“Develop interest in life as you see fit; in people, things, literature, music- the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget Yourself.”—Henry Miller
We spent the first half of the day driving through yet another amazing terrain change. We took some advice from the welcome guide at the New Mexico tourist center and took the scenic route to Santa Fe, which brought us through mountain and blue skies and still got us to town in time for the World Cup.
For dinner tonight we drove around until we found an awesome view of the sun setting over the mountains. We pulled over on the side of the road, made sandwiches, and contemplated the meaning of life…or something like that…
We ended up with another Priceline gem of a hotel tonight due to all the campgrounds being closed from the fires. Tomorrow we leave early for the Grand Canyon and are finally doing the camping we’ve been waiting for.
We started out the day on 6th street in Austin, hoping to stumble upon something to do. We ended up stumbling into one of the only places open on the street at that time of day, Beale Street Tavern. This is an Elvis tribute restaurant/bar/music venue in “the dirty 6th.” We had a hungover, but surprisingly still very friendly bartender there who ended up leading us to our next destination, Barton Springs. I don’t think there could have been a more perfect way to spend a couple of hours in the afternoon in Austin. Kathleen made new friend, a life jacket-clad chihuahua named Vixen, who immediately jumped in her lap as soon as we set up our spot on the bank of the crystal-clear cool green water of the spring. The 69 degree water temperature was a perfect match for the 96 degree temperature of midday Austin air.
We then began on our journey to Lubbock. We chose a route that led us through some incredible scenery. The terrain had completely changed and I think this was the first time it really sunk in that we were on a cross-country roadtrip. We passed through another terrible storm and some really cool wind turbines, ate some legit BBQ, and watched a high speed police chase in a small town creepily resembling Mamou.
AND I just want to say Priceline Negotiator is where it’s at. We almost took the cheapest AAA discounted hotel in Lubbock, America’s something or other, but to decided to try our luck with Priceline and ended up with a 50% discounted room at the Radisson. Score!
One day into the trip and the plans have already changed…but not necessarily for the worse. We learned tonight that Pecos Baldy (the camping area we were planning hiking through tomorrow) is closed due to forest fires in New Mexico. We are staying in Austin with my cousin, Valerie, and her husband, Wesley, and it was only due to coincidence that we found out about the closure. Wesley’s family happens to have one of the few cabins in Pecos Baldy area and he has been keeping up with the fires. Otherwise, we would have found out the bad news after a 13 hour drive tomorrow. Apparently 80% containment of the fires just isn’t good enough for the folks in New Mexico.
We decided dressing up in fire retardant suits and running though flaming woods just wasn’t our thing, so now we get to spend more time in Austin. It all works out because we only got an hour to spend there today before we started crashing from the astronomical amount of caffeine we consumed on the drive.
Later tomorrow we’re driving to Lubbock, TX. From there we will go to Santa Fe, and then continue to the Grand Canyon. We also decided that instead of spending 2 nights at Lake Tahoe, we will be going to Yosemite one night and Tahoe the next.
And after a wild and crazy night of domino-playing, we are sacked out and ready to wake up feeling refreshed for Austin.
In preparation for the trip I did a little research on laws/regulations we may need to be aware of while traveling from state to state. Nothing really jumped out at me to realistically consider, but I found way too many ridiculous laws and began wondering how does this happen?! It was then that I discovered this video (see post below). And I won’t go on but we all know the Arizona immigration law that could be fun to test…