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Friday, May 26, 2006

The Land of Enchantment

We made it safely to this land of enchantment, though I must say for a holiday weekend there was more construction in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico than I have ever seen. We faced 3 in Oklahoma, 2 in Texas and a 30 mile one-lane stretch in New Mexico, good heavens what’s up with that! So last car trip for a long time, at least until such time as all three states coordinate better road repairs.

I am NOT able to upload the pictures while I’m here so I’ll save those and do a total photo blog upon my return. What fun that will be.

It has been a bit of a different experience trying to capture in photographs the trip. I decided to go ahead and make a scrapbook of this last vacation before my hubby’s graduation and our ultimate vacation to the Caribbean next year some time (fingers crossed, bank account suffering, ultimate swimsuit season in mind and lacking).

I wanted to share the highlights from my own perspective.

My husband and I prayed for provision, favor and protection in traffic and angel guards around the vehicle, not to mention a spirit of unity and love. God was good to bring this to pass…well with a few hormonal episodes I experienced from riding in a car for extended periods of time in the most lacking highway expanse you can imagine. I really do LOVE to travel by car, because I can stop at the funky little shops and check out unique ‘artwork’, though I use the term somewhat loosely.

We have driven this path many times over the years, both to and fro, and this time we actually stopped at the Cherokee Trading Post outside Weatherford, Oklahoma (one of the states tornado capitals I might add). Why did we stop? Well, pee break first, and to photograph the ‘buffalo’ that resides at the trading post, in addition to some pics by an antique (looking) wagon.

We walked the entire fence line (next to the highway) to get the up close shot of the Buffalo and he just continued eating the plains beneath him as though we weren’t even there. Buffalo have such attitudes, they remind me of some bosses I’ve had in my past.

We also had the opportunity to see two miniature ponies that live there as well, although ahem’ we interrupted them apparently and while my husband (romantic that he is) wanted to photograph the private party, I refused to indulge him. So between the tiny pony love dance and the Buffalo with a tude’ we left with our pics and dignity intact.

The next stop was in Groom, Texas where the largest cross in the Western Hemisphere exists. It is 160 feet tall, 16 stories and I got some great photos. I have always photographed this huge cross from the highway on each trip and we have these sort of blurry, through the windshield, pics of a large white structure passing by at 75 mph. This was the first time we stopped.

The Stations of the Cross are represented in bronze sculptures and it was quite sobering. There was one of the last supper and a special one with Mary and a dedication to all aborted babies. It almost made me cry. It definitely made me pause and pray for the mothers and the babies. God bless them both. We spoke briefly with a groundskeeper there and he shared of a homeless man that traveled there and explained the significance of each of the stations and the actual cross itself and its representation of Jacob’s Ladder and the ‘eye of the needle’ in the form of an access hatch to the internal cross structure.

We also stopped on the exit to photograph a government sign, that said “Cross” and upon returning to the car, from the tall, grassy, field I walked in for the “perfect shot”, I saw movement on my pant leg. Thank GOD I was wearing capri's and not shorts, because lo and behold the biggest tick I have ever seen in my 40 something years was stomping up the cloth to receive the blood of an unwilling donor…me! I screamed, my husband just looked at it and looked at me and said kill it. I don’t do that.

I don’t kill critters…I just can’t do it…not out of some freakish love of all nature, it’s more out of not wanting to feel death beneath my hands in the form of a crunching sound or blood on myself…YUCK! So I thought I scooped it up in some paper and transferred it to a cup…and then I saw what I thought was a second tick crawling along the same path of destruction. I grabbed that one as well and stuck it in the cup where only the one existed. I realized I hadn’t caught it the first time, but now it was lying in it’s death pool.

Now you must know that because I had to be certain I wasn’t infested with the ticks and headed from lifelong bliss to a lifetime of lyme disease and certain death by tick infestation that we stopped shortly afterward at one of many CROWDED, nasty LOVES in Texas. It’s not that I hate Loves, it’s just that they don’t have much of a cleaning ethic from what I’ve experienced and the ones along the highway are the worst! Perish the thought of actually using the facilities, but if you must, take extra hand-washing precautions.

I arrive in the bathroom and a woman is in the other stall and I’m not kidding when I tell you she is groaning! I wasn’t sure if she was dying or just ate something at a previous Love’s and was paying the price now. In any event, I quickly did a scan for any infestation and while I felt somewhat itchy, I was certain I was “all clear” and wouldn’t be heading immediately to the hospital in Amarillo.

Okay, so we get to, and slowly through, Amarillo, as they have been working on I-40 through the city for over 3 years now! We did capture a few pictures from the highway of the BIG TEXAN, a site for all of blogdom to experience…the restaurant of fame where you attempt to eat a 72 oz steak and if you succeed (along with all super sized sides) you get it free…yeah right! As if…and you have a time limit on the whole experience…so like you’re 3 and not wanting to eat your peas…you pick and poke at room temperature undercooked beef lying waste next to a loaded baked potato and salad along with some half brewed sweetened tea. You totally needed to hear and experience that, therefore I oblige and you will see the pics from the highway come next week.

The next stopping point is one of Texas’ largest stockyards. This one was for “Jimmy” (aka: Hubbies boss), who wanted to know how large this place was. I told my husband there were thousands of cattle but we had to stop and photograph the beasts. Some of those cows had the gall to look at us with the same disdain the gorillas show when we sit outside their glass enclosures at the zoo. These Texan cows were angry about something, I suppose they weren’t MAD COWS in the literally sense, but they were definitely ticked off (well hopefully not TICK-infested)…too many puns, to much time from home I suppose.

Okay so we missed the Cadillac ranch, but we’re hitting it on our return. It is the spot in Texas that has the buried Cadillacs that stick up out of the ground. It’s cool! I’ve always loved it, but never stopped, so we are stopping. The exit is ARNOT…as in Are Not! Yes I am!

We then headed into New Mexico and stopped at the rest stop. We only stopped for pictures of the WELCOME TO NEW MEXICO sign and among many signs was one that said “Watch for Snakes” which we decided was far worse then any tick or mad cow we had experienced so far…so quick picks, get a free map for hubbies “co-worker” who apparently has a map fetish…well according to my hubby he doesn’t have a fetish, he just likes maps in case he has to do genealogy or some other lame excuse…he has a fetish according to Kim.

After a couple of hours of “name that tune” while randomly hitting the seek/scan button on the radio we made it around the mountain and into the valley that is…Albuquerque. It was just as I remembered. Hey, wait it really is as I remember it, people flying past us in cars…they have to be from L.A. or Dallas, and so many people without smiles. Everyone appears to be in a hurry, well except the desk clerk at our hotel.

He was actually kind and while he seemed “new” at the whole hotel concierge/check in person, he did give us some random information for visitors to the area. Thankfully having lived here for 5 years we are fairly aware of the “draws” to this beautiful city. It was 9:30 p.m. when we went to grab a quick burger and over to the hubbies mom’s house for a quick visit until tomorrow. Now it’s almost morning and I had to get this down…yes I have serious blog issues!

I know this is nowhere near as enthralling as our journeys with Morning Glory on the Sunday Drive, but this is my story and I’m sticking to it.

More tomorrow, when the family fun begins! I think I’ll blog about the hubbies sister, we call her Tree and she is a dear friend to me, though one I don’t see near often enough. I’m praying God would use me to remind her of His love for her…something I fear she’s lost along her own journey. Prayers are welcome!

Happy Friday early a.m. Talk to you later when I’m checking in tomorrow, which is actually later today!


Joy M. said...

Oh, the ticks, the bathroom, the cows! That is so funny! I have a bad case of late night giggles from this. Every time I think of that groanin' lady...LOL! Ticks racing up your leg and the subsequent maneuvers to be rid of them...chuckle! (sorry, not laughing at you-I can see myself doing the same dance) Cows that are mad...should we be afraid? Nope...too funny! Raucus-late-night-guffaws!!! Oh I needed that!

Praying for your Prodigal said...

So glad you are enjoying your long--long--long--long--long---road trip! We have family in Dallas and everytime we visit them--and take a road trip to some land outside of Dallas--I am impressed with the size of Texas (alone!).

Look forward to more of your journey--and your photos!


flipflop said...

Ewww...I cannot stand ticks.

There is constant work on I-40 being done in our state. I dread having to drive it.

Praying for you SIL.

Morning Glory said...

Buffalo bosses -- I like that. I've had some of those as co-workers. They thought they were the boss.

Glad you arrived safely.

Morning Glory said...

Oh, and your drive WAS interesting. The descriptions pulled me right in - I've been in those restaurants and pit stops, and yucky, yucky, yucky! I'm always afraid I'm going to come out with an incurable disease.

Dismantle Queen said...

SHIVER!! I dont like ticks, nasty, disgusting blood sucking ....I cant wait for the pictures
...sounds like you are having fun...Thanks for sharing....
Prayers are with you and yours...

great2beme said...

Okay, so I drove that when you lived there and never saw cadillac ranch, I loved the tick story and remind me when you get home about the one I killed with a hammer after he had eaten. GROSS! Sounds like you are having fun already you and Tree are in my prayers and hurry home safely. God is working on me with honoring and blessing Kevin and Satan is working on Kevin to be the meanest baddest rudest, quietest "buffalo" in my life so try to get me to give up so pray here to please.

tam said...

Can I say I love reading you without it sounding make me laugh so SO much!

The tick thing...ewww, don't like the "crunch" of death either...

The "Love's Bathroom" oh NO! Not good (I didn't know those still existed!)

The 72 oz steak restaurant! I'VE BEEN THERE! so I was 7 and it was a LONG time ago but I've BEEEN there! (so i'm a bit excited having been someplace you were just at even tho it's over 30 years ago?? yep, losing my sanity for sure now!)

PLEASE make sure there are photos of YOU in the "scrapbook".

AND, this did not make it past me...did you say that you are 40 something? Surely not! (not that 40 something is old IT'S DEFINITELY NOT ((i'm close you see))) I just had you pictured, and very certain of my picture, at a young late twenty-something....are you just trying to throw us off?

kpjara said...

I'm glad to see that "tick talk" brings the same skin-crawling reaction I have. My husband, stoic that he is, just looks my way and doesn't flinch the way I do...though 1 day I'll write about the giant moth on his back...oh so funny!

Yes, Tam, I am 42, but I have such a young heart, and me and my inner-child are together tons, but thanks for the complement.

Michelle, that hammering tick sounds oh so gross! But I can't wait to hear about it...and I can't wait to see how God moves Kevin past this mid-life junk!

More later...I can't wait to share about today's fun stuff!

tam said...

Where oh where are your links? Your profile?


kpjara said...

Where INDEED? What happened...I scrolled all the way to the bottom and at the end of my last entry is some weird script thing that has never been there..but when I check the settings in blogspot it's all the same as it's always been?

Someone is trying to destroy my links????YIKES! What's a girl to do? My husband had the audacity to suggest I change blogging networks...WHAT...I'd have to change the name and set up a whole new world! I just don't think I'm ready for that.

I hope it's fixable, truly, is that too lame a prayer for God?

kpjara said...

did you just pray? cause they just Popped up as I was about to totally change my entire settings!

praise GOD!

Miche said...

One...the whole trip sounds great! I love road trips. I wish we occassionaly drove somewhere other than Idaho, which let me tell you , the road from my door to my sisters is VERY BORING. Can't wait to see the pictures

Ticks..GROSS! I would have totally freaked out! I admire your courage. Can't wait to hear the moth story

I love that you take pictures of goofy (and not so goofy) things at the side of the road. Someday I'll convince my husband that doing so is a good thing.

kpjara said...

I would think the Idaho trip would be full of beautiful sites...I'm shocked. I've never been to Oregon, Washington State, or Idaho...I've never been above LA in California. I've wanted to take the coastal highway drive for awhile...hopefully one day.

Road trips are the best mostly for the entertainment value!

GiBee said...

I stand my ground -- ticks are by far worse than snakes. Sorry.

kpjara said...

I've never actually met someone that got Lymes Disease, even in the blogdom...that's scary, how long your recovery was...and these must have been something other than deer ticks, cause they were enormous by tick standards???