me in St. Louis, OKC and ABQ, I didn’t write in those cities. But here’s the catch up post.
Volume 2: Columbus, OH, to STL
A pleasant enough drive. Acres and acres of fields of what looked like corn and maybe wheat? Big blue sky. No dark clouds, no rain. I drove on Saturday afternoon which meant I had the “pleasure” of listening to college football on sports radio. Now you all know I looooove college football. BUT it was agony having to wait through hearing games with teams like Toledo and Bowling Green State, just so I could hear updates from the UA/SC game! (the results of which greatly pleased me!) I got to St. Louis in time to see the Auburn game, thank God.
I could only take so much of what was available to me on sports radio, so I did some FM dial surfing. I came across a station that was playing a song I really like by the Eagles, “Hotel California” (the not live version). So I kept it there. Then, they played “California Dreamin'”. And then they played a song that I don’t know the official name of but it goes like this: “ain’t nobody gonna break my stride, ain’t nobody gonna sloooow me down. oh no! i got ta keep on mooovin.” I felt like the radio was spurring me on to keep going, keep going!
St. Louis is a cool city, by the way. I don’t get out much in “middle America”, meaning anything outside of the coasts and outside of the South. But St. Louis looked like a real city. And the Arch is reaaaally amazing! It had real traffic too – even on a Saturday night. The locals seemed cool as well. STL gets a thumbs up from me.
Volume 3: STL to OKC
Another beautiful day. I am having the best weather so far! Hope that didn’t jinx it. This whole road trip is going faster than I could’ve ever imagined, but I’m enjoying every mile and minute of it. Missouri has weird road signs. Anyone from MO reading this post? If so, please tell me what “C” or “AH” or “JJ” mean on these road signs! Is that the road’s name? C Road? Weird weird weird.
This leg of the trip was done on a Sunday afternoon, so I had the “pleasure” of listening to Loser Bowl 2010 (Rams/Lions), then the Chiefs game (can’t even remember who they played), and then the Cowbums as I got into Oklahoma. I don’t know what I did to the sports radio gods to deserve only being able to pick up such craptastic games on the radio, but I offer my sincere repentance for my offending behavior! [Why didn’t I turn away, you ask? I had to listen to the games to get to the game breaks with scores from the Saints (sad face) and Redskins games.] I got into OKC in time to see the Sunday night game, and promptly fell asleep on that.
OKC was a nice small city. Nothing to report about OKC.
Volume 4: OKC – ABQ
More beautiful weather the entire way. I’ve never been to Montana, but Oklahoma is definitely also big sky country. If Missouri had the weirdest street names, Oklahoma had the weirdest roadway signage. Two that stick out in my memory…
Do not drive into the smoke.
Hitchhikers may be escaped inmates.
What smoke? There was no smoke while I was driving. There was no brush or trees around to catch fire. But I won’t drive into the smoke. No matter where I am. Ever.
That other sign had me laughing and crying, because there were a LOT of hitchhikers in OK and Texas! And they all looked like escaped inmates (some like they escaped decades ago!) It was just like “Thelma and Louise” except that Louise was Bootsy and the roadside men looked nothing at all like Brad Pitt (even at his scruffiest).
My trip to ABQ was on Monday, Columbus Day. No traffic. That 174 miles across the top of Texas was super boring and smells horrendous. Worse than New Jersey and Philly by the refineries! It was terrible. (And I like Philadelphia!) Another mega minus about upper Texas? Nothing on the radio except Sean Hannity and religious radio. I went FM surfing again and found a nice “New Mexico music” station. Did you know NM had its own music genre? I did not, but I discovered that I like NM music and left it there.
Crossed into New Mexico and it was like entering another universe. The scenery went from flat, sparse and boring to bright pinks, reds, oranges and dark browns and greens with mountains and canyons. New Mexico is sooo beautiful! It’s really amazing. At least the part that I saw was. I didn’t even notice that the scan function on the radio had found it’s way back to Sean Hannity; I was completely distracted by the picturesque landscape that surrounded me in NM. Highly recommended. In my distracted state, I’m sorry to report that I took no pics of NM. My apologies.
I stayed overnight in “uptown” ABQ. Where’s the like button for that place? It was awesome! Kinda new and trendy but not annoyingly so. It reminded me of Old Town Scottsdale, AZ, in how it looked but there was a different, more relaxed vibe.
Once I left ABQ on Tuesday, the views in New Mexico remained the best of the trip so far.
Tomorrow, PHX to LA baby!
Here are some more random pics.