North America | United States of America (USA) | South West | Arizona – Day 3 – Smelly cows
This is a long one
please read at your convenience.
Almost the end of Day 3 . In the Tercel having just crossed over into Arizona. The time is about 9:10pm Mountain Time.
Before I start, I need to pass along some info. If you feel the urge to send us a message you can e-mail Scott’s pager at [email protected] and we’ll get the message instantly (up to 300 characters). You can also call 1-888-965-1566 and hit 3 and do the same thing that way. Isn’t technology wonderful!! We’d love to hear from you!
Ok. Here goes…Scott and I are still alive and kickin’! At this point we’ve gone about 700 miles today and probably will do another 200 before the night is out. Scott is making up for yesterday and is shouldering some of the driving responsibilities. We left Oklahoma City at about 9:30am (Central Time) after a nice hearty breakfast at Denny’s. The Texans were right .Oklahoma is pretty ugly. The tacky billboard ads did little to convince us that the ‘Sooner State’ had any hope of being on the list of most desirable places to live. A sampling of some of the ads which you will never see in New Jersey:
– Who’s the Dad? Call 1-800-DNA-TEST
– Can’t Collect Child Support? We can help.
– Buffalo Burgers; 2 for $1.
– Come see our Champion Rattlers
These are actual signs folks. We’re not making any of this up. Incidentally, our Oklahoma neighbors do things a little differently when it comes to tolls. You pay $3 at the start of the Oklahoma Toll road and keep your receipt. If you stay on the toll road the whole way, you get nothing. If you get off in between, you get a refund. Weird!
I am absolutely amazed at the wide open spaces out here. Texas and Oklahoma stretch for miles in any given direction. The day was sunny and the bright blue sky dominated our views. Don’t let the NY developers anywhere near here .they might turn the whole place into condos. If I’ve offended any Oklahomans, I would like to state, for the record, that Texas is just as ugly as Oklahoma and smells a whole lot worse. About 100 miles into the ‘Lone Star State’, an absolutely horrendous smell overpowered us. Even 2 years of working with teenagers in a youth group had not prepared us for this stench. We rounded the corner and found ourselves surrounded by about 10,000 cows in a paddock. Apparently Texans feel that the best place for feeding stations is right next to a major interstate so they can give their visitors a true sense of the Texas experience. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.
We stopped a few miles later and, at the Dairy Queen, met two nice old ladies who were kind enough to explain to us what we had just been through. They also introduced us to real Texas lingo like ‘Howdy’, ‘Cheek in Jowl’, Chock a Block’, and ‘Ornery’. Other than Howdy, we have no idea what the other expressions mean. After all, we’re just a couple of dumb Yankees. One of the ladies was married to a cowboy and she assured me that Clint Eastwood was not a real cowboy. Another one of my childhood notions heartlessly shattered
Later on in Texas, we came to the conclusion that Amarillo is the tackiest city in America, and probably the world. All in all, the Texas experience was very forgettable. At least Oklahoma got a Broadway musical named after it.
(We’re now continuing the story from a Motel 8 just inside Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s about midnight)
New Mexico was a welcome change after the mental torture we had endured earlier in the day. By far the most beautiful state we have been through. It too stretched for miles and hills, mountains, and rocks dominate the landscape. My literary skills are not good enough to do justice to the magnificence. Sufficed to say, we were both humbled by God’s amazing creation. We stopped several times to take pictures but, like the writing, they probably will not do justice to the views. The drive to Albuquerque was one of the most scenic I have ever been on. We stopped to visit the campus of the University of New Mexico, the scene of our next adventure.
Frequent subscribers to this channel will recall our misadventures at the hands of the law. Today was our day to make right. While strolling through the campus, we witnessed an attempted bicycle robbery and, by quickly alerting the police to the fact, we saved the Midwest from ‘The Great Bicycle Robber’. We’re pretty sure that, as a result of our keen detective skills, the White Chariot will receive safe passage all the way to California. Again, I must stress that we are not making any of this up .If you don’t believe us, just call the City of Albuquerque and ask about the two mysterious Good Samaritans from New Jersey. They’ll be talking about it for the next few months.
Sunset was about 30 wiles west of Albuquerque. I think we’ll give it an 8. Driving into a golden red sky is an amazing experience. Once the sun went down, we drove through mountains that were bathed in the pale light of dusk. We even saw a moonrise that was extraordinarily similar to a card I received just before I left :). It brought a smile to my face and warmth to my heart. Hopefully the pictures will come out. By the time we got to the Arizona border it was pitch black. I don’t think we have this kind of darkness back east. I haven’t seen stars like this since I was in Nigeria.
After about 900 miles of driving, we pulled into Flagstaff to bed down for the night. I have logged 2500 miles in 3 days ..can’t be done anywhere else but in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Proud to be an American!!! Tomorrow we set out for the Grand Canyon and more amazement. I understand Arizona has a lot to offer and I am eager to feast my eyes.
Today was a chance to experience the vastness of America. I now have profound respect for the early western pioneers who came out here with just their dreams. Being in the heartland has also given me a look at the farming community and has convinced me that an Agribusiness MBA is a good choice. Scott and I are enjoying each other’s company. We’ve had some great talks, did some good reading (Ravi Zacharias and Joshua Harris) and even had time for message tapes (Jon Cahn and Greg Laurie). After a couple of days of hard driving, tomorrow should be a good relaxing, touristy kind of day. The truck stops that line the interstates have me thinking that I should write an article on the trucking industry and send it to National Geographic. Who knows it might get published. Yeah rite!!!
Peace and Love,
PS. I just heard a train go by .I hope that isn’t going to be a regular feature through the night.