WARNING: This blog is extremely long and picture-heavy.
I’ve been a bad blogger. 😦
Who’s surprised? …No one? Yeah, me neither. 😀
Monday we started for New Mexico. Before we left Oklahoma we stopped at the Cherokee Trading Post. My family stopped there when we went cross-country twelve years ago. All I remembered was there were live buffalo and a teepee, but when we saw it from the highway, I knew that was the place. It’s definitely changed (obviously – it has been over a decade). The trading post itself has been redone, and there’s a restaurant. They’re also building a gas station. But the buffalo and teepee are still there, so it was worth it! Little J and I both got moccasins, which I’m endlessly excited about.
Texas also marked the beginning of seeing wind farms. I don’t know what it is about them, but I think they’re awesome! It was really cool to look out over huge stretches of flat land and see dozens of wind turbines (I think that’s what they’re called.) in the distance. They’re kind of pretty in a way.
We stopped by Cadillac Ranch, which instantly made my list of top places we’ve visited this trip. It’s literally a stretch of old Cadillacs sticking out of the ground in a random field right off the highway. Over the years they’ve been spray-painted, and parts have rusted away. I don’t know the story behind it all, but I love it!
Unfortunately I didn’t think we were going to be walking through snow and mud, so my shoe choice was less than adequate. By the time we got back to the car, my shoes were full of snow, and my feet were so cold, they were numb. Fun times.
On our way back to the highway, we stopped for a quick cache pick-up. It was a travel bug rest stop, so we dropped off one of our travel bugs (Travel bugs are objects people leave in caches in hopes that other cachers will pick them up and move them from cache to cache, so they can travel. The kind we have are dog tags with codes on them, so they can be logged on the geocaching website.) and picked up another. The one we picked up is trying to travel globally, so we’re going to take it to Vancouver when we go. Not sure when that’s going to be but hopefully soon!
I was wicked excited about Arizona because J had never been to the Grand Canyon, and I couldn’t wait for him to see it. It turns out Arizona – Flagstaff at least – was absolutely FREEZING!! I knew it would be colder due to the high elevation, but holy cow! Regardless, the Grand Canyon was as stunning as I remember. Little J was wholly unimpressed, but he made some new friends. A trio of Asian (Not sure what country they were from.) college students loved how he kept saying, “Hi!” to everyone and asked if they could take a picture with him. 🙂 We said yes of course. He loves cheesing for the camera.
Yesterday we arrived in California! This is the first state we’ve traveled to that I’ve never visited. So far it’s been interesting to say the least. We went through an inspection station at the Arizona-California border. The woman asked if we had any plants or animals from another state, and when J said no, waved us through. Our daffodils were sitting right on the gearshift. 😀 Then, when we stopped for gas, the attendant offered to put air in our tires since the front passenger one looked low. Turns out it was in danger of blowing, and the rest weren’t looking too hot either. So we got all new tires.
This was our first view of Los Angeles. Just a tiny skyline in the middle of lots of California hills. It was odd to see a city after so many days of straight landscape. The traffic outside of LA was horrible, but we finally made it to Bellflower, and our friends Mark and April’s house.
Little J had the opportunity to hang out with DW, who is three months older than him. They got along wonderfully, and Little J loved having someone to play with. J and I got to relax and visit with April and with Shane who is a little under six months old.
Today we drove from Bellflower to San Francisco. It was another long drive, but the scenery was gorgeous. Lots of rolling green hills and cows. The weather was incredible – mid-to-high seventies and cloudless. We drove with the windows down. 😀 It felt like early summer in North Carolina. Divine.
Tomorrow we’re taking some time to cruise around San Francisco and then heading north to Eureka, CA. We decided to add a day to our trip, so that we can A) avoid any more really long drives and B) drive through the Redwood Forest when we can actually see it as opposed to after sunset. My butt especially likes this change of plans, and I know J and Little J will also appreciate spending less time in the car.
It’s hard to believe in four days we’ll be in Washington, and in five we’ll be moving into our new place. Eek!