Stream of thoughts. recollections, wonderings, and questions coming…
While leaving Brooklyn was a paradox (two things can be true per Glen) – it was incredibly sad AND there was also the anticipation of getting home to family, friends and familiarity. The sadness was ameliorated because I was looking forward to having a visit with my niece and her husband, Erin and Conrad and my grand nieces and nephew – Victoria almost 9, Carter 7, and Brooke 4.5. And oh boy! What joy! We plunked ourselves down at their house in NOVA on Halloween and got to carve pumpkins, read books, enjoy a neighborhood potluck and go trick or treating! I have not had that much fun in a long time! Those kids are each so different and all so endearing. What a wonderful way to start our journey home! (And I ticked off a new state – Delaware.)
On to Knoxville via Virginia. The drive was beautiful with rolling green hills and fall leaves. It is such a beautiful part of the country.
Then through Tennessee to Arkansas. A couple days ago, Glen posted about a stop for bbq in Memphis – a road highlight. I will say that as we drove through Memphis, there were some beautiful neighborhoods and it was interesting to see St. Jude’s which we all know is a wonderful foundation for children.
Next stop Little Rock. Arkansas was another new state for me. The first thing I noticed was that there were WAY more billboards for “adult only” stores than I had seen in any other state since we left CA in July. What’s up with that? The second most frequent billboard was for gun and ammo stores (local and online stores). That was no surprise. But my favorite memory of Arkansas is this story that I posted on IG and FB:
What could go wrong? Taking Dug for a walk in Arkansas. Went around the corner from the hotel. It was like I crossed into another world (think Deliverance without the river). I was kinda wondering if this road was a good idea (thinking I had watched too many movies) when a loose dog came running toward us from down the road. I turned Dug around and fast-walked back where we came from with this dog catching up to us quickly. A banged up red truck (of course) came out of nowhere and the driver and passenger started hollering at the dog to go back. The dog kept trailing us and now the truck. So the truck pulled up alongside me and the passenger gave me a big stick saying “…just in case…” and then drove off. Obviously we made it back safely, but I did have to threaten the dog with the stick a couple times.
That’s it for me and Arkansas.
We blew through Oklahoma (new state) and on into the top notch of Texas. Can’t say as I have a lot of specific memories of either state. Except…I did feel like it was the longest stretch of I-5 between Bakersfield and Sacramento…it went on forever and ever and ever, if you get my drift.
I also noted that I’m surprised that we have a shortage of goods because OMG – there are SO many trucks on the road. I mean SO MANY!!! And they are heading west and east. The rest stops and gas stations are packed at night with truckers sleeping in their cabs so those goods should be arriving at our stores soon!
We landed for the next night in New Mexico and I have to say I’m a bit curious about New Mexico. The landscape was interesting, the people were friendly, and I want to go back and spend some time exploring. We found a great family-owned Mexican restaurant in the tiny town of Santa Rosa. The young lady who took our order and brought us our food was maybe 12 years old. By the time we left I wanted to pay for her college tuition. She was incredible! That girl is going places! I wish I’d asked for her name! I wanted to do a little exploring and take some pictures, but after my dog experience in Arkansas, I was a little gun shy so I had to satisfy myself with a few pictures from the main road through town.
Zipping through Arizona, I was a bit annoyed that their rest stops were all closed. The signs along the highway did not indicate the closures so we didn’t know until we got there. When you plan your “relief” spots around the “rest” stops, that can be a problem. Come on AZ. You can do better.
AND – while masks were required in New Mexico, they apparently are not in Arizona because we have not seen ONE person wearing a mask. Well, that’s not entirely true because I’ve seen Glen and he’s seen me. I looked up NM COVID stats vs AZ stats and as you’d expect, NM’s vaccination rate is higher and COVID rate is lower. Simple math.
Anyway, here we are in Kingman, Arizona for our last night of our most incredible adventure. We got in early and it was a beautiful 81 degrees (after starting our day at near freezing) so Dug and I walked down Hwy 66 to a park. The dogs in the dog park were too scary for me (therefore for Dug) so we walked down a side street back to the hotel. Glen and I then ventured into town for dinner at a place that he found on Yelp. Sadly, when we got there it was permanently closed. COVID? Lack of tourist business? Kingman is a quintessential small town that is dying for lack of industry and the newer highway now skirts around the downtown. The town is really trying to make it a place to stop and the downtown looked like it would be fun for poking around. But sadly, times seem to be passing it by…
What’s that I see? Los Angeles?