Friday, March 13, 2009

California, here we come...

Today, Friday the 13th, we:

Drove as much above 80 mph (the legal speed limit) as we safely could to get out of Texas.

Saw the sun shine for the first time in four days as we crossed into New Mexico ("the land of enchantment"). Were planning to jump from the car and kiss the earth in gratitude until we saw the "beware of rattlesnakes" sign.

Crossed the Rio Grande.

Drove along the Mexican border and went through the border patrol, sure that we were going to be made to stop and unload the entire car and all three cats (or, at the very least, that Lulu would do something to cast immediate suspicion on us). Thankfully, we passed. (But the car in front of us did not!)

Visited Las Cruces, New Mexico, and historic Mesilla (, where Billy the Kid was once imprisoned and sentenced to hang (before he escaped). Stopped in at a shop called Lulu and at a quaint little bookstore where Jennifer bought every book she could carry on Jesse James, Billy the Kid, and outlaws of the Old West.

Went to Cracker Barrel and purchased four more bags of chocolate malted milk balls. When the cashier told Jennifer he would like to come along on the trip, she said, "Good luck finding a place in the car. If you can find one, you can come."

Saw the ghost town of Shakespeare, New Mexico, just outside of Lordsburg (

Toured famous roadside attraction The Thing? ( Highlights: a vintage Rolls Royce rumored to have been driven by Hitler, thousands of pieces of driftwood art, and the Thing itself-- which appears to be some sort of ancient mummy. Penny equated it to walking through a really funny nightmare. Afterward, we enjoyed browsing in the gift shop, where Jennifer bought some official The Thing? souvenirs.

Enjoyed a quiet day from Lulu, but had to help Rumi through a meltdown, as he suddenly made up his mind that he was done road tripping. He had to ride the last forty miles sitting on Penny's lap in his cat carrier.

Continued to give thanks that we were out of Texas. Enjoyed the scenery of New Mexico and Arizona, both of which were beautiful. Or, at least, not endlessly, mindnumbingly ugly.

Stopped for the night at the only hotel in Buckeye, Arizona, along with every trucker traveling the I-20.

Tomorrow we reach California and 5436 Harold Way...

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