Just wanted to get all of you up to date on my journey west.
After spending a week visiting friends and family in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the dogs and I began our expedition.
This here is a very cool planet we live on, quite beautiful to behold, and rich in kind and loving people.
After sleeping in the car during a mad thunderstorm in Indiana, we decided to stay at a motel in Licking, Missouri. From there, we continued on, through Oklahoma, West Texas, New Mexico, and then into Arizona.
We passed a fatal accident in Missouri, and another one in Oklahoma. Those of you who ride motorcycles, be sure to wear your helmets, and behave yourselves on the highways. Prayers for the families who have such losses.
In Texas we had pulled off for a bit, and found ourselves face to face with some serious No Trespassing signs. A few moments later, a State Police officer screamed past us. I think he figured a woman walking two piddling dogs was not a threat. Whew.
Cruising out toward the border, I noticed tendrils of what appeared to be pink smoke on the horizon. As we got closer, it became apparent that there was a dust storm swirling above a fallow field. Very disturbing, I tell you, a flameless fire darkening the sky, making it uncomfortable to breathe – and we were going through the edges. I kept trying to decide if I wanted to get my microfiber mask out of the back of the car (thank you, Marcello!) or drive like a mad hatter. We opted for driving along with the masses. Very disconcerting.
By the time we got to the West Texas/New Mexico border, I felt absolutely overwhelmed. I must confess, if I hadn’t had a job waiting, I would have seriously considered driving onto the Jarvis Ranch to see what, if anything I could do there – just because the land and the sky were the most heart-filling beauty I have seen in ages.
For those of you who know what I’m talking about, it was like the ocean, August Moss, the night sky, Orion, fiddles and corn, all rolled together. I cried for about an hour or more, all my stress and uncertainty washing away in the grace of blues and greens.
In my tattered condition, I found myself at the KOA in Tucumcari (feel free to sing along) on the fourth of July. The ladies there were beyond thoughtful, and waded right through my baptism with nary a blink of the eye. Seems they know about these things, as they had come west through their own Solitude.
It turns out Nala is afraid of fireworks. For a dog who two weeks ago needed to be shoved into the car, she made haste to throw herself into it’s sanctuary as the fireworks from miles away exploded into view.
Thunder, apparently, is her next challenge. (I no longer get the vampire face when I put on her collar and lead, unless, of course the sky is falling. This is growth!)
I don’t care much for what I saw of Albuquerque – too commercial, and darn it, I prefer my clouds UP in the sky, not exactly face to face, especially a thunder anvil. Darn thing took up most of the windshield!
Arizona, on the other hand, is so many things all together. The clouds are nearer, the Painted Desert is constantly changing with each nuance of light, and the road to Holbrook dotted with various green and sage plants.
It turns out I have arrived during monsoon season – thunderstorms every afternoon at 3:30.