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Monday, August 1, 2011

Road Trip, Day 10 and 11; A Change of Plans, the Voyage Home

After dinner on Wed., May 16th, we decided that we were both pretty tired. Despite our plans to stop at Caverns of Sonora and a Japanese Tea Garden and the Zoo in San Antonio, TX, talk turned to going home. Looking over maps & recalculating things, I figured that San Antonio was about halfway home from where we were now, a 10 1/2 hour drive. We could get a hotel in San Antonio and drive the remaining 10 1/2 hours the next day. So we woke on Thurs., May 17th, had our complimentary, hot breakfast and hit the road.
Heading east through the Sierra Blancas in New Mexico, signs said the Lincoln Nat'l Forest was closed and extreme fire restrictions were in effect. Around Cloudcroft, NM we saw signs warning drivers about smoke and fire. Soon after we passed a large encampment of fire fighters on the side of the road. In and around Mayhill, we were saddened to see charred trees and earth all around. It wasn't until at least a week after our ret'n home that I found any news about it--the final update regarding the fire, which was still under investigation.

Outside of the New Mexico mountains and all through West Texas is a fairly flat, boring drive. We didn't pass much on the way back to the Interstate, bathrooms included. Charles asked me to pull over in one of the very few driveways along the road. I sat in the car, deciphering this message, at which I had to laugh. When Charles got back I deciphered it for him, pointing out the irony of his chosen stop; "If you use our road to pee, please take your T.P. with you."

Breaking up the monotony in Texas we saw some huge dust devils. This one's already dissipating. They were hard to capture with the camera.

We also saw lots of wind turbines in West Texas. These are much larger than they seem. During our drive we passed a transport truck with a single blade on the bed, extending well beyond the end of the truck. There's a shot of one on the page linked, above.

We stopped for lunch at some greasy spoon where Charles had a country-fried steak that was so huge you couldn't see the plate it was on. He said it was really good. It was super cheap, too.

By sunset we'd made it to San Antonio--halfway home. Charles had taken over at this point and said he was good to continue on, so we did.

I took over outside of San Antonio somewhere and got us past Houston (there were tons of cops all over the road!) Throughout the return trip, while one of us drove, the other slept. Charles took over somewhere around the Louisiana border and took us all the way home. So much for splitting that 21 hour drive home in half! We got in around 5:15am on Fri., May 18th. After living in hotel rooms for so long, our simple house seemed so huge! Our trip was very interesting and a lot of fun, but it sure was nice to be home.

Thanks to my friends and supporters for bearing with 2 months of posts regarding our road trip. I hope you enjoyed it!


Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, by then I just really wanted to be home.

NancyU said...

Sounds like a heck of a drive on the last day. Wow!

timethief said...

It's good to know you two are safe and sound at home. I enjoyed your road trip entries and photos. Sending you love,

Lana Gramlich said...

Charles; Yeah, I hear you.

NancyU; Yes, the return trip was pretty brutal, but it was nice to get home, too!

TiTi; Thanks, hon! Glad you enjoyed following along. :)

Travis Cody said...

Wow! I can't imagine driving 21 hours straight through, even with trading off shifts behind the wheel.

Lana Gramlich said...

Travis; Truth be told, that lonnnnnnnnng drive totally sucked, but getting home was very nice. :)

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