Sunday, 27 February 2011

914 miles done.

I write this next blog sitting in a Quality Inn motel in Tuba City.  Never heard of it?  Not surprising.  It wasn't a planned stop.  As usual, the weather has had a part to play in our current location and as usual, let me give you a recap of how we got to where we are...

We arrived at LAX last Saturday, to a ma-husive immigration line (not queue - they don't have that word here) we waited 2 hours.  Painstakingly long wait...however we were entertained by the 'how to enter the USA' powerpoint that is shown whilst waiting.  We learned that there are 3 check in points before you can breathe 'fresh' LA air.  The first we waited an age for, the second, we were asked 'do you have any food?' we said 'no' so the immigration guy said 'bye-bye', the third check in point didn't seem to be there...hmmmm - anyway we were greeted by an exeptionally patient Jenni and her labra-doodle Coco.

We did LA.  Drinks at Venice beach, breakfast and shopping in Beverly Hills, a massage and a downright dirty Korean BBQ in Korea Town - meaty and amazing.  We searched for famous people and came up empty...they must have all been hiding...

We picked up our 'compact' rental car and have ended up with a Chevy HHR - google it for more details...if you don't want to google it, imagine a mini steam engine train on the road and that's what we got.  So ready with our wheels we scooted up to the mountains to ski/snowboard where my Uncle Jay and Aunt Ronda have a b-e-a-utiful log cabin fully equipped with hot tub on the decking and a basement cinema room.  The location and the company spoiled us - so far the bar has been set far too high for comfort - doh!

For 2 days we skiied/snowboarded and loved it. $10 each a day to go up Snow Valley.  And as it was so cheap, Tim splashed out on renting a helmet to go with his boarding gear - very sensible Timmy.  Luckily I have no stories of us needing to be air lifted off the mountain (which I, and you probably, thought we might have).

As an intercession, I wouldn't want you to think that Tim's animal obsession has wained...whilst in the mountains, he continued his daily hunt for bears and mountain lions - my cousin Michael boasted seeing a squirrel - Tim was sad that he'd missed such wildlife as it was the closest that we were realistically going to get to a 4 legged 'beast' in the wild.

We left the mountain on the Rim of the World (aptly labelled road name as it shoots up from sea level to 5000ft and you can see for miles), headed for Phoenix, Arizona.

This drive was essentially a straight line.  330 miles of the exceptionally straight I-10.  The sat-nav had no idea what to do with itself as it didn't have anything to tell us for nearly 4 hours.  But of course, on the journey I needed a bathroom (not a loo/toilet - they don't have those words here).  No rest stops for 75 miles - I urged Tim to pull over but he was worried that a rattlesnake would bite my rear-end...however we found an exit on the Interstate (not motorway) and I risked my bottom in place of the deposit on the cleanliness of the it happens we found more scorpion/spider burrows in the scantily clad desert of eastern California than rattlesnakes.  You'll be glad to know that we met none such creatures and my be-hind is intact.

At the end of our drive we spent a night in Motel 6 and Bear Grylls!  Yes as luck would have it, Bear was on TV and his 'mission' was to survive in the Arizona desert! We will be fine with this knowledge now firmly set in our minds - all we need is a used parachute, an abandoned microlight and a half eaten wild pig to survive.  We decided to bypass the busy Phoenix and stayed in the very pleasant Scottsdale - we loved it. Native American art galleries, a free tram around town and plenty of pottery and jewellery that I could look at and not touch.  

From Scottsdale we trooped towards Flagstaff but in continuing our theme of bypassing the big places, we stayed in nearby Sedona at the Cosy Cactus.  Our drive was a-maz-ing.  I drove, with only one incidence of driving on the left leaving Tim to continue the search for deer/bear/mountain lion etc...all of which were due to be around as we climbed up to 6000ft and through snow!  Yes, Arizona, the place that we were sure we'd be able to camp has been covered in snow.  We didn't realise that a lot of the state seems to be over 4000ft camping for us then...onto the Cosy Cactus....mmmmm....

Sedona seemed to be having a film festival!  Our lovely B&B owners were also housing a director of one of the films and hooked us up with free tickets - so off we went to see a film called Enemies of the People about Pol Pot and the Cambodian Killing Fields.  A very interesting documentary - nominated for an Oscar I think....

Thus we now come to today - over breakfast we were telling other residents of the B&B our plans to go to and stay at the Grand Canyon...but they warned of snow...snow?  We checked the weather on the Weather Channel (Americans think of everything!) and yup 12" I'm cautious on the best of days but up at 7,500ft in an automatic car with only 1 road in and out - I aired my thoughts and we came to a comprimise - we'd drive up to the Canyon and see the rim but we'd stay a bit further down in Tuba City.  So up we went and literally the second we'd paid our $25 for the pleasure of seeing a cloudy Grand Canyon, the snow began to fall - we did 3 look out points (from which we saw cloud in the canyon) and when the snow started to become blizzardy and settle, I expressed my wishes to leave asap! Et voila - now in Tuba City.

I read an article on BBC online just recently about whether couples should do long travelling trips together, highlighting the worry of knowing too much about each other...and thus far I think this.  I've learned more about Tim's odd habits that rub me up the wrong way but I've also learned more about how I'm not a saint either.  I've learned I become moody very easily if Tim doesn't do things the way I want them done, but have had to learn humility about when actually my way isn't always the right way.  I've learned to share my feelings and frustrations more than hiding them as travelling together doesn't allow time for one to stew by oneself.  But most of all, I know that travelling together means that we can share our thoughts and experiences.  Just today, looking over the wonderfully vast landscape of Arizona, if I ever wanted a vision of how big God is, I just have to look at the desert plains and canyons to know that He's even bigger than that and I can appreciate that with Tim.

We're hopefully (weather permitting) off to where 4 states meet at the same point - answers on a SAE as to which 4 they are...I'll give you a clue - we're in one of them already...if you've been concentrating, you'll know which one that is....


Tic Toc xxx

1 comment:

  1. You brighten up my miserable Mondays x