Wednesday, February 14, 2007

deserts of the mind

We did some driving in northwest Arizona in January. Our usual quick zip through a few too many places, not much time to stop. Still, there are moments. Like when we were in Chloride and ran into a guy walking his dog with a rifle slung over his shoulder. That's when I discovered that a few types of people should always get a friendly hello -- women with little kids, older folks, and people with guns. Road trips lead to odd discoveries. Almost every time we got out of the car there was a cold biting wind, up to 40 mph. The reality of January. But the cold part wasn't so bad for me, but the constant wind was like having someone following us around babbling; it got old after a while.

Cold midnight with stars, and the the sound of fine sand rushing across the pavement. There were probably tumbleweeds circling us, sizing us up, looking for the right moment to leap under the tires like scratchy lemmings.

Whoever planned out Route 66 was not in his right mind. It's fun trying to follow the thing. Almost any time there's a clear route ahead, it veers off in some direction or other, looking for obstacles to overcome. Interesting, though. The full spectrum of "historic" from run down rusty nothings to well-kept diners and hotels.

A funny moment when we walked up to a Sonic and couldn't figure out how to order, and the wind drove us to the diner next door instead. Now in their TV commercials they tell you how the weird machine works, and what credit cards it takes. Little too late.

No new writing of any kind in January, just these reflections on old roads and sandy wastes. Our roasted almonds from Oatman only lasted so long, but all the funny photos of us with the burros ... priceless.