Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Journey Ends - Day Four

If you read the last post you'll recall that we were in Amarillo, TX and it was 60 degrees but they were calling for bad weather. When we awoke the next morning it was 24 degrees, the wind was blowing 40 MPH and it was snowing hard.

All I had taken into the motel was a hoodie. I took the first load of bags out to the car so I could get my coat, scarf, hat and gloves. I couldn't feel my fingers by the time I got back inside. We loaded the car and Doug went to check us out while I warmed the car up. That's when we realized that we had forgotten the ice scraper. The car was completely coated with about an 1/8th inch of ice. The defroster was slow to make any headway against the wind but finally it melted enough that I could get out and scrap the windows and clean off the wiper with my gloved hands.

I drove us to a gas station where we bought a scraper and filled up the tank. The wind was blowing so hard and the road was so icy that the car was being pushed sideways across the road. We went back to the Cracker Barrel beside the motel and ate a good hot breakfast and waited for it to let up some. It was supposed to end at noon. We left the restaurant and Doug drove a few miles up I40 where we decided to get off and reevaluate just how badly we wanted to get to Santa Fe that day. While we were setting in the parking lot of a Barnes and Nobel it stopped snowing. We decided try it again.snow
The roads were icy and the bridges were treacherous but we crept along at 40MPH. Gradually conditions improved and by the time we got to NM we were back up to 70MPH.
We passed another wind farm before we left Twind2exas and this one went on for miles. It was well off the road and I couldn't get a good photo but I could tell that the blades were turning - fast in the 40 mph winds. If you click on the photo at right and view the larger size you can make out the turbines against thskye cloudy sky.

Gradually the sun came out and the icy roads melted and dried. We headed into New Mexico in the bright sunshine.

We saw several wrecks including a few that had obviously rolled at least once. Most were trucks includingwreck this one. I just hope no one was injured in these accidents. One was an SUV loaded down with stuff just like we were. You can't see something like that and not think how lucky you are. We stopped in Tucumcari at McDonald's to get drinks and use the fatucumcaricilities because all the New Mexico rest areas were closed.

That's Tucumcari Mountain on the left. It was smooth sailing into Santa Fe and we pulled into Robin's at about 2:30 local (mountain) time. We were certainly glad to arrive safely after seeing so much carnage on the highway and now we can rest and enjoy our stay in this beautiful city. More about Santa Fe later.

The Journey Continues - Day Three

Oklahoma and Texas made up Day Three of the trip. We left Conway, Arkansas and headed for Oklahoma City. All the way from Maryland we had been meeting bucket trucks for utility companys from all over the eastern US. They were all headed home from Oklahoma where they had been assisting witrees2th repair from the ice storm the week before. Convoys of utility trucks. Hundreds of them traveling north and east from OK. When we got near Oklahoma City we started see why they were there. Of course, I could only snap pics from the moving car but I think you can make out some of the damage. The photo at left is of a playground covered with debris. Not many trees were spared some sort of damage.
I've seen my share of ice storms but this one must have been a doosy. We passed neighborhoods where the broken trunks and branches had been neatly sawed up and stacked along the curb (for pick-up I guess) sometimes 4 or 5 feet high. They'll have a lot less shade come summer.

I took some pics of downtown Oklahoma City. We discussed taking the time to see the memorial site for the bombing but decided we should press on instead.ok_city
Here's the skyline of the city. wind We passed some wind farms in Oklahoma and Texas. This one is in OK. I don't know why but they weren't turning. They were HUGE though and I was disappointed that they were still because I wanted to hear them. Surely they make noise?

We stopped for the night in Amarillo, Texas. We had a great dinner and stayed at a nice motel. It was 60 degrees when we went to bed but they were calling for bad weather. But that's another story. Here's the sunset.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Day Two (a day late)

nash1Sorry for the delayed entry but there was no wireless internet in the dump we stayed in last night. We got to Conway, Arkansas and couldn't find a good motel. We ended up staying in a pretty bad one without internet access.

Anyway, on Day Two we passed through Nashville, seen at left in the fog. From there we continued on to Memphis where we took a side trip to see the house I lived in when I was in Junior High. It wasn't hard to find thanks to Google Maps. I remembered nothing except the house itself which hadn't really changed at all.
The trees were bigger and prettier but the house and the street looked the same. The biggest difference was the character of the neighborhood itself. It's completely black now where it was mostly white in 1971. The houses all looked older since it was a brand new development when we moved in. But it still looked like a nice neighborhood. It was great to know that it's still there and still being taken care of.

Then we headed out of Memphis. We went by downtown and by this pyramid thing. I just looked it up on Google and Found out that it's a sppyramidorts and entertainment arena. Then we crossed the Mississippi and headed into Arkansas. bridge2
Don't you just love the photos taken from the window of a speeding car? My entire childhood was photographed like this. My dad didn't believe in stopping to take pictures.

The river was lovely.

Arkansas was flat and wet for the most part. Nothing much to photograph. Stay tuned for my report on Day Three coming soon.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Trip to Santa Fe - Day 1

turdBe sure to click on that photo to the left to see the larger version. This was the only thing worth photographing on the trip today. I love the fact that this guy had the guts to name his company "Turdbusters". Can you imagine working for this company?

Phone: "Ring, ring"
Employee: "Turdbusters. May I help you?"

How great is that? We made it to Cooksville, Tenn. today after a later start than I had hoped. That's about 600 miles and we didn't push it. We kept to the speed limit or just a little over (5mph). We stopped in Winchester, VA at the Cracker Barrel and had a big breakfast. We skipped lunch and had a nice supper. Tomorrow, Nashville, Memphis, Little Rock and maybe Oklahoma City (mighty pretty).


Monday, December 10, 2007

I'm Back

Sorry for the long absence from blogland. I've been swamped the last few weeks and just couldn't muster the energy to create a post. My step-mother fell and broke her left hip in August and came to live with us for a few weeks after her rehab was over. She kept me busy, so busy I didn't even have time to knit much. We took her back to her home on Saturday and got her settled in so nobear_claww we're back to our normal life.

It's amazing how something as simple as an unassuming house guest can turn your life upside down. Anyway, here's one of the projects I've tried to work on over the last month. It's the Bear Claw Scarfette by Olga Buraya-Kefelian in Socks That Rock Oregon Red Clover Honey Medium-weight. I was not sure the needles were large enough to give me the kind of fabric I had in mind so I wet-blocked it on the needles. I think it's going to be ok.