The great adventure continues…
I waved goodbye to the extended family in Fayetteville, Arkansas and headed back to I-40 on the road to Albuquerque, NM. First fun stop – the overlook on The Pig Trail Scenic Bypass just below Fayetteville…what a beautiful view of the lower Ozark Mountains!
Just a short hop on I-40 and I was back in Oklahoma (graduated high school there in 1974, Edmond). The wide open sky and miles of Native American country was a welcome sight! The many historical markers showing which tribe lived in each area and the sight of so many casinos gave me such mixed emotions. I am so ashamed of how we treated the Native Americans, and how we continue to treat them is not much better.
I spent the night boondocking at a well-lit truck stop outside Oklahoma City in the rain – I sleep so well with the rain drumming on my rooftop! As I continued crossing the state the next day, I found myself picturing in my mind how this must have looked back in the early 1800’s.
When I first moved to Oklahoma in 1970 (from New Hampshire – a real culture shock!), I was required to take a semester class in Oklahoma history in order to graduate there. What an interesting story unfolded as I sat next to Native American students in class. How I wish I had been bolder back then and taken advantage of our proximity to develop some friendships that would have magnified my education and understanding! Now we are having protests at Standing Rock, ND, and I wish I had a better understanding of these American brothers and sisters.
As I crossed into the Texas panhandle the following day, I realized it was Election Day. I had already sent in my absentee ballot, and I purposely tuned out the media and just enjoyed myself on Route 66. I found myself singing some good old road trip songs: America the Beautiful, God Bless America, This Land is Your Land, I’m Proud to Be an American, etc. I really do love this country, and the whole 2016 election process has been so horrible and divisive. I’m not willing to live with hatred, and will take every opportunity possible to stand for and with each person in dignity and respect, regardless of political viewpoint, sexual preference, gender, religion, immigration status, or any other defining category. We are all Americans and all deserve to be heard and valued. We can do better; I can do better!
The numerous wind farms on the panhandle made me smile, as I love these monstrous beauties! But I was also smiling at all the old Texas windmills, and was happy when I was able to capture both in one photo – the old windmill in the foreground, and the wind farm in the background. This is my favorite picture of my adventure so far! The wind is out there – waiting to be used!
I spent the night in Amarillo, Texas and used a 50%-off coupon for a hotel to take a shower and launder clothes, as it had been several days of rain on this leg of the journey. The next morning was clear, and I followed Route 66 as it continued into New Mexico. I loved the changing vista from flat lands to mesas, with all the beautiful scenes outside my windows as I drove – although the speed limit was 75, I drove at 60-65 so I wouldn’t miss all the amazing views. I stopped in Tucumcari for lunch (mainly because I just wanted to keep saying “Tucumcari” – what a great name!), some delicious smokehouse brisket, yum! The scenery changed to high mesas, and finally into the Sandia Mountains and my destination of Albuquerque.
The sky is so HUGE in New Mexico, with 320+ days of sunshine per year – love, love, love! Of course, seeing my family is one of the best parts of this adventure and I am very happy to be spending some time with Tara and Morgan. It is so gratifying and satisfying to see your adult children living successful lives and choosing to be wise and compassionate members of society — makes Mama Bear very proud!
There is so much to see and do here in New Mexico, and Albuquerque in particular. I will be spending some time here with Thanksgiving just around the corner, albeit with a flight back to New York for Christmas. (Gram will see you soon, Genevieve and Ben!)
What book are you reading now?
From my bookshelf:
“Trust in intuition is the exact opposite of living in fear. In fact, the role of fear in your life lessens as you come to know that you will listen to the quiet wind chime and have no need for claxons [loud alarms].”
from The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker, 1997
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