Mama Slob-san's

Leftist Blogger wants to practice writing and exorcising her gaseous build up.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Part 3 of Road Trip,

Home Again!

The Aarchway Inn in Moab, UT was nice. We swam before bed and opened the curtains in the room to view the rising full moon. I kept waking up because of disorientation dreams and the loud noises.

At 6:30am we went to get our "hot breakfast". I thought there'd be an onsite cook with hot plates. But it was prepared eggs and country gravy in crock pots, with all the continental stuff as usual. Not bad, but I'm not eating crock pot eggs just before a 10 hour drive through the desert. We made do and filled up on various starches. I filled up my thermos in my room (I travel with my own ground coffee and filters) and packed the car. Have I mentioned that my son eats oatmeal for breakfast everyday? This makes it awkward sometimes but we don't fight over this meal. He happened to eat oatmeal for dinner the night before because we didn't want to go to town once we arrived at the hotel. Oatmeal is Manna.

The predawn air was chilled but as soon as the sun rose over the canyon, it heated right up. We must have dwaddled because we didn't leave town until 9am. I think next time, I'll try and leave by 7:30am if possible. It ended up extending the day too long. I would have picked up a lunch in the next towns if I had realized how long it would take. There are several little towns with the burger shacks and restaurants for a pleasant stop. Bluff, Blanding (a nice visitor center with museum) and Monticello were just south of Moab. Part of the reason I didn't stop was that everytime I asked my son if he was hungry, he'd say no. But he ate half a box of cookies and a lot of crackers. So, it wasn't all that kosher in the car. Next time, I'll ration and stop-like it or not.

We went through Monument Valley around noon. I missed the twin mitts because I was a bit nervous and looking in the wrong direction. doh! But there's so much else to see it didn't matter. I was expecting to see them until we reached Kayenta and knew I had missed them entirely. We drove 163 through the Navajo rez and saw the stands for jewelry. I was tempted to buy something but didn't stop. Out of Kayenta there's another junction and we started driving towards Flagstaff. This half of the day's journey was just beautiful.

We got to Flagstaff and it was a lot later than I expected. There was some confusing road construction and a lot of traffic (we're with I-40 for a bit). Then there is the high mountain scenery, which is nice but not my cup of tea. Perhaps if it were 60 degrees cooler, I would have appreciate a fresh pine scent.

My son kept requesting to play "the blizzard" tape, a Laura Ingalls Wilder recording that has a passage about a blizzard in On the Banks of Plum Creek. We stopped at a rest stop near "McGuireville" and everyone there was stretching their backs, walking their dogs. We all seemed to be pushing it and feeling the pain. This stop had a nice lookout view and some maps of the area.

The traffic got thicker the closer we got to Phoenix and then bam! we were there. It took about 45 minutes to drive through the city, going 65 mph the whole time. What a pain, I didn't factor that at all. And nerve-wracking for a country girl who hates freeways!

We got on I-10 and drove home, often bumper to bumper but no problems. We got home at 7, which was now 6 MST.


Moab scenery, smallness, accessibility

Natural beauty of highways, hardly any traffic, the amount of small towns and rest stops-we're spoiled in the west!

Needed Improvements-

leave early in the morning, pack lunches or stop for a full lunch, ration the snacks

Being There

Full of flu-bug, I arrived in Buffalo, WY early Sunday afternoon. (Pop denied being sick, I think he excreted his bug out at the hotel) Mom (aka "Nana") had made a favorite venison dish and I couldn't eat. She happened to have frozen turkey soup that she thawed out for me, that I was able to hold down. I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening looking feverish and miserable. I felt like such a putz showing up like that, unable to unpack and even watch my own son.

The next day I woke up fine. I had woken up around 2am full of sweat so I must of boiled the bug out.

I ate the leftover venison for lunch, cold and with bread. Delicious. I was afraid to nuke it and change the flavor. We ran some errands and then that afternoon went "swimming". The pool in town is huge, about 4 full size pools in one in which they pipe in snow runoff from the mountain. Freezing cold. It was a really warm day, so I felt stupid to sit there dipping my feet. My son and I finally ran races in the shallow end until we were hot enough to go all the way in the deeper water. I had been bragging about his swimming skills and the new ability to do somersaults, I wanted him to show off.

My brother and sister in law came every evening for dinner. It was cool because we had a lot of time to visit and joke around, and they played intensely with Pop. Hide and seek in a big house, sometimes with all of us. (dinner on Monday was mom's old enchilada recipe, she has her enchilada sauce imported from California by other relatives)

Tuesday was go to Sheridan day. The purpose was to check out local animals in this park they have. We finally spotted the elk and most of the buffalo, he was partially hidden in a barn because of the heat. Pop was busy taking the binoculars to check out their local pool though. Going to Sheridan always involves a trip to Walmart, always. My brother (who managed to skip work) decided to buy my son a toy. The search was agonizing until my son picked a pinwheel. lol My brother ended up taking him back to the toy section and coming out with a Nerf dart gun. That night we went to my brother's for dinner. We ate outside and had taco salad (another old family recipe). Pop got trips in my brother's 4 wheeler ATV in his backyard.

Wednesday people had to work and my mom wanted to clean the house. I took my son back to Sheridan for shopping and a scenic drive. We went "tique-ing" and then took highway 87 back, stopping at Fort Phil Kearney on the way. He didn't like this stop at all, but he posed for some pictures for me. We also stopped at the only Starbucks in the area. I can't remember what we had for dinner that night.

Thursday was the last day for us. Nana, Pop and I went to Buffalo's downtown for window shopping. I took the last pictures in my disposable camera thinking I could develop them at a local place that never opened. drat When we went back home, it was warm enough for Nana and Pop to don bathing suits and have a water fight in the back yard.

Later, my brother and sister-in-law came with pizza (enough for the trip back). We ate outside and then went for ice cream. There was a mini-golf course and so Pop and Co. got to golf. We said our good byes.

The next morning Pop and I left for home.

Highlights to Buffalo, WY:

mild weather, good food, intense playing for my son, driving around in the country, lots of pets, fun

Next, On the Road, there's no place like home

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Road Trip Part 1

Took Pop on a road trip last week. We left Friday the 22nd and drove 500 miles to Santa Fe, NM. I had made a hotel reservation there so I had a goal for the day.

I had planned to leave at 7am but well, that was a lofty goal, wasn't it? We left at 8. Then to make matters worse, I got a "stomach problem" before we even made it to the freeway. I had to make 4 rest stops-I'm sure that ate up about an hour or more altogether.

Much of New Mexico is butt-ugly, well, the southern part that I-25 goes through. We had stopped in Deming for lunch at the Grand Motor Inn. A very old place I had found on the internet that serves homemade food. My son loved it. From Deming, I got on a small highway that cuts to I-25 (bypassing Las Cruces and that White Sands nonsense) at Hatch (chiles!). The next stretch of road always seems shorter on the atlas. . . . Then we hit Albuquerque at rush hour traffic. Finally around 7pm MDT, we reached Santa Fe and our hotel. This city crawls from the ugly grasslands to the beautiful hills where its downtown sits. We didn't go downtown, but I did get some great food near our hotel. (Chicken enchiladas in mole at Los Portrillos) We relaxed, swam and had hotel breakfast the next morning.

I didn't see a Travel Plaza on the way out of town, so I drove for a while worrying about gas. Finally saw a sign and pulled off the road, only to see another sign pointing "4.4 miles" down a highway. So, I took the highway which brought me to Pecos, NM. This was about 10 or 15 miles of real scenery, lush greens and trees and houses. We had lunch at a very slow, filthy Denny's in Raton.

Colorado was a nightmare, like I knew it would be. The very bottom isn't too exciting (plateau and grass) and once we hit Pueblo, the traffic was just ghastly. Road construction, fast cars, impatient 7 year old in the back seat. It was like this until we stopped in Fort Collins (my planned stop for the night).

The Ramada wasn't it was all cracked up to be. (Roomsaver find though they wouldn't accept the coupon) There was an enclosed pool in the "courtyard" which made it really hot inside. The food in the "full service restaurant" was awful (overcooked, expensive and poor tasting). I woke up at 5am with stomach bug. Blech.

The next day, I drove the final leg through Wyoming with this pending flu-bug, nauseated, feeling like I need to "go to the bathroom" and searing back pain. Plans for breakfast in Fort Collins were cancelled, lunch in Casper? cancelled. The good news is that it took just 5 hours to drive to Buffalo.

At 1:30ish pm, we arrived at my parents' house in Buffalo, Wy.

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