So this morning started with filling up at a gas pump across the gas station parking lot from a truck with flames under the hood. It smelled awful, a lot like a truck on fire actually. It was a Dodge, what do you expect? Just kidding. Sorta. Bad karma, knock on wood. I have an old truck
:( . Wait before that, we showed up to breakfast late. But the concierge (if they call them that at $40 a night motels) let us eat the left overs. I had three hard-ish, mini, white powdered donuts. There was no butter to put on them though (sorry Marty Barrett). I'm not so into pancakes anymore, non-sequitur. Then we got back on I-40, our home for 4 days. It looked exactly like the previous stretch of the 40 that I drove through yesterday. The Arizona-New Mexico border is beautiful with a bunch of red rock cliffs, etc. No cave buffaloes :( or at least not any I could find. I think I found the cave though, my inner child is heart broken.
New Mexico was full of smoke (from a different forest fire), bad drivers, and "extreme wind gusts." Seriously truck drivers were out to cause chaos. It was anarchy on I-40 (possible movie title, write that down). It wasn't so bad for me but my driving buddy was harassed by semi-trucks all day long. She was cut off multiple times. Like scary cut offs. I would see her in the side mirror (I have no rear-view visibility) one second and the next moment a semi would be right where she was. I had a few five-second freak outs. In addition, there were a few weekend warriors who decided to rent giant ass trailers that they don't know how to drive. We were pinned down by two giant diesel Chevys. One had a huge fifth wheel that stood like 20 feet off the ground. It was at a constant slant because of the wind and every time a bigger gust would come the trailer and truck would blow out of its lane. This guy had a buddy who had a trailer with multiple golf carts on it. It did the same thing but the trailer was so much lighter it jumped all of the road. Did I mention that these two were driving 90 in the fast lane. We were behind them. We were scared haha. Or at least I was. I sound like a grumpy old man. I'm not saying I wasn't being bumped around by the wind. My ghetto shell made sure driving was difficult. I also made sure to text while driving (not illegal in New Mexico) to tell Shafi how bad these dudes were driving. She agreed. We ended up speeding past them just to be safe. But the semi-truck harassment didn't stop. We got that all the way into Texas.
We ate in Albuquerque after going to the world's oldest/crappiest gas station. We ate Mexican. I had 5 taquitos that were each an inch long. It was more of a snack then lunch really. The drive out of there was nice but it got boring again fast. We got a little excitement as we moved across the New Mexico-Texas border. A giant storm front was looming of the horizon. It kinda looked like we were in the movie Twister, minus an actual tornado (though as a Californian and with recent weather events, the thought did cross my mind) and Bill Paxton. On a more somber notes, In my hours of alone time today I started to dread the thought of seeing storm damage in Oklahoma/Arkansas tomorrow. I hope I don't. I could never understand what all those families are going through. We only got a few drops. It was over 90 degrees while this was going on too. I did get a nice post-rain smell coming through the air-con which was nice. For those of you who have never been in my truck at dusk, the air conditioning usually smells like the Pirates of the Caribbean ride which I don't mind. For sentimental reasons, I do actually prefer the Disney scent.
I think every driver knows how awkward it feels to pass a cop on the freeway. But when a Texas state trooper is driving 40 on the freeway, I think it is appropriate. Plus, theres strength in numbers and we all did it together. Even the single most annoying semi-truck of the day joined in (he was just vindictive just because we passed him).
Who knew that there were ranches in Texas who's driveways come up to the highway. It must be pretty terrifying to drive out of there.
Well, we got to Amarillo. Its not a huge town. But for what its worth, it is really long haha. No joke. It looks like this place had a boom in the early 80's but has stayed the same since. I'm not one to judge, so far I have enjoyed it a lot.
On the way to our motel (which rocks, http://www.bigtexan.com/motel.html), I drove the wrong way on a wrong way street for the second time in two days. I am embarrassed. I have never done it in my life. But seriously, these were weird one way streets. They shouldn't have been one way roads. Any city planners (Hayley) reading this should study up on why Winslow and Amarillo have dumb one way streets. After I found the way to the hotel after Garmin led me astray and Shafi's phone died, we walked into our hotel room straight out of 1800's Texas. Yeah tonight I will be sleeping under a cow print comforter, behind wooden shutters, underneath posters of Jesse James, some Native American guy, and Zach Galifianakis combined with a Belushi brother eating with some cowboys from the 1950's. That was confusing. I will take some photos for "ya'll".
As of now, we are sitting in the Big Texan Steakhouse Bar, using free WiFi. We are the only ones, pshhhh Californians haha. I am enjoying the sounds of one of those Disneyland style shooting ranges that is located conveniently 3 feet to my left. Yeah we don't have internet in our room because I am a nerd who isn't clear when making hotel reservations (but they weren't clear with me either). Well, C'est la vie. You can't win 'em all. There is clapping coming from the other room which means that someone just puked while attempting to eat a 72 ounce steak in order to get it for free. They just paid to puke. Oh Texas, I might just yet fall in love with you. I'm just glad I don't have to drive through as much of the Lone Star Republic as I did last year on I-10 (but Austin does Rock, yeah the capital R was on purpose). Alright, I need to go to pretend to do my TFA work and play some slots next to a giant 14 foot stuffed bear (SEE!!! I LOVE TEXAS!!! MAYBE...).
Oh, yeah. Still drinking Lone Star. Bi-Texas-Winning!!!!!
Miss you all,