So after I left the Olive Garden in Flagstaff, Arizona, I gassed up the car and headed towards Colorado Springs. My faithful car navigation system took me back out of the Arizona the same route I came in and I was able to stop at some places I hadn’t on the way to the Grand Canyon because I was in a hurry.
First of all, Arizona is gorgeous and there are a lot of billboards for shops being run by Navajo Indians. One of the things I wanted to do on this trip was go to Sedona for crystals but I didn’t have time for the detour, so instead I was lured into a Native Indian Store that included the words rock shop on all their signs. I was looking for quartz, specifically pink quartz and ended up with that and a few other pretty things. When I was there, in the spirit of trying new things, I bought and ate an Indian Taco/burrito. Basically, it was Indian Fry bread with pinto beans, ground beef, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and a little cheese. It was good but a little bland and you know how I feel about sour cream. I think if I had a chance to eat fry bread again, I would order it with cinnamon/ sugar. Now I didn’t know what fry bread was until I ate it this day. It’s basically kind of like a pita that is deep fried and puffy and delicious, but a little lighter. It’s hard to describe exactly but I think you get the idea.
With my Indian Taco in hand, I got back on the road but stopped a few minutes later at the last rest area in Arizona to throw out some trash, eat my taco and get re-situated for the ride. Also, I took advantage of the moment to snap some pictures of the awesome landscape.
While I was sitting at the rest area, an ambulance and some police vehicles approached and it appeared someone was having a medical emergency. This area of Arizona was rather sparsely populated and I could go 20 or more miles between exits. While I was driving I got to thinking about how those of us who live in the more populated areas take some services for granted. Where I live, I know that I can call 911 and have a police person, fire truck or ambulance at my house in probably about 5 minutes. I think sometimes we forget that others don’t live that way and how lucky we are to have these things so nearby. I am not trying to hit a political hot topic here, but it also made me think about gun laws. Whereas people who live in cities have paid protectors readily available, in the more rural areas of the country , they do not and need to be more self reliant. For someone 45 minutes away from the nearest town ( Sheriff) guns take on a whole new importance. For me it was interesting to think how I had never considered before really how within our Country there are some many different ways of life and while doing things a certain way in my neck of the woods – it may not even be possible to live that way somewhere else. But that is the great thing about traveling. You are exposed to different cultures and worlds outside of your own little circle. Hopefully, we can take those experiences with us and be kinder, more gentle human beings.
I think this may have been where I thought another sing along was needed.
Off my soapbox – after leaving the rest area, I focused on finishing out my trip to Colorado. I mean by this point it was like 4 in the afternoon already and you guessed it, my arrival time was estimated to be well after midnight. So with the hammer down, I road across New Mexico and headed north into Colorado. I could not believe how desolate I25 was when I came into Colorado. Exits were easily 50-75 miles apart and even then, there weren’t services readily available (read through the lines – McDonald’s). I excitedly exited at one exit because the blue sign said there was a McDonald’s. As I pulled on to the exit ramp, the blue sign with the arrow said 5 miles under McDonald’s. I got back on the freeway. I feel 5 miles into town is a misleading on the blue sign on the side of the freeway that says food. Just saying. I ended up stopping at a rest area to take care of business. This was the only time I was a little freaked out – it was kind of dark and there were really no other people there. I moved swiftly like a ninja to the bathroom and got back into the safety of my locked car as fast as I could. I’m sure there was nothing to be afraid of but it was dark and I’m a safety first kind of girl who has watched too many Lifetime movies.
On my way into Colorado, I talked to one of the guys from work about what was ahead of me, mountain wise. He was like oh – there’s just one small pass, no big deal. HE IS A LIAR. I think I went up and down over 2000 feet and it was curvy and dark. His “little pass” was nothing but. However, like many other times on my trip, help was on my side and there was construction. Now you are probably saying to yourself, how was construction helpful. Let me tell you – the speed limit was reduced from 65 to 45. Score! However, I should probably still apologize to anyone driving north on I-25 from the Colorado State line to Colorado Springs on July 6th. I was a little “cautious”.
I finally get over the pass and head north. As I drive through Pueblo, there were like 20 police cars, lights ablaze at a Love’s gas station. I wondered what all the fuss was about. Love’s has good jerky, not donuts. The next morning I was watching the news and it turned out they thought the guy was going to try to have a bomb scare at the Colorado Springs Airport or so his people thought- you can read all the details here: http://www.kktv.com/content/news/BREAKING-Man-claims-to-have-explosives-arrested-at-Fountain-gas-station-433046763.html
Finally, about 12:30 am I made it my hotel in Colorado Springs. I was exhausted. I told Mr Check in guy that I had driven all the way from the Grand Canyon – but he just kept talking. Remembering my nights at the front desk at Liz Waters dorm just waiting for the janitor/security people to come through to talk to in order to stay awake, I politely engaged in small talk longer than really needed but such is a life. I eventually was granted access to the magical world that was the nicest hotel I was ever provided with and made it to bed a short while later after only carrying in the essentials.
In case you were wondering or have somehow forgotten, I still have a sprained (aka hurting) ankle during all this. However I made it to my made bed with the freshly changed sheets and quickly fell asleep with another travel day behind me and happy to be in a while place for a few days.