Days 9, 10 and 11 - keep on truckin’
1:31PM. We’re in New Mexico! And yet again we’ve missed the opportunity to take a picture of the “Welcome to...” sign.
We get to Taos, New Mexico - home of Rachel’s Uncle Ted and his wife Peggy.
A “DO NOT PASS” sign has been altered to read “DO ASS.” Made us both laugh. On the flip side, we’re told that both Julia Roberts and Donald Rumsfeld have homes in the area. Very fancy.
At 2:29PM we attempt to get our big yellow truck up the driveway, which is both uphill and a bit treacherous with ice and mud at parts.
“Good lord, we’re off-roading it!!!” Rachel yells while laughing.
We never made it up that hill, though we do credit Uncle Ted with the optimism and enthusiasm to go for it.
5:00PM. Margaritas at the Taos
Inn bar. Very good! And saw Kit
11:12AM. After a great night of dinner (buffalo meat tacos!) with relatives, we’re on the
road again...and promptly stop at Black Mesa Winery along Highway 68 in Velarde, NM.
“Mikey from New Mexico,” as he likes to be
known, is our great host. They have this wine, Black Beauty, which is made with a dark chocolate after-taste. We grabbed a bottle...and another bottle....
And 5.5% alcohol chocolate sauce. YUM!
3:54PM. We get our 1st shot of a US State’s sign.
We both vow to get the California sign. “I’ll turn around if we miss it,” Rachel offers. As you can see, even without jobs we still have some pretty serious stuff to deal with.
4:31. Arizona looks dangerous and uninviting. But pretty spectacular views.
We stop at a very wacky place at 4:40PM in order to glimpse ostriches. The place is Stewart’s Petrified Wood, and it’s almost indescribable. Something out of a Pee Wee Herman movie. The pictures speak for themselves.
4:54PM. Damn, it’s HOT in Arizona.
There are towns named “Two Guns” and “Twin Arrows.” Cowboys and Indians!
8:09PM. It occurs to us, as we glimpse snow all over the ground on the drive up to the Grand Canyon, why it was so easy to reserve a campsite just 24 hours in advance. Also, the drive at night is terrifying. 1-lane roads, no lights or anything human for miles in any direction. Darkness everywhere. One of us needed to be brave so we could both deal...and Rachel fit the role perfectly. The city boy in me was terrified.
“Slow down, please. These roads are all twisty, it’s pitch black out.”
“I’m going the speed limit, Brian.”
“Please go slower. I can’t see anything. Remember when our parents tell us to be safe on the trip? They’re talking about times like these.”
“Should we stay at a hotel instead of camping?”
This was an actual conversation.
After a hard, cold, sleepless night in the back of our big yellow truck, we’re up and at the edge of the Grand Canyon by 8:35AM. Literally breathtaking. And by far the coolest thing we’ve seen on the trip. Just amazing.
9:05AM. Wow, a coyote just jumped out in front of the car ahead of us.
Anyway, the drive between Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon is actually very nice during the day and not at all terrifying.
We see our 1st sign for In N’ Out Burger at 12:47PM! We’re excited to be Californians.
Funny, we were listening to “Big Poppa” by Biggie when it happened. Sort of as a reminder from whence we came. Brooklyn, what.
1:24. Palm trees!!!
2:20PM. “BRIAN! BRIAN! QUICK! TAKE IT! TAKE IT!!!”
And we have our shot of the “Welcome to California” sign! Quite an achievement for us.
2:29. Uh, just had a State of California agricultural inspection. A little touch and go there for a bit...
3:03PM. “Don’t they look like they’re floating?” Rachel asks of the Cali mountains ahead of us.
We were talking about how beautiful this country is while looking at the Grand Canyon. The drive through some of these states has been wonderful in terms of scenic views and landscapes. Our new home is no exception.
Just passed into LA County at 5:12PM. Place reeks of Tupac.
We finally get to Charlie and Allison’s in Beverly Hills at 7:40PM! Just took us about an hour and a half to go 9 miles on a freeway here in Los Angeles, so at least we got to witness the legendary traffic.
The cats go nuts as soon as they’re out of the truck. And they're at it all night. Apparently, they don’t like being cooped up.