Thursday, January 6

Santa Fe to Shawnee.

I have to admit that I missed documenting our road trip to California last summer. I meant to do it, I just never made the time. So I'm going to get this trip down before too much time passes. And yes, I know, my travelogues are way too long as I ramble on about mundane details, but oh well, that what comes out of my head. I wish my head was full of poetry, but alas, details it is.

We left on a Monday morning a bit after 8 o'clock. The car was packed full with Christmas presents, my various suitcases of daily clothing, running gear, cameras and knitting projects, a cooler full of beer and green chile and Will's one backpack of clothing.

Shortly after we hit I-40 East, we had to make a pit stop and ended up stopping at this crazy truck stop just before Santa Rosa. It's one of those places that has about a million billboards leading up to it, yet I can't remember the name. I want to say it's "Flying A" or "Flying something", but I'm not at all sure. This place was packed full of every kind of souvenir you could imagine as well as enormous packages of fireworks. They had a couple of taxidermied bears on display too. We probably could have stayed in there for hours.

Near the restrooms, there was a display of these very real looking but not real at all stuffed cats. Totally creepy especially since most of them were in plastic bags.

They also had quite a few postcards which I made the mistake of not buying. I figured that since we had only been on the road an hour or so, I didn't need to hold things up just yet. See, I had this grand plan of buying postcards in every state to send to my postcard pals. A little road trip postcard project. Perfect. But. After this stop, not a postcard was to be seen in any of the six states that we traversed.

Oftentimes when we travel, I am completely mesmerized and entertained by the passing landscape so have little need to do much besides look out the window. For some reason, I was a bit restless on this trip and couldn't settle into the landscapes. I-40 East just isn't as captivating as I-40 West, especially at this time of year. Which isn't to say that there weren't some places that I would have loved to have stopped and shot some film, but in general, it was a lot of flat, dry grassy fields. So I was quite happy that I had packed a few knitting projects. Project number one, a new scarf for myself.

I had a pattern picked out that I started before we left, but as I worked on it in the car, I realized that one, I didn't love it and two, it was too involved for car knitting. So I frogged it and started again. I think I may have frogged my work one or two more times before settling into a simple ribbed pattern. So I knitted my way through the day as Will drove and we listened to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I've read all the Harry Potter books. More than once. Will has seen all the movies but not read the books. I wanted something long for our long drive so since we'd recently seen the latest movie, part one of the Deathly Hallows, I decided it would be nice for Will to get all the details that didn't make it into the movie. (And won't make it into the final movie.) It was a good choice for the trip. We were both hooked into it immediately.

So the day passed by with Harry Potter in our heads and smooth sailing on the interstate. The day passed quickly enough although driving east always feels a bit longer than driving west since we gain time instead of losing it. Once we got out of New Mexico, it was somewhat hot through Texas and into Oklahoma. Our plan was to at least get to Oklahoma City. We made it there and decided to go a little further. We ended up in Shawnee, Oklahoma.

When traveling, we always try to stop somewhere that we can find restaurants that aren't fast food and/or chains. This isn't always easy to do. In Shawnee, there was actually a pretty cool looking diner, but alas, they did not serve beer. And after 9 hours on the road, a beer is high on the list of priorities. (The beer in the cooler was for our destination, not the road trip.) So we ended up at Garfield's Restaurant and Pub. I guess it's an Oklahoma chain, similar to a Chili's and certainly nothing to rave about, but it was decent and the servers were quite nice. We spent the night at a Comfort Inn, one of our more favorite of the chains, and it was only 9 months old and probably one of the cleanest hotels that we've stayed in. The sheets were a bit scratchy, but other than that, it was a thumbs up for our budget.

After settling into our room, Will watched some television and I read more of Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway which I started before we left.

And then it was lights out.

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