Monday, July 8, 2013

Road Trip from New Mexico to Kansas

As soon as I started editing photos for this post the Arcade Fire song, In the Backseat, popped into my mind. Specifically these lyrics:

I like the peace
In the backseat
I don't have to drive
I don't have to speak
I can watch the countryside
And I can fall asleep

It's one of my favorite songs on the album and I believe it's a metaphor for the innocence of youth, but in this case, on the drive from New Mexico to Kansas, I took the lyrics literally as I sat in silence in the backseat, looking out the window at the countryside. When I first started driving, as a teenager, I always wanted to be in the driver's seat and usually volunteered to drive on road trips but now I prefer the comfort of not being in control.

My father and brother (but, alas, not my sister, who had to stay home) took turns driving the seven hours from Navajo Dam to my Grandma Mary's place in Portales, New Mexico, while I curled up in the backseat with an easy read: The Devil Wears Prada. We arrived in the early evening and left the following morning, filling the time in between with yard work, pizza, beer, then heaps of coffee and breakfast.

*Aunt Kathy, Grandma, and cousin Sally
*Grandma loves her dogs and they love her.

After farewells and promises to visit more often I volunteered to drive the first leg of the eleven hour trip to my dad's place in Manhattan, Kansas. One our way out of Portales we stopped by the Blackwater Draw in Clovis, which is an archaeological dig of the Clovis culture from over 13,000 years ago. Ice Age bison, mammoths, dire wolfs (eek, Game of Thrones!), and other animal and non-animal remains have been excavated at the Blackwater Draw since the 1930s. 

We were the only visitors at the Blackwater Draw that morning.
*Mammoth Molars

After getting our fill of Paleoindian history we hopped back into my dad's car to embark on the long and desolate trip - crossing through the cow countries of Texas and Oklahoma - to Kansas. After my four hour driving stint I reclaimed the backseat and passed the time reading and taking photos. Here is some of what I saw:

*Huge grain silos like these were all along the route we drove.
*Lots and lots and LOTS of cow farms and slaughter houses, like this one in Hereford, Texas - "The Beef Capital of The World".
*This crazy cloud was a sign of the rain and humidity to come, which I welcomed with open arms since it's dry right now in California. As our friend Janna says, "Humidity is like a warm hug".

Eleven hours and three states later we made it to Manhattan past midnight. Pictures of that fine city on the next post!


Anonymous said...

Your pics have really come a long way. The writing style keeps maturing for the better. Great stuff! -C

Caroline said...

Sorry I missed out on this cool stuff! Grandma's new dog is not what I was picturing--I love her!