Thursday, June 27, 2013

Heat Wave forecast, 11 am tomorrow.

Mesilla, NM: 103°
Mineral Wells, TX: 103°
Indianola, MS: 95°
Odessa, TX hotel room: 72°

Gila Hot Springs, NM

Gila Cliff Dwellings

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Disappointments that weren't.

As a kid, I first heard of the Petrified Forest, which was trees turned into stone, and my mind immediately pictured something like this. And then someone showed me pictures of it and it was actually a flat plain with some rocks and I was mightily disappointed and learned not to ever trust geologists again.

As a adult, with a heathy distrust of cartographers and anything called a "driving tour," I approached the Painted Desert/Petrified Forest National Park with trepidation. A national park with no trails? Rocks? Dull.

However, it was pretty impressive. A Martian landscape, with a few small trails that managed to make you feel as thought you were out in the middle of a barren landscape while your car and a/c happily idled a few minutes walk away.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

To interject slightly...

My memories of Oklahoma: Stand in a full-blast cold shower with a grocery bag over your head while someone aims a commercial leaf blower at you. That pretty much covers it.

Now here's a picture of the moon and some pine needles:

Outside Sedona, AZ
Day 5
June 19th, 2013

ABQ, New Mexico - Sedona, Arizona (350 Miles)

We recovered from our first two days by spending 2 nights in ABQ.  This dog friendly city was just what we needed to revive us for the next leg of our journey (we were very grateful for that).

We went through the Petrified National Forrest along the way and the view from our campsite at Pine Flat Campground in Oak Creek Canyon was spectacular.

Day 3
June 17th, 2013

Photos from Cadillac Ranch.

Day 2
June 16th, 2013
Foss Lake Oklahoma

The drive across Oklahoma on I-40 is very scenic: full of rolling hills, flat grass plains and plentiful vegetation.  This is where the big sky country starts for us Easterners and we raced a thunderstorm off to our starboard for a large portion of the drive west from OKC.  We made it to our campsite with plenty of day light to spare.  We set up camp, had a hot meal (veggie tacos), and a few pleasant walks on the beach.  The pictures from the previous blog post are from this campsite.

We watched the sunset, had a campfire and overall some much needed down time for the dog (and us).  When we settled down for the night it was comfortable and we all went right to sleep.

Sometime after 2 am I woke with the dog looking at me meaningfully (never a good sign) and the tent softly swaying in the wind.  I saw lightning in the distance across the lake and then behind us.  I sat for a minute and then realized we were about to get rained on.  Half-asleep Ben and I tried to put the rain fly on the tent.  We utterly failed at this until we realized it wasn't our half-awareness keeping us back...   it was the increasing strength of the now full bore gale we were working in. We watched our supplies on the picnic table blow 3 - 6 feet away and the embers of the dead fire, re-ignite and fly off towards the lake, we began to realize this was going to be a long night...

No tornados came through the campsite but the thunderstorm was preceded by a fierce wind and we were forced to take shelter in the bathhouse.  When the wind finally slacked a bit we headed back to the car and the reamins of our flattened, soaked tent. Unable (and unwilling) to salvage the tent for the night, we repurposed our seats in the car for bedding and lightly slept until dawn. Our spirits were dampened again, but we packed up and headed for ABQ New Mexico.  Where at least we would again have a real house to sleep in and a guarantee of no thunderstorms.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Day 1
June 15th, 2013

The first day we left GA and drove 650 miles.  We arrived at Mount Nebo State Park in Arkansas after dark and set up camp. We were all tired and a bit edgy.  I would like to say that we had a good night sleep and headed out early the next morning, however, it was not so... Stringer had a rough first day and paced the tent most of the night.  Rain started to fall lightly at some point in the night and we woke with the sunrise and thunder.  Shortly after waking we were taking down the tent while the bottom fell out of the sky and we were soaking wet.  Eventually, the rain slowed and we drank coffee and repacked the car.

The campsite and park were very well managed and bath house very clean.  The views from Mount Nebo were quite spectacular and I would recommend the park to any one looking to camp in Arkansas.

Day 2
June 16th, 2013

Our next destination was Foss Lake, Oklahoma 375 miles away.  We left early and hoped to have plenty of down time to set up the tent and cook dinner.  Pictures from Foss Lake are shown here. Note how idyllic they look. Then read the above story.

To begin at the middle...

We have arrived at the west coast.
We're skipping over a bit of our travels here,
just so we can get an update out,
because we are bad bloggers.
More to follow. Soon. (ish)
We promise.

NEWS: Stringer is now a member in good standing of the Bud the Dog Society.