On Tuesday we set out for our 10 hour drive, 287 N to 40 W. Knowing that we'd need to be well fortified, we stopped by Central Market for coffee and a smoothie.
One of the first things we passed through was the LBJ National Grasslands. I thought this would be interesting to see, but I couldn't spot it from the highway. Much of this part of west Texas, heading towards Amarillo, is ranchland. We spotted our first cowboy, and many cows.
I don't know how far you can see in these parts, but to quote The Who, "I can see for miles and miles." One of the things that breaks up the horizon is the many freight trains going by. I had no idea that Karl was so into freight trains. I took this picture for him:
287 went on and on and Amarillo felt as far away as Buffalo does when you're driving through upstate New York. We passed through many towns where the highway slowed down, and in the bigger ones there was even a stoplight or two. Each of these towns had an old-fashioned main street. One had a hotel called "It'll do." I guess it's good to have truth in advertising! As in the rest of Texas, we passed more porn shops and nudie bars than Jesus billboards. I guess if you're repressed in one arena, it's going to explode in another - excuse the pun!
As we finally neared the New Mexico border, the landscape slowly started to change. Mesas appeared.
40 parallels the old Route 66 for much of the way. When we got off the highway to get gas, we took this picture:
New Mexico was really a treat for sore eyes. These clouds looked painted on:
We continued down the alphabet, with a soundtrack of Liz Phair, Lou Reed, Mojo Nixon, Parliament, Peter Gabriel, The Police, Prince, and Public Enemy.
We arrived in Albuquerque around 6:30, and stopped by our friends' Kat and Jim's place to drop off our stuff before going to dinner with other friends, Joan and Sami.
Joan and Sami have a lovely house with a beautiful oasis of a backyard, with a goldfish pond, hummingbirds, and their cat Squeak, dog Yoyo, and bird Carly. All of the animals seem to get along, some more enthusiastically than others.
After a lovely dinner of mushroom lasagne, we started to crash, so we returned to Jim and Kat's red room for the night.